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Tilting at Windmills

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September 26, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

KEY JUDGMENTS....Is the Iraq war fueling terrorism? Here are the excerpts from the "key judgments" section of the newly declassified National Intelligence Estimate that address the issue:

We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

  • The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

  • ....Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement:....(2) the Iraq "jihad;"....

Al-Qaida, now merged with Abu Musab al-Zarqawis network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.

....We judge that most jihadist groups both well-known and newly formed will use improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.

In one sense, this answers the questions about what exactly the intelligence community meant by its assertion that the war was "fueling terrorism." However, because only the NIE's key judgments were declassified, these are still nothing but assertions. Without seeing the context, analysis, and dissenting opinions that shaped them, there's nothing to assess. You either accept the intelligence community's expertise or you don't.

With appropriate redactions, the entire NIE should be released. Then we can all see what this is based on.

Kevin Drum 7:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (90)

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Comments

Boy, I am sure glad we're fighting them over there because...oh, never mind.

Posted by: GOP Loyalists on September 26, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

Posted by: Britney Spears on September 26, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

I sure do get the weirdest trolls on this blog.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on September 26, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Who would have refuted this statement before the NIE was leaked. The idea that attacking the enemy makes them angry and want to fight back is hardly a new notion. This notion has been bandied about on television/newspapers since before the war. The Idea is that you defeat them in this major engagement and they are demoralized and weak.


Posted by: Fitz on September 26, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

I sure do get the weirdest trolls on this blog.

At least you have trolls. My comments section is goose eggs and counting.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

The NIE SUPPORTS Bush's plan to democratize the Arab and Muslim world.

NIE:

"If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit. "

So when will liberals admit their opposition to Bush is ENTIRELY wrong?

Posted by: Al on September 26, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

It's depressing, though. NPR's coverage of this on All Things Considered this afternoon quoted the material about "Al-Qaida, now merged with ... Zirqawi's network," but ended up concluding that this didn't indicate that the war in Iraq was furthering the effort of jihad.

I suppose NPR, like all the rest of the MSM, knows where their bread is buttered. Sigh.

Posted by: Stephen Spear on September 26, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz:

That is a fairly traditional rationalization. I am not convinced of two assumptions underlying your position. 1) That the jihadist will go away demoralized and weak-death for them is victory. they think dying for their cause sends them to a heaven filled with virgins awaiting their beck and call. I know that sounds flippant, but, these people do not think like we do. 2) Additionally, I am not convinced that our military is capable of defeating an enemy that simply refuses to engage in a stand-up fight.

I am not for appeasement, but I think that the retaliatory strike against the Taliban in Afgahnistan was nearly perfect; on the other hand, a protracted engagement in Iraq was simply a bad idea from the beginning and subsequently poorly executed.

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 26, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I sure do get the weirdest trolls on this blog.

Well, he does sort of have a point since, while sitting in your home worth nearly a million dollars, you did have your hand out asking for money a week or so ago, and you're not allowed to do that if you advocate any candidates or any legislation, which you pretty much do.

Posted by: Unbiased on September 26, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

& what about the three other underlining causes of terrorist recruitment
Wont as successful engagement in Iraq bring (long & short-term) a end or serious diminishment to these trends?

"(1)Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western
domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims—all of which jihadists exploit."

Posted by: Fitz on September 26, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1/Charlie - If you got paid more, would you troll better? Just curious.

Posted by: danorama on September 26, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Basically:

The Iraq War was a mistake, but leaving Iraq now would be a mistake.

Posted by: Ben P on September 26, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq War was a mistake, but leaving Iraq now would be a mistake.

Or how about, "It turns out this shit sandwich isn't delicious. Too bad the chef has a four-year contract. Oh well, wanna bite?"

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

While Bush and the Republicans seem to think that the summary judgments support their call for "staying the course", I think this is just a naive take on how the American public is going to take this assessment.

What the assessment makes startingly clear is that the initial decision to go to war with Iraq was simply a catastrophic blunder, from the standpoint of diminishing terrorism. The sole purpose of "staying the course", and not withdrawing, is to try to minimize the effects of that blunder.

This cannot look good for Bush or the Republicans. Even if we were to "stay the course", and lose thousands of more lives in the process, we would at most be trying to compensate for Republican incompetence. This is simply a recipe for enormous resentment in the American people. They will certainly not GLADLY make those sacrifices, no matter what.

And it's actually worse. The real problem is, the American people have come to the belief that the Iraq war is simply lost, and out of our control, whether we choose to "stay the course" or not. We all know, just by having followed the chaos in Iraq on the news, that the forces at play in Iraq place it well beyond our abilities to recover.

What this means, of course, is that we ARE, in time, going to lose that war; we are already losing it every day. And that means that the worst case scenario of the terrorists being inspired by the situation in Iraq, is inevitable.

And whose fault will that be? Under the circumstances, I just can't see how the American people would blame anybody but Bush and the Republicans for the outcome. Many things can be spun away, but the ultimate blame for the Iraq war and its certain outcome is too much seared into people's minds for rhetoric really to touch it.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 26, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0- your confidence in the American public is, IMHO, outweighed by the devious machinations of Karl Rove and Diebold.

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 26, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Geez, if the executive summary is the best part for Bush out of this 30-page report, imagine what the rest of it reads like.

Oh, but wait. There is now another NIE report focusing solely on Iraq which the White House refuses to give to Congress until after you-know-what.

Love to read that one, wouldn't you?

