Matt at Left in the West is using many of the same arguments that have been used about not going into Iraq, and how Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. Okay, I'll agree that Saddam had nothing directly to do with 9-11 but so what?
Suppose that you had a magic button, push it once and Poof! Osama bin Laden is gone. Is that the end of terrorism? How about if you push it again and all of his lieutenants are gone. Is that the end of terrorsism? Or, push it again, and everyone who was ever associated with Al Quaeda is gone. Is that the end of terrorism? The short answer: No!
Al Queada and OBL are subsets of the larger problem: Islamo-facism. Did terrorism exist before 9-11? (Am I starting to sound like Donald Rumsfeld? You betcha!)
Al Quaeda is but a subset of the larger problem. Most of it is supported by the regimes of the Middle East as a way to keep a restive young male population from deciding to overthrow the established ogliarchys that are in power. After all, is it not easier to blame Israel, America, colonial powers etc., rather than to actually address the problems that they are facing. The advantage of being a victim: "It's not my fault, it's really some other person's over whom I have no control, but I can kill them." No need to examine deeper than that, since any such examination would be rather painful.
However, as I wrote about a year ago and put on this blog, there is a way to win this war, and that is through the reformation of Iraq. As I said before, Iraq is the best choice for reform in the Middle East. It is strategically in the center, it has direct access to Saudi Arabia, the site of Islam's holiest shrines, and it has a unique population that is well educated.
Already, we are seeing the results; Syria is withdrawn from Lebanon. Iran is about 18 months away from having another revolution. Believe it or not, we are making progress.
Yes, terrorists are going to Iraq to battle the Americans. So, would you rather that they were going to Des Moines? Iraq seems to be the flypaper that attracts the Islamo-fascists to battle American soldiers who are trained to fight, rather than here at home, where the civilians are blithely ignorant about dealing with a tactical situation.