Abu Aardvark has a guest post of sorts from Lawrence Wright called Underestimating Al-Qaeda. The general idea is that AQ was on the ropes and essentially incapacitated (though not dead) after the Afghanistan war. Then the Iraq war came along and AQ got dragged into it against bin Laden’s initial wishes. Now the passions aroused by the situation in Iraq have proved to be a recruiting boon for AQ and the war itself is a training ground that will do for jihadists of the 2000s what the Soviet war in Afghanistan did for the jihadists in the 1980s.
So while it’s satisfying to gloat and point at Bush and say “you dumbass, see what you got us into?” we now have the problem of a revived al Qaeda to deal with. And that’s a consequence that all westerners, especially those in the US, will have to deal with regardless of whether they opposed the Iraq war or not.