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    23 September 2006

    File in 'duh' : Iraq war breeds terrorism [UPDATED]

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    For print in tomorrows NYTimes, 16 government spy agencies conclude the obvious: Iraq is a vice, not a virtue, of the Global War on Terror, WWIII, the Long War, or whatever you want to call it.

    This new estimate provides this damning assessment:
    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.

    The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States," it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

    An opening section of the report, "Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement," cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

    The report "says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse," said one American intelligence official.

    [UPDATE] From The WaPo: The Iraq War is central to a growing extremist network. Rather than making us safer, it is making things much worse. This is a sharp rebuke of conservative logic.
    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.
    ...
    "It's stating the obvious."

    This report mentioned above is separate from the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee's report on the current threat of "a growing jihad movement" that says "'al Qaeda leaders wait patiently for the right opportunity to attack.'" It is complemented by the report released by the independent Council on Global Terrorism's grade of "D+" that they handed to the US government for its effort to combat Islamic extremism these past few (5) years. [link to p. 2]

    The only reasonable, logical reasons we should remain in Iraq are best expressed by participants at a centrist-progressive discussion on the topic last week.
    The only reason America should stay in Iraq is to prove itself as a fair but powerful mediator, particularly in Lebanon, said Sascha Mueller-Kraenner, director for Europe and North America at the Heinrich Boll Foundation.

    "The rule is you break it, you buy it," he said. "The mess in Iraq was produced by American politics and American allies and there is no way you can leave Iraq a wreck. You have to repair what you do."

    Charles Pena, a senior fellow of the Independent Institute and an adviser to the Status Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information, added,

    We are fueling hatred in the Muslim world against us

    The coming/ongoing fragmentation of the country, whether official or not, will net a hostile Islamic region in the Western provinces if not the entire state. We were thought to be fighting against this regional insurgency, but we only funded/supplied the means to train the police/army to fight the insurgency, and they, them and us, haven't done their job. Some in or close to the military have said that the "United States has lost in Anbar."

    "You break it, you buy it."

    Republicans broke it, conservatives broke it, Bush foreign policy broke it. We need to change course, not nesessarily pull out, if we want to fix this. We need to strive to limit the gains already handed to the terrorists; those who want to harm our soldiers and us, the public. The current leadership is neither able to comprehend or accomplish this task.

    The conservative right-wing will continue to claim that UBL, al Qaeda, and the terrorists are pulling for progressive Democrats to take the Senate and House. They, again, draw on fear in a desperate attempts to hold on to power. They claim Democrats and progressives will loose the War on Terror and allow more attacks. In reality we are the only ones that have the capacity to understand this war and win it. The point is to reduce terror. It's not enough to look tough, you have to make actual progress.

    Posted by Geoff

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