Mark Mazzetti of thef New York Times reports that a classified intelligence assessment entitled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" reports the Iraq invasion has increased the terrorist threat to the United States and other countries.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 ó A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.
The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.
Read the full article for all the details.
Bush calls Iraq a front in a war on terror. If so then it is a front we created that spurs Muslims all over the world to take up Jihad against the West.
Bush is sort of like the Manchurian Candidate. Maybe we should call him the Mecca Candidate.
Update: The Washington Post also has gotten access to people who are familiar with the document. Our Iraq invasion has inspired Muslims toward Jihad, not democracy.
The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.
A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.
We are going to need far better border security and tougher visa policies as the threat grows. It is time to put an end to the policies of Immigration, Imperialism, and Insolvency as Daniel Larison calls them.
Here's the Los Angeles Times coverage. I am expecting some reader to take me to task for using very harsh rhetoric about George W. Bush. But Duby and Cheney are either lying or deluded when they claim the Iraq invasion has made Americans safer.
The Bush administration has made the case that a democratic government in the Middle East would serve as a beacon to other nations, providing new hope to populations of disaffected Muslims.
"The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power," Bush said in his speech to the nation on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad." He also said that Americans were "safer, but we are not yet safe" from terrorism.
Bush and Cheney frequently have dismissed suggestions that the U.S. presence in Iraq has inflamed anger toward the United States, arguing that U.S. forces were not in Baghdad on Sept. 11, 2001.
My optimistic hope: We will so enrage the Muslims that when they do things against us that are really bad this will rouse our masses to demand an end to Muslim immigration. That'd put a really big plus in the ledger to weigh against the costs of the Iraq Debacle.
Update II: Greg Cochran comments:
What we're doing makes things worse - big surprise - but we can't quit, because we're effectively nuts. On the other hand, even if you magnify the islamic-terrorist threat tenfold, it still isn't very big as strategic threats go. I guess that the positive way of looking at it is that we've tapped a rich vein of violent insanity that would have undoubtedly broken loose in some other, maybe worse way if we hadn't invaded Iraq. Indeed, this _is_ the best of all possible worlds.
I think we are better off if their anger and resentment toward us intensifies sooner rather than later. If it happens sooner then we can react and isolate them from us before they become a much bigger demographic presence in the West.
But Greg corrects me in my interpretation of what he said: The "rich vein of violent insanity" is something he sees in us.
Update III: Daniel Larison comments:
But remember Bin Laden said that Iraq was vital to their global jihad (Michael Novak has just told us so), so no matter what you do you must not make any kind of rational judgement about this information that would seek to weaken or reduce the jihadi threat. Under no circumstances should we consider concluding the war in Iraq, even though it daily works to the enemyís advantage for us to remain. We must have resolve. After all, itís 1938 and the fascists are coming, aiee!
We have to stay in Iraq because to leave would be a sign of weakness. Never mind that we help our enemies by staying. If we leave then Nazi tanks (with modern 1970s technology) will roll in blitzkrieg across Arabia with the Sunni Arabs (or Shia Arabs? or maybe the Persians?) singing "Deutscheland Uber Alles" as they break the back of the French (er, Sunni Arab?) defense.
The Middle East has become the theater of the absurd. Washington DC has become either the theater of the deluded nuts or the theater of the pathological liars. Probably some of each.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 September 23 10:04 PM Mideast Iraq Costs|