Posted by: kimster on September 26, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

"So when will liberals admit their opposition to Bush is ENTIRELY wrong?"

No. I don't doubt - and never have doubted - that the current status quo in terms in the region does contribute to terrorism and extremism.

But the way in which Bush and his supporters interpret this state of affairs is fundamentally dishonest and self-serving, and the US won't get out of the current problem until they realize there current foreign policy approach needs to fundamentally rethought in a way the Bush administration really hasn't done.

For all Bush's talk about the need for "a new policy" towards the region and a need to "reject stability," the US's strategy has remained fundamentally the same as it has been for 60 years. Basically, the equation is thus: the US wants regional hegemony (call it "empire" if you want). But it needs friendly client states to do so. However, these friendly client states are undemocratic and in some cases deeply illiberal. There populations are opposed to US policy in the region and to the festering sore of the Israel conflict to boot. The US's strategy under Bush is to support Israel more, continue to attempt regional hegemony, and call for elections when it suits them and generally only in hostile regimes. Simply put, these pieces won't fit together anymore. Something has to give.

As such,Bush is perceived in the region as a total hypocrite and the US's motives are fundamentally distrusted if not out and out opposed, as he pushes reform only in states that are perceived as being outside the United States's control while doing nothing about a country like Saudi Arabia or Jordan that are key to US hegemony, and little with Egypt - when things don't go "right," the pressure on Mubarak collapse. The Arabs aren't dumb

Meanwhile, Iraq - now Iran - becomes the Deus Ex Machina of all that is wrong in the world. While none of the 9/11 highjackers or Osama Bin Laden come from any of these so-called "rogue states" but instead from countries that are important regional allies.

Posted by: Ben P on September 26, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, I think it is worth considering for a moment where the 9/11 highjackers actually came from. Now, I realize that this is a fairly crude way to measure jihadi sentiment - but I also think it is instructive as to where the real sickness lies.

15 from Saudi Arabia, a US ally; 1 from Egypt, a US ally; 1 from Lebanon (a Lebanese Sunni man), a US ally; and 2 from the United Arab Emirates, a US ally. Notice a pattern? Lets leave out Ziad Jarrah from Lebanon. The other 18 come from US client states that are either dictatorships or monarchies.

Posted by: Ben P on September 26, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0- your confidence in the American public is, IMHO, outweighed by the devious machinations of Karl Rove and Diebold.

Well, I don't know about Diebold, but I think that the political acumen of a man whose principal advisee has had polls in the 30s and low 40s for over a year falls a little short of genius.

He might try something like bombing Iran before Nov 7, but even that would probably backfire. He's pretty much painted himself into a corner.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 26, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly0
"What this means, of course, is that we ARE, in time, going to lose that war; we are already losing it every day. And that means that the worst case scenario of the terrorists being inspired by the situation in Iraq, is inevitable."

Your being a defeatist and a futility monger. We have a moral duty to the people of Iraq to stay as long as necessary until that legitimate, democratically elected government is strong enough to rule properly.

Can you imagine the recriminations against the moderate leaders that stood with us if we allow Iraq to fall into the hands of the extremists? Not to mention the failed state would do to the region. Im afraid that even if Ned Lamont were elected President tomorrow you would see the Democrats calling for a couple of more years time in order to help the established rule.


Dont let your initial political opinion regarding the war and your dislike for the Bush Administration taint your judgment about what is in our/the worlds best interest.

Posted by: Fitz on September 26, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK


we told you so

Posted by: FATE on September 26, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

We have a moral duty to the people of Iraq to stay as long as necessary until that legitimate, democratically elected government is strong enough to rule properly.

The thing is, there is absolutely no reason to believe that that day will ever come. We are fully stretched in Iraq as it is, and things are only getting worse, not better.

Really, your argument is with the American people. By now, they have themselves come to the conclusion that the war is just lost. Truly, it's not a hard call to make.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 26, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Apart from political posturing, does anybody (including Mr. Bush) think that the Iraq invasion is anything short of a disaster?

It's been just message control for a long time now.

As for the elections....where did all the leaders go?

We desperately need more options than offered up by the two majors!

Posted by: ppk on September 26, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine the recriminations against the moderate leaders that stood with us if we allow Iraq to fall into the hands of the extremists? Not to mention the failed state would do to the region. Im afraid that even if Ned Lamont were elected President tomorrow you would see the Democrats calling for a couple of more years time in order to help the established rule.


Dont let your initial political opinion regarding the war and your dislike for the Bush Administration taint your judgment about what is in our/the worlds best interest.

Yeah, its a tough situation. Its why I'm very skeptical about any kind of quick withdrawal even despite the fact I hate this war.

Two things that I have in my mind:

1) There will not be any change to current policy unless people who make opposition to the Iraq War central to their current campaign. Key people need to pay. Even if you really, really care about the outcome, having the status quo figures reinforced will not help create a good outcome. Compromise and change of course will only come unless it is forced on Bush et al from the outside. In this sense, I think people need to think beyond the actual positions various candidates advocate and look at a bigger picture.

2) I'm not even sure what a continued presence of US troops in large numbers is achieving at this point any way. It probably helps to fuel chaos even as it helps keep a lid on it. Another crazy catch 22. I wouldn't advocate a total withdrawal. But there are important physical and logistical (and probably strategic) exigencies that make drawing down to 50,000 or so troops in the next year or so good policy. Something like what Murtha was advocating

Posted by: Ben P on September 26, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

how about double or nothing?

