Former Roman Eric Haney, a retired member of the Army’s elite Delta Force and a security consultant, said that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein believes that a state of war still exists between Iraq and the United States.
However, Haney said today after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, that “it will be almost impossible to prove a connection.”
“The basic fact is that we are at war with the nation of Iraq,” Haney said. “Until today, the people of the United States did not recognize that we are at war.”
Also this morning, John Hickman, an associate professor of government at Berry College, said he believed the attack came from the al-Qaida terrorist organization, which is headed by Osma bin Laden.
Hickman said bin Laden’s brand of Islamist ideology believes that forces outside of Islam are trying to destroy Islamic society.
“They have a conviction that violence is a necessary tool to save Islam from the West, whether it is American Democracy or Communism,” he said.
Hickman said bin Laden has found refuge in Afghanistan and Pakistan, two nations that the U.S. State Department has not identified as a haven for state-sponsored terrorism.
“That’s significant, considering the nations that are on the list,” Hickman said. Those nations include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan, he said.
Haney said the United States periodically sends planes or missiles into Iraqi territory to enforce the no-fly zone.
“Iraq does not have the capability to face us militarily, so they use truck bombs, planes filled with explosives,” he said.
Haney said he believed that the planners of today’s bombings committed all their resources in the attacks.
“When the United States mounts a military attack, it’s not something we jump up and do all of a sudden. There is a lot of planning and analysis that is all weighed and balanced before it is executed.
“It’s a long, expensive process, and the problems are much greater for a terrorist organization. First they have to operate in secrecy and then they have to find the aircraft and pilots who are willing to sacrifice themselves.
“This is not something that is done on a whim, but I think that today’s attack was everything they had in them.”
Hickman said that possible U.S. responses could include aerial bombardment, “but that has been tried in the past without much success.