What Glenn said:
The White House is sure to follow suit any minute now, insinuating — or explicitly claiming — that this incident proves that Bush was right about the whole array of our country’s foreign policy disputes, from Iraq to the current Israel-Lebanon war. This naked exploitation of terrorist threats for political gain occurs every time a new terrorist plot is revealed, no matter how serious or frivolous, no matter how advanced or preliminary, the plot might be. Each time a new plot is disclosed, administration officials and their followers immediately begin squeezing the emotions and fears generated by such events for every last drop of political gain they can manufacture.
But this effort is as incoherent as it is manipulative. Nobody doubts that there are Muslim extremists who would like to commit acts of violence against the U.S. and the West. No political disputes are premised on a conflict over whether terrorism exists or whether it ought to be taken seriously. As a result, events such as this that reveal what everyone already knows — that there is such a thing as Islamic extremists who want to commit terrorist acts against the U.S. — do nothing to inform or resolve political debates over the Bush administration’s militaristic foreign policy or its radical lawlessness at home. Opposition to the war in Iraq, for instance, is not based upon the premise that there is no terrorist threat. It is based on the premise that that invasion undermines, rather than strengthens, our campaign to fight terrorism.
Invading and bombing Muslim countries do not prevent terrorism or diminish the likelihood that British-born Muslims will blow up American airplanes. If anything, warmongering in the Middle East exacerbates that risk by radicalizing more and more Muslims and increasing anti-U.S. resentment. And the more military and intelligence resources we are forced to pour into waging wars against countries that have not attacked us, the less able we are to track and combat al-Qaida and the other terrorist groups that actually seek to harm us. There are few things that have more enabled terrorism than turning Iraq into a chaotic caldron of anarchy and violence — exactly the environment in which al-Qaida thrives.