Posted by: g.w. on September 26, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1/Charlie - If you got paid more, would you troll better? Just curious.
Posted by: danorama on September 26, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

You got the idea backwards.
Conservatives say if you pay people LESS, they work harder, to try to get more opportunities to advance themselves.

Just like if you tax people less, the government brings in more revenue.

So basically, Thomas1 and Charlie get no money at all. They're troll-interns.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 26, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

I notice that on this website and tapped, the trolls are trying harder than ever to derail the conversation. Something about free speech they don't like.

The report notes that the vast majority of Muslims reject the extreme views of the jihadists, and suggests that if we can keep this majority on our side (possibly by treating them fairly?) the bulk of the problem will eventually be solved. Not a bad guess, I would say.

Posted by: serial catowner on September 26, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

This NIE summary was top secred! Then what must the NY Times be? Burn before eating?

Posted by: jonrysh on September 26, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Guerrilla warfare expert John Robb on Iraq:

WHAT'S NEXT IN IRAQ

US forces are now in a precarious and untenable position in Iraq. The window of opportunity for an easy exit has passed. Three years of fighting an open source insurgency has destroyed Iraq's economy (through systemsdisruption starting in 2004), worn down US commitment/curtailed operational flexibility (the IED marketplace during 2004/05/06), and forced a country-wide descent into primary loyalties (through a combination of social systems disruption that reached a crescendo in 2006 and an early reliance on loyalist paramilitaries as a force multiplier back in 2004). Iraq is now in full failure and as a result, the assumption that the US will be able to continue with its partial efforts at urban pacification has become dangerously wrong.

The reasons should be obvious. US forces are now surrounded by a sea of militias and insurgents. Within Baghdad itself, where the current pacification effort is focused, US troops are badly outnumbered in extremely difficult urban terrain. Worse yet, the opposition is growing in numbers, sophistication, and aggressiveness at a rate more rapid than the static number of US troops can build up the Iraqi military. It is now only a matter of time before either a misstep or a calculated event pushes the countryside into full scale warfare.

In this near term conflict, we are likely to see a repeat of the lightly manned defensive hedgehog used successfully by Hezbollah against Israel (that lesson was not lost on this war's open source participants). If placed along critical US military supply routes or immediately outside US mega-bases, and augmented by informational superiority (a combination of better local intelligence and advanced signals intercepts), these defensive tactics would extract a heavy toll on US troops (even as the US wins a tactical victory). Further, if repeatably successful, these efforts will force the US to forgo all efforts at offensive pacification operations in favor of basic force protection (not only for US troops, but the tens of thousands of civilians on these bases). From that point on, the timer will be on until a US forward base is overrun (when it finally goes off, we will be cooked).
Of course, the above outcome grows increasingly likely as the rhetoric for a war with Iran heats up, given that Iran can easily supply the weaponry necessary for these tactics. Since the current US administration's timeline for this new war isn't Iran's nuclear development cycle, but rather the US '08 election cycle (because they don't trust the next administration to make the tough decisions on the issue), this may come into being soon.

Posted by: Thinker on September 26, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

The thing is, there is absolutely no reason to believe that that day will ever come. We are fully stretched in Iraq as it is, and things are only getting worse, not better.

Depends on what you read: Much has been written about how the move to sectarian violence in Iraq is accompanied by a move away from anti-U.S. attacks and most importantly attacks against the newly formed government. Most of Iraqis support the current government and abhor the bloodshed. At this point sectarian militias are playing engaged in suicide car bomb against Shiites VS Shitte death squad recrimination against Sunni. The bulk of the Country (Iraq) supports the newly formed government and considers it legitimate. Its now a question of its ability to rule and deliver services. In this department it grows stronger daily as recruits are trained and deployed. Remember this Government has only been standing g since April.

Really, your argument is with the American people. By now, they have themselves come to the conclusion that the war is just lost. Truly, it's not a hard call to make.

I think youre mistaking general frustration with the progress with a desire to give up. This is precisely the time when leadership and resolve is required. Thats why Politicians like Joe Lieberman command a lead in the polls and Politicians like Murtha are being kept out of site until after the election.

These colors dont run is more than a bumper sticker .

Posted by: Fitz on September 26, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

From the earlier thread. Might be more pertinent here, because it sketches out an alternative to the flypaper scenario.

enozinho:

I understand your point -- it's the Hezbollah analogy. Israel withdrew
from southern Lebanon after an indecisive war, and they declared this
huge and holy victory.

Here's where I think it's different. There is no indigenous support in
iraq for Sunni Islamism. Most Sunnis are secular or conservative at
most, but they hold no brief for Osama. Without our troops there to
serve as both a target and a reason to make an alliance of convenience
with Iraqi insurgents -- then Sunni Iraq will turn on them. They've
grown used to a degree of religious conscience that imported takfiri
ideology does not allow.

With all Iraq considering foreign jihadis an alien and menacing
presence (and not tolerated because they're attacking the Americans
and American-supported government), then this has a potential to
reduce support for Sunni Islamism among observers in the world. But a
lot of this depends on whether or not the iraqi government can be seen
as legitimate and not just a US puppet. If it is, then radical Sunni
Islamists will have been driven out of another country, just as they
are unwelcome in all countries of the Sunni Mideast.

If our withdrawal leads to a sense that the central government grew
some balls and "won" by getting the Americans to leave -- then it will
be the Iraqis themselves who the victory is credited to, and not the
Islamists no matter how they try to spin it.

