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These are the terrorist equivalents to "theaters" in a world war.

There are many just now. Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Chechnya are all prominent in the news. With the first Trade Center bombing, America's home soil became a field of jihad. Jihad was formally declared upon the US on 23 February 1998 by Osama bin Laden and his cohorts -- some three and a half years before 9/11.

There is a curious counterpoint: jihad rallies those attacked. And according to the social customs of leadership, leaders so attacked are given every opportunity to march to the drumbeat of folly as they repeat history yet one more time.

When the Supreme Court "elected" Mr. Bush to his high office in 2000, the Clinton Administration was working hard to frame a response to the widening fields of Islamic Jihad so apparent on any map. One such declaration of jihad, already on the table, was published in 1998 by one Osama bin Laden.

Clinton's plan was still on the back burner when 9/11 rolled around. Americans suddenly found their homeland the latest field of Jihad. Afghanistan was soon added to the list where America was actively engaged.

Hearing the drum of folly beat, Mr. Bush led the US and Britain into yet another field of jihad in Iraq--in extreme arrogance with little planning for the aftermath. He now has three fields of jihad on his hands, two in unstable and violent countries. All of radical Islam is applauding casualties even when not directly causing them. The high irony is that Mr. Bush took a nation, Iraq, that was not a terrorist threat and turned it into one.

The reason why the phrase, field of jihad, is so important is that any new field of jihad rallies the whole of extremist Islam to its cause. And Mr. Bush has added two where the enemy has us where they can easily get at us--on their own turf.

Think about it; 117 civilians in Iraq died over an eleven-day span in August under Mr. Bush's leadership. Al Qa'ida claimed responsibility. Mr. Bush is following Lyndon Johnson's folly, not in detail but in the large.

The consequences are serious:

    Each new field of jihad only stimulates the extremists to yet more terror, while enhancing recruitment.

    America's relationship with, and influence in, the Islamic world is worsening.

    US claims to being a fair and benevolent society and beneficent conqueror potentially go up in smoke.

    US claim to being able to establish a democracy in the heart of feudalistic Islam could become the joke of the decade.

    America's allies have been alienated at a time when needed most to counter terrorism.

    Economic losses are already extreme, with more, much more to come. See Cost of War.

Some in the administration heralded the UN bombing as a turning point for the desperate. In fact, it looks a lot more like an omen of things to come, especially since al Qa'ida just claimed responsibility on This act of terror also fits their modus operandi of targeting civilians. The notice was signed by: "Brigades of Abu Hafs al-Masri (al Qa'ida)." This likely means a terror cell that al Qa'ida trained and empowered to act in a semiautonomous manner in any field of jihad when opportunity may arise.


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