After the horrific attacks in Paris this past Friday, it’s more than a little jarring to read a 2003 story from satire site The Onionabout what would happen following the invasion of Iraq.
“This war will not put an end to anti-Americanism; it will fan the flames of hatred even higher. It will not end the threat of weapons of mass destruction; it will make possible their further proliferation. And it will not lay the groundwork for the flourishing of democracy throughout the Mideast; it will harden the resolve of Arab states to drive out all Western (i.e. U.S.) influence.”
The Onion’s predictions were spot on. The Iraq War left the entire region in shambles, creating a power vacuum that resulted in the rise of the Islamic State, or ISIS, who has established a totalitarian “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria over the last few years.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for Friday evening’s attacks on Paris.
Over a decade of bombings and drone strikes have created fertile ground for recruiting more young radicals, like 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the eighth attacker in Paris and currently the subject of an international manhunt.
“If you thought Osama bin Laden was bad, just wait until the countless children who become orphaned by U.S. bombs in the coming weeks are all grown up. Do you think they will forget what country dropped the bombs that killed their parents? In 10 or 15 years, we will look back fondly on the days when there were only a few thousand Middle Easterners dedicated to destroying the U.S. and willing to die for the fundamentalist cause. From this war, a million bin Ladens will bloom.”
As French President Francois Hollande ramps up airstrikes in Syria, the Onion story has never been more important.