Takfiri Sunni Islamists are parasitic. Take away their raison d'etre
in a given place, and the population will turn on them.

I'm not saying this will necessarily happen. I'm saying this is a
countervailing potential to the simpler Hezbollah analogy. The truth
would doubtless lie somewhere in the middle, and that might very well
be enough.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

I think youre mistaking general frustration with the progress with a desire to give up.

I don't think the American people have an actual desire to give up. But they (we) know in their (our) guts that it's time to give up, because a loss is inevitable.

Look, it's like fans rooting for the home team in a ball game. They root and root for their guys to win, but there comes a point when they know they're going to lose. The fans start making their way to the exit, even though they may be aware that it's not the most encouraging thing for their team.

And the reality is, the war in Iraq is a war we can afford to lose, even though it's a bad thing that we will lose it. If we were fighting for our native soil, it would be a whole different scenario. That would be a war we couldn't afford to lose.

I think that by now the American people have factored into their judgments the actual stakes of the Iraq war. It's just not worth it anymore for us to pursue it. The Iraqis care a lot more about what goes on in Iraq than we do, always have and always will, and we have no desire to lose more of our own blood and treasure over it.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 26, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ben P:

Excellent posts. Thanks for a heads up on the bigger picture. It's all about maintaining hegemonic client states, and democracy building is only a rationalization after the fact (after the other rationales collapsed).

If we can understand how much the citizens in these client states despise those regimes, we can begin to start wrapping our minds around why they hate us so much for piddling around in their part of the world.

No doubt about it: US policy in the Mideast is fundamentally undemocratic. It's unfortunate that releasing some of the pressure will serve to empower Islamists -- another reason why our "democracy" talk is only skin deep.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I sure do get the weirdest trolls on this blog.


You don't get weird trolls, you give them! You give them purpose, focus and their stipend from Bob Perry.

Without you they're nothing.

Posted by: cld on September 26, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

According to the BorgenProject.org, global socioeconomic stratification is identified in the White House National Security Strategy as a major threat to global stability. The White House should wage a war against global poverty rather than terrorism.

Posted by: Amy1022 on September 26, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

The war in Iraq is just one way in which terrorism is being fueled. Other types of counter-attacks need to be addressed if we want to eradicate terrorism. For example, ending world poverty would make the world more economically stable and decrease incentives for terrorists. This can be addressed through the UN Millenium Development Goals. The Borgen Project is just one organization of many that is working towards addressing the UN Millenium Development Goals. Through these goals we can tackle extreme poverty and terrorism.

Posted by: Ashley on September 26, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine the recriminations against the moderate leaders that stood with us if we allow Iraq to fall into the hands of the extremists? Not to mention the failed state would do to the region.

1) Which moderate leaders? You mean like Mubarak? Or King Hussein? They are the problem, not the solution. Or do you consider Dawa and SCIRI "moderate"? Only because there short term interests coincide with the US.

2) Who are the extremists? Al Qaeda? That won't happen in any functional way. Anywary, they already have safe havens in large parts of the country - Anbar in particular. They would if the US left, but they would still have no chance of taking over the central government. Or do you mean Sadr? The country is already partially in his hands. And, for that matter, many "extremists" operating at the local level, in the police force, in the army.

3) Iraq already is a failed state - or at least a failing state. This could, however, buttress the argument for staying.


Look, the bottom line is that the Iraqi state is not going to create a functional, democratic society for a long, long time. The question then becomes: how long is the US willing to wait there? 20 years? 50 years? Ultimately, there become limits on the feasability of this. And much sooner than 20 years.

For the record, I don't support a timeline or a relatively rapid withdrawal. But Iraq is not going to become a model democratic government either way.

Posted by: Ben P on September 26, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Dont let your initial political opinion regarding the war and your dislike for the Bush Administration taint your judgment about what is in our/the worlds best interest."

I don't think that dislike for the Bush administration is ultimately much of a factor in the desire to withdraw from Iraq. It's more a recognition that the military is spent, the violence keeps escalating, the US occupation is a catalyst for radicalism, and it's unconscionable to leave our soldiers to perish in the middle of a civil war. They've already done so much more than should ever have been asked of them.

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Who are these borgenproject people? They seem sorta cultlike (although truthfully I should probably google the site and have a look).

But every day it's the same thing. An off-topic post, separately written every time, encouraging us to focues on global poverty rather than terrorism. All written by mostly different people with a borgenproject email.

I'm reluctant to consider this trolling since it could be a very good cause. But one wonders if this is the right way to win allies on a multi-issue lefty blog ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad we spend the money over there so we don't have to spend it here.

Posted by: driveby on September 26, 2006 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: No sources and methods should be compromised . . . [except when Bush needs to hurt a political opponent or further his political agenda or attempt to further his political success, all of which, despite his despicable misuse and abuse of intelligence sources and methods, he has demonstrated exceeding failure at].

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

This bit of deductive reasoning is beyond pitiful. Anybody with a brain would have to have guessed that our invasion of Iraq would result would result in the entire Muslim world seething and that those who decided to respond with violence would likely be people willing to die. So, who are the brilliant people who expect such people to get discouraged? Idiots.

Our invasion and occupation only make sense in the context of dealing with a grave threat. Since Iraq was not and is not a threat, we should get out. We need to say loud and clear that the Bush administration was wrong and that most of our citizens realize that.

Come Election Day, throw the bums out.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 26, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

According to Jane Harman, there's a 2nd NIE, more recent, more damning, that has been stamped `Draft' so that the House Intelligence Committee can't get it.

