Every other rationale for continuing the occupation of Iraq having failed, supporters of the war have taken refuge in what they believe to be an invincible thought-stopper: Iraq differs from Vietnam, because this time the enemy will “follow us home.”
“After the war in Vietnam, we came home and the Vietnamese did not want to follow us,” stated Arizona Senator and presidential aspirant John McCain last Sunday. “Bin Laden, Zarqawi, Mullah Omar, they want to follow us home. Their next target is Saudi Arabia, and the next target is the United States of America."
Didn't the Islamists already hit those targets?
Of course they did.
Haven't we been told by the administration that on 9-11 the Middle East “came home to us”?
Like most defenders of the Iraq War, McCain was simply spitting out words to watch them splatter. He's intelligent enough to know that he was making absolutely no sense.
The same is true of Republican congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who regurgitated the same line during a visit to Naples, Florida last Sunday. As one press account reported, Diaz-Balart told his audience: “The war in Iraq cannot be compared to the long-fought Vietnam War, [because the] Vietnamese weren’t inclined to follow Americans home nor to attack on U.S. Homeland....”
The ranks of the Bu'ushist right, however, are filled with people just as dishonest as McCain and Diaz-Balart. Some of them – free-range chickenhawks like Rush Limbaugh – are smart enough to know that they're retailing a lie. Others are apparently too stupid to realize what they're doing. One useful example of the latter is neo-con slogan-slinger Frank Salvato, who offers this recitation of the Regime's official “follow us home” meme:
“In today's conflict we don't have the luxury of simply leaving and declaring victory. This time our enemy – radical Islamists who employ terrorism as their chief military tactic – want us all to convert to Islam, live under Sharia Law or die.... This time, the enemy won't be satisfied with our soldiers simply leaving the battlefield. This time the enemy is going to follow us home.”
The instrument has yet to be invented that can measure the infinitesimally small odds that the Islamists could impose Sharia Law on the United States. A much more plausible domestic outgrowth of the Iraq war – unless we end the occupation immediately and begin to repair the damage it has done to our institutions here at home – would be an epidemic of urban terrorism here at home carried out not by savagely bearded foreign Muslims, but by disaffected veterans of the war who put to use the tactics they learned from the enemy in Iraq.
Military analyst William S. Lind refers to this as the “Boomerang Effect”:
“One of the things U.S. troops are learning in Iraq is how people with little training and few resources can fight a state. Most American troops will see this within the framework of counterinsurgency. But a minority will apply their new-found knowledge in a very different way. After they return to the U.S. and leave the military, they will take what they learned in Iraq back to the inner cities, to the ethnic groups, gangs, and other alternate loyalties they left when they joined the service. There, they will put their new knowledge to work, in wars with each other and wars against the American state. It will not be long before we see police squad cars getting hit with IEDs and other techniques employed by Iraqi insurgents, right here in the streets of American cities.”
It's worth recalling that the deadliest pre-9-11 terror attack within the US was carried out by a disaffected veteran of the first Gulf War, an Army tank operator named Timothy McVeigh.
Yes, there is intriguing evidence that McVeigh found allies among Islamist elements within the United States, including transplanted members of the Iraqi Republican Guard.
And yes, video footage has emerged suggesting that McVeigh was receiving training from the Army in explosives and demolitions subsequent to his reported discharge date; this would lend credence to at least some of the theories in which McVeigh was a “patsy” or provocateur.
All of this, if true, actually fortifies the point I'm making, since present conditions are quite similar to – and in some ways, worse than – those that led to the 1995 OKC bombing.
The longer we remain mired in Mesopotamia, the larger will be the population of proto-McVeighs among those consigned to occupation duty there. And not all of them would be drawn from among the White Supremacist demimonde.
John Allen Muhammad, the so-called Beltway Sniper, was a fellow Gulf War veteran and convert to Islam who took part in Louis Farrakhan's 1995 “Million Man March.”
Muhammad, in turn, was wired in to a domestic gang underworld that has become organically attached to the military.
As Stars and Stripes reported last December, street gangs of various flavors – including Chicago's Gangster Disciple Nation (which has helped broker federal subsidies to urban gangs across the nation, and whose leadership encourages members to enlist) – “have gained a foothold in the U.S. Military and are using overseas deployments to spread tentacles around the globe....”
Gangster Disciple graffiti can be found on armored vehicles, concrete barricades, and various buildings in Iraq. There are indications that the paramilitary Salvadoran MS-13 gang is actively recruiting among children of military personnel in Europe, and it's reasonable to believe that MS-13 and other Latino gangs could find adherents among non-citizen recruits eager to use military service to acquire citizenship.
In some form or another, the war will follow us home. That's one of the unavoidable consequences of waging demented wars of aggression. When the IEDs start going off in our inner cities, chances are we won't have the Mohammedans to blame.
A quick request:
Immigration reform activist Terry Graham has asked me to pass along an urgent appeal for my readers to call their Republican elected representatives and demand that they vote against Mel Martinez's nomination to be General Chairman of the Republican National Committee. That spurious post was created in 1983 to accommodate the appointment of former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt, a good friend of Ronald Reagan. Martinez is similarly chummy with Bush the Younger, and shares the Bushling's enthusiasm to extend amnesty to illegal immigrants.