Again, today, in Rumsfeld's press conference, not more than a couple of hours ago, Rumsfeld stressed that the reason for our problems in Iraq is foreign fighters infiltrating from Syria. He went on to say that this is intolerable and we might have to do something about it. Damn Syria!
Unfortunately, when it comes to foreign fighters, Syria isn't the problem, and they know it. Most foreign fighters in Iraq are Saudis. But for some reason I don't expect any veiled threats against Saudi Arabia, anytime soon.
Check out this graphic from http://www.globalterroralert.com , run by MSNBC terror analyst Evan Kohlmann, presumably an unbiased source.
Here are the raw numbers on captured foreign fighters. Notice that Saudis make up more than half
of the fighters accounted for, while Syria has provided an anemic 12.7%.
12.7 percent is kind of puny, for all the anti-Syrian rhetoric that we are hearing, repeatedly, from the Bush administration.
And notice one more thing on the chart and in the numbers. There is a country missing. It starts with IRA and ends with N. Somebody might want to email Evan to ask him about that mysterious absence. I take it to mean that that dreaded member of the Axis of Evil, Iran, has contributed ZERO (accounted for) troops to the war.
I'm not sure what is worse in this picture. Is it the exaggeration of Syria and Iran's role in this war, or is it the deliberate understatement of Saudi Arabia's contribution? Wouldn't it make more sense to bluster and blow to the cameras about Saudi Arabia needing to clean up it's act, rather than Syria?