Posted by: Maeven on September 26, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Depends on what you read: Much has been written about how the move to sectarian violence in Iraq is accompanied by a move away from anti-U.S. attacks and most importantly attacks against the newly formed government. Most of Iraqis support the current government and abhor the bloodshed. At this point sectarian militias are playing engaged in suicide car bomb against Shiites VS Shitte death squad recrimination against Sunni. The bulk of the Country (Iraq) supports the newly formed government and considers it legitimate.

I think this a rather superficial and deceptive way at looking at things, though.

Of course, in the abstract, people abhor violence. And certainly, the Shi'ite community regards the government as legitimate. As do the Kurds. The Sunnis, not so much. Still. And what, in the end, does support for the government mean? It means they thing the current balance of power favors the chance there communal, tribal, local interests will be fulfilled.

The Iraqi state is highly corrupt, clientalist, and patrimonial (in the Weberian sense) as a result. The society operates on fundamentally different conceptions than ours do.

I guess my point is is that US involvement is only relevant insofar as it prevents full-blown civil war and can maintain a government that functions at least on some level, even if it remains very weak. But the social "experiment" is over.

Posted by: Ben P on September 26, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK
...but he lies on the Form 990 since you advocate against Bush...Thomas1 at 7:22 PM |
Creepy Charlie is also stalker Charlie who has nothing but approval for right wing Christomoonbats advocating for Bush from the pulpit.

Falwell Refuses To Apologize For Lucifer Attack, Swears To Repeat It Over And Over Again
Appearing on MSNBC today, Rev. Jerry Falwell responded to criticism of his recent attack comparing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to Lucifer. Asked whether his remarks were disrespectful, Falwell said, I do not. MSNBCs anchor then asked, So I take this to mean that will you not be apologizing to Hillary Clinton? Falwell answered, No, I will say it over and over again. Falwell said it was clear his comments were tongue-in-cheek because theres no way that Lucifers going to run [for president].

Has anyone seen Charlie and Satan in the same room at the same time? Satan and Falwell? Satan and Bush? Hmmmm, makes you wonder.....

Posted by: Mike on September 26, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Yes! Yes! The OTHER report is the real one! Not this one! The SECRET secret one! Forget you ever saw this one!

Posted by: jharman on September 26, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

"You either accept the intelligence community's expertise or you don't."

Okay, fine. Let's not trust anyone. Who's word would you trust more: the intelligence community's, or the Bush administration's? Right. I thought so.

What's the hang up with the missing context? Given all that we know, this post focuses on pure minutia.

What do you need, a personal NIE debriefing to figure out where the ball's going to bounce next?

Sorry, like you, Josh, and Steve, I'm a pretty pissed off moderate that's had enough.

Posted by: FuzzFinger on September 26, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ben P:

Weberian, exactly.

Ascribed status relations (tribalism), not contract relations (rule of law).

And here we thought that globalization-style capitalism (contract relations on steroids) would be the answer, way back in the mists of Iraq Year Zero.

Unbelievable ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Considering that this was written in April, and Zarqawi is taking a dirt nap now, what else has changed since this first came out?

Whatever else is true, the Republicans have bet their existence on eventual success in Iraq, and the Democrats have bet their existence on eventual failure. Everything you read from either side should take this into account.

Posted by: randolph on September 26, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

randolf: Everything you read from either side should take this into account.

Why would we take your GOP boilerplate lies into account?

Your mommy's calling you to dinner, so run along.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say the borgenproject people are clearly advocating, and they aren't really off topic. I haven't noticed them posting on completely unrelated threads. Probably volunteers or interns or something, assuming it isn't a particularly despicable scam.

Posted by: jefff on September 26, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Take every instance of the word "Iraq" out of this, and replace it with "Afghanistan." What would really be different in this document if we hadn't invaded Iraq?

Posted by: bart on September 26, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bart: What would really be different in this document if we hadn't invaded Iraq?

We likely would have actually killed or captured bin Laden and most of the Al Queda leadership by now and not p*ssed off most of our allies.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

It really don't understand why the elevated sectarian and ethnic strife that might result if we leave Iraq is regarded as such a powerful rationale for not leaving. It's a factor, certainly. However, if we're seriously considering keeping our military assets embroiled for years to come in the classic sort of jihad that bin Laden thrives on, then I'm not sure that elevated strife is the greater of two evils. Thanks to the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, we're neck deep in our own Afghanistan.

Hell, Iraq is a great example of what the mujahideen do--fight guerilla warfare in predominantly Muslim regions against Western aggressors and occupiers. It's about establishing a foundation--hence, "al-Qaeda"--for the resurrection of the umma, the establishment of a new Caliphate. If conservatives believe that this rich kid-cum-religious zealot's fever dream represents a grave, existential threat to the West--and I'm not convinced it does--then why the hell did we blunder into the role of the hapless Western empire in a textbook mujahideen war? bin Laden is Br'er Rabbit and Iraq is our briar patch.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on September 26, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

enozhino: You have a comment now, my friend.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Your grrrlfriend Ann Althouse says you missed the important paragraph:

The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

Sez Ann: So the NIE underscores the importance of victory in Iraq.

Do you still visit her blog once a day? What name do you comment under?

Posted by: jerry on September 26, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ascribed status relations (tribalism), not contract relations (rule of law).

Speaking of, this is a fascinating account of how the Iraqi Army's effectiveness - and maybe even its loyalty to the U.S. forces - is comprised by its tribal loyalties:

Iraqi soldiers hinder U.S. efforts to combat militias, tame Baghdad streets

The Associated Press
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq The plan was simple: Iraqi troops would block escape routes while U.S. soldiers searched for weapons house-by-house. But the Iraqi troops didn't show up on time.

When they finally did appear, the Iraqis ignored U.S. orders and let dozens of cars pass through the checkpoints in eastern Baghdad including an ambulance full of armed militiamen, according to U.S. soldiers interviewed recently.To illustrate his point, Watt pointed to the guards of an Iraqi army division commander.

"From my perspective, you can't make a distinction between Iraq army Shiites and the religious militias. You have a lot of soldiers and family members swayed and persuaded by the religious leadership," said Col. Greg Watt, who advises one of two Iraqi divisions here.

To illustrate his point, Watt pointed to the guards of an Iraqi army division commander.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he has soldiers who are followers of religious leaders," said Watt. "Are they loyal to the division commander? Yes. But they may be loyal to both."

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/09/24/africa/ME_GEN_Iraq_Divided_Army.php


Posted by: Windhorse on September 26, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, can someone who can actually open the key judgements page email it to me? I can't open it from any of the links provided, nor from the ODNI website. Dunno if it's a "vast right-wing conspiracy" or I need to enable cookies, or it is something else - it's a new PC, so anything is possible...

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

I had the same problem. I just tried emailing it.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Eno.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

NIE summary, shorter version:

I've Got A Tiger By The Tail, it's plain to see;
I won't be much when you get thru' with me.
Well, I'm a losing weight and a turnin' mighty pale.
Looks like I've Got A Tiger By The Tail.

Well, I thought the day I met you, you were meek as a lamb;
Just the kind to fit my dreams and plans.
But now, the pace we're livin' takes the wind from my sails
And it looks like I've Got A Tiger By The Tail.

I've Got A Tiger By The Tail, it's plain to see;
I won't be much when you get thru' with me.
Well,I'm a losing weight and a turnin' mighty pale.
Looks like I've Got A Tiger By The Tail.

Well, ev'ry night you drag me where the bright lights are found;
There ain't no way to slow you down
I'm as 'bout as helpless as a leaf in a gale;
And it looks like I've Got A Tiger By The Tail.

I've Got A Tiger By The Tail, it's plain to see;
I won't be much when you get thru' with me.
Well,I'm a losing weight and a turnin' mighty pale.
Looks like I've Got A Tiger By The Tail

Hat tip to Buck Owens

Posted by: bob on September 26, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

We likely would have actually killed or captured bin Laden and most of the Al Queda leadership by now and not p*ssed off most of our allies.

That's inane. Had we captured bin Laden the first day, do you think the war would have ended then? That nothing described in the NIE would have occurred over the next few years? How much of al Qaeda's leadership has the military already knocked off? How much is still in places like Pakistan and Africa?

I'm not even sure al Zawahiri was even in Afghanistan when the war started.

The NIE wasn't about pissing off allies. It was about pissing off potential jihadists.

Posted by: bart on September 26, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A government agency blocked release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes, the journal Nature reported Tuesday.

Anyone notice a trend here?

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

The NIE looks reasonable enough, but it's not deep. Kevin or some of the knowledgable posters here could have pretty much written that thing in an hour, just based on public information.

I still believe the world is better off because we overthrew Saddam. The Iraqi people have some hope for the futurel; under Saddam they had none at all.

If al Qaeda didn't have Iraq to use as a a cause celebre, they would have used something else, like American troops in Afghanistan or the Crusades, etc., IMHO. Look at all al Qaeda accomplished before 2003.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: amr铃声 on September 26, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

NIE: leaving Iraq would make terrorism worse.
NIE: staying in Iraq would make terrorism worse.
REPUBLICANS: Don't vote for Democrats, they'll do one of those things!

Posted by: Nifty on September 26, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

What do you say "ex-liberal" to the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died under the boot-heel of their new dictator George Walker Bush? Thats right, you dont have to say anything to them. Theyre dead. Thanks to you and your support for mass murder.

Torture under Bush up, violent death rate under Bush up, electricity production under Bush down, oil production under Bush down. By any rational standard Bush is a far greater dictator than sanction-era Hussein. And it costs us money for him to demonstrate that the Iraqis were better off under Hussein.

Posted by: heavy on September 26, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

When you want to see the whole picture (in 3D) you need to actually read the document.

See this interactive categorization of the NIE Doc:
http://www.rightsideredux.com/2006/09/nie-doc-needs-editor-or-librarian.html

For example, below are all of the "forward looking" statements in the NIE doc. We can talk about blame until the cows come home. The reality is we need to make sure that we win in Iraq or the game is really over.

ABOUT IRAQ
"Perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere."

"Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."

ABOUT GLOBAL JIHAD
"Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qaida, could erode support for the jihadists."

"Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement."

"The jihadists' greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution an ultra-conservative interpretation of shari'a-based governance spanning the Muslim world is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists' propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade."

"Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror."

"Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders."

"If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives."

Posted by: Justin @ RSR on September 27, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK
Are you saying Markos Kounalakis did not lie under penalties of perjury?

Its pretty easy to test: you call the IRS and claim that he did, and present your evidence. Since its an executive branch agency, its not like they will have a natural bias in support of a liberal non-profit. Kounalakis and W.M. don't have an alias to hide behind, unlike you they are accountable for their statements.

Put up or shut up.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 27, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Damn Chris - coming out swinging tonight, aren't we? Just keep knocking them out of the park like that, my friend. No need to be nice, or even pretend to be.

Swing away!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 27, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

First the Republicans told us that invading Iraq would be quick and easy and would make Iran etc. fall down like dominoes.

Now the Republicans are telling us that bombing Iran will stop the problems in Iraq, which are all caused by those darn Iranian infiltrators.

This year, the Dems are definitely the lesser evil.

Posted by: Fool Me Thrice on September 27, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

The numbers behind the NIE:
http://noquarter.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/comparison_of_significant_attacks_2.jpg
Get the picture? We poured gasoline on the fire.

Republicans: But the Clinton family are scary and evil! Don't click on that link! Don't look at that chart! And those 16 agencies are all staffed by Democrats who hate America!

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Posted by: rose on September 27, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

From this morning's Washington Post "Whether the document was ignored or disappeared into cyberspace, however, it seemed to have made little impact on Capitol Hill at the time. No one in either chamber, on either side of the aisle, requested a briefing or any further information on its conclusions until now, the sources said." Are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi asleep at the wheel? Come on, Democrats! When we cry wolf six months after he's killed all the children it just makes us look stupid - or opportunistic - or stupidly opportunistic.

Posted by: NoVirgin on September 27, 2006 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

I contend that the Iraqi conflict, as well as the prevailing Middle East tensions, will be lessened in equal proportion to the success we achieve in providing for a Palestinian state. Given that the NIE assessment posits that, "If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives", then it would be reasonable to conclude that any progress with the Palestinian issue will greatly enhance the speculative potentiality of the NIE report. Absent the Palestinian effort, I'm of the opinion that the NIE timeframe is overly optimistic and dependent upon a relatively static progression without the prevalence of unforeseen events and escalations...which seems unlikely at best.

Frankly, I doubt that the existing Republican approach or the alternative of withdrawal supported by a number Democrats will serve to alleviate the existing conditions and bring relative stability to the troubled region. Neither approach has the wherewithal to alter the prevailing sentiment. Conversely, a voluntary effort that would demonstrate our ability to discern the profound importance of a successful Palestinian state would, in my opinion, yield exponential goodwill. Given the current conditions, such an effort has little risk.

Read more here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on September 27, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

What exactly is Kevin looking for, I mean, these comments make perfect sense to me - Bush made a big mess, and there is no cleaning it without major change.

I think that Iraq can clean itself up but it'll take a few years and I'm sure it will ONLY start after the US gets of find someone else other the the Bushies find a diplomatic approach to government building.

Whatever will big oil do, since they pick Bush, who used only bombing and torture in responsed to controlling Mideast oilfields. It just drove Iraq and rest of the Mideast closer to Iran and I'm sure, talk of not doing buisness with Western oil companies.

AND UN is also dis-respecting the Bush. Bush sowed violence and ridicule and now Bush is reaping it in spades just the way he sowed it.

If we are to clean up the Mideast horror that we have to clean out the Whitehouse and change the leaderhip. Bush can do nothing in Iran - except mess that up too.


Posted by: Cheryl on September 27, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Gosh, Froomkin sure has a good column out today.

This part I find interesting: Here's what Barton Gellman wrote in his Washington Post review of that book: "Acknowledged by foes and friends as a leading figure among career national security officials, Clarke served more than two years in the Bush White House after holding senior posts under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. . . .

"The president, he said, 'failed to act prior to September 11 on the threat from al Qaeda despite repeated warnings and then harvested a political windfall for taking obvious yet insufficient steps after the attacks.' The rapid shift of focus to Saddam Hussein, Clarke writes, 'launched an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq that strengthened the fundamentalist, radical Islamic terrorist movement worldwide.'"

HOW many times was Bush told to act on terrorism and yet fail to do so prior to 9/11?

Why can't victims of 9/11 sue Bush and Cheney for gross/criminal negligence, we could the change laws and we should. Bush did nothing before 9/11 and RICE is as big a liar as Bush.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 27, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

The only reason that Jihadist terrorism might decline in newly democratic Arab states is that the goverments will become more anti-American in character and policies. Now there's something to look forward to!

Posted by: Wombat on September 27, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

NIE : The terrorist threat is not only from Muslims but also from other groups who harbor anti-US sentiment, especially leftists who are using the internet.

The NIE says that leftist internet users are a major threat.

Posted by: anonymous on September 27, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Gosh has anyone read todays Washington Post editoral?

A great piece of writing.

McCain sure has given his all for George W. Bush. Even his candidacy. McCain gave his all to Charles Keating request too. It was the very same ugly mess. Bush is an immoral man as Keating was immoral too. The we have McCain acting all moral about advocating immoral acts he did for both men.

Typical McCain. McCain would do anything Bush ask him too, and that isn't conviction, leadership or morallity.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 27, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The NIE looks reasonable enough, but it's not deep. Kevin or some of the knowledgable posters here could have pretty much written that thing in an hour, just based on public information.

Fascinatign how even the reflexively dishonest Bush apologist "ex-liberal" admits that "public information" makes the case that Bush ahs screwed the pooch in Iraq.

And that despite the report's noting that Bush's royal screwup increasing the threat of terrorism worldwide, he/she/it still claims to "believe the world is better off because we overthrew Saddam."

Sigh. Why does "ex-liberal" hate America?

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

heavy asks: What do you say "ex-liberal" to the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died under the boot-heel of their new dictator George Walker Bush? Thats right, you dont have to say anything to them. Theyre dead. Thanks to you and your support for mass murder.

What do I say? I remind them of the hundreds of thousands or millions who died under Saddam. One shoulndn't look at the current situation without reference to what it was before we intervened. Furthermore, there's some hope that Iraq will eventually stabilize and be a good place to live. Under Saddam there was no hope at all.

Torture under Bush up

Good grief! Is heavy unaware that Saddam ruled through torture? Does heavy not know that Abu Graig was used for torture? Real torture, not panties on someone's head or being threatened by fierce dogs. I mean children being tortured in front of their parents. People thrown off roofs. Many other forms of medieval torture were done by Saddam.

Incidentally, some of the ongoing killing and torture is being done by the same people who were doing it for Saddam. In heavy's calculus, even though we're fighting to stop these people from their murders and torture, it's nevertheless Bush's fault.

violent death rate under Bush up,

Depend on your base. Under Saddam, there were up to 2 million violent deaths, so perhaps the violent death rate is down.

electricity production under Bush down,

Actually it's slightly up, at the moment. But, the more basic dishonesty is to blame it on Bush. The US is fixing electric generating plants and doing much to improve electricity. Our enemies, many ex-Saddam loyalists, are sabotaging American efforst. Yet heavy Bush, rather than those doing the sabotage.

By heany's calculus, FDR and Winston Churchill were responsible for the Holocaust.

By any rational standard Bush is a far greater dictator than sanction-era Hussein.

Aside from Saddam's hundreds of thousands of murders and his tortures, Iraq now has a free press, huge numbers of newspapers and magazines, many new businesses starting, a stock exchange, rising GNP, more widespread ownership of automobiles, etc.

Iraq is better off is virtually every way, except for the horrendous security. If they can't security under control, then nothing else will matter, But, if they do control security, we will see a modern, Arab, Islamic democracy in the middle east.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 27, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Juan Cole has a good summary of the released summary of the NIE, here. Of course, Cole has only made a career studying the politics and culture of the region, so he's probably suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion" and/or is just naive.

Posted by: Nemo on September 27, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq is better off is virtually every way, except for the horrendous security.

That's a pretty big "except for," there.

If they can't security under control, then nothing else will matter, But, if they do control security, we will see a modern, Arab, Islamic democracy in the middle east.

And if pigs had wings, they would fly.

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nemo: Juan Cole has a good summary of the released summary of the NIE, here. Of course, Cole has only made a career studying the politics and culture of the region, so he's probably suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion" and/or is just naive.

Juan Cole is not naive. He's an ant-Israel, anti-American partisan.

He did have one true comment, although he missed the significance of his own comment. Explaining why al Qaeda attack us before we invaded Iraq, he wrote: al-Qaeda had other grievances at that time...

Yes, al Qaeda always has other grievances. If it wasn't Iraq, they would find some other excuse for terrorism. BTW Iraq doesn't really make sense as an excuse. Muslims are killing other Muslims; we're trying to stop the killing.

I also agree with him that there was no reason to classify the NIE. In fact, there was no reason to write it. It's puerile.

Gregory, other countries have faced terrorist insurgencies - Northern Ireland, Peru, etc. In many cases the govenment survived and eventually ended the insurgency, although it took years.

The reason the insurgents lost is that their terrorism made them unpopular. If you're an ordinary Iraqi, you will be very upset at the ongoing murders and you will be disappointed that the US and Iraq military aren't doing a better job, but there's no other option. If the killers take control of the country, ordinary Iraqis will be even worse off. So, they will continue to support the government and fight the insurgents for as long as it takes, IMHO.


Posted by: ex-liberal on September 27, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, other countries have faced terrorist insurgencies - Northern Ireland, Peru, etc. In many cases the govenment survived and eventually ended the insurgency, although it took years.

So what? What does that have to do with Iraq's nacent civil war? (That you continue to refer to it as an "insurgency" is only further evidence of your dishonesty, "ex-liberal".) Moreover, what does that have to do with the notion that America is expending its blood and treasure in a fuitile effort to quell this insurgency, at great cost to its own security?

Why, nothing at all. Seriously, "ex-liberal," your pose as a reasonable commentator is in tatters, and your every post reveals how bereft the Bush apologists are of talking points. It's greatly encouraging to see you have nothing -- although we knew it already -- but does raise the question, why do you bother?

Posted by: Gregory on September 27, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

CUT and RUN ON FREEDOM: GOPS NEW PLAN

I was upset, fearful and angry reading the recent National Intelligence Estimate about increasing terrorism and the sad state of our international relations when I burst out laughing.

Jumping to mind was the neocon's perverted sales' pitch: "The terrorists hate us because they hate freedom."

What if that was true?

The GOP leadership we presently enjoy promotes secrecy, dishonesty, suspension of habeas corpus and other fundamental juridical rights; they promote wholesale wiretapping without warrants and suspending historical "Rules of War" agreements so that America can, on its whim, perform inhumane and degrading acts of torture on whomsoever we may choose to incarcerate.

One or two more stolen elections plus a new gaggle of lies from Dick, Condi et al and poof, our freedoms will be gone and the terrorists, seeing that their main reason to hate us has vanished, well. Theyll just go back to berating womenfolk for racy clothing.

It's a plan, you'all. It's a plan.

____________________________________________
(Those angry disappointed retired Generals do have our back, don't they?)

Posted by: cognitorex on September 27, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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