Saturday, September 23, 2006

NY Times: NIE says Iraq war has made terror threat worse

According to an article in today's NY Times, a soon-to-be-published National Intelligence Estimate concludes that the United States' involvement in Iraq has, indeed, exacerbated the worldwide threat of terrorism.

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.

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.

To that I say, "No shit, Sherlock!"

The question remains, how will the Bush administration use this news to bolster Republicans' chances in the upcoming November elections?

On the surface, one would think the NIE report is a death knell for Republicans' chances. After all, how can they dare to say, "We'll keep America safe", when their policies clearly have left America less safe?

No doubt, those on the right will say that the world has become such an unsafe place that only they can protect us adequately. They'll argue that America hasn't suffered another terrorist attack since 9/11/01, thereby proving that they can protect us better than can Democrats.

Sadly, far too many of America's ignorati (as I like to call the vast, ignorant class in this country) will lap that message up like cats at a saucer of warm milk.

But the reality is that we cannot afford to trust those who have allowed - or even encouraged - the terrorist threat to fester over the last five years. What, in fact, has the Bush administration really done to diminish that threat, as they so boldly proclaimed they would do after the Twin Towers fell? Nothing!

On the contrary, the Bush administration went off and invaded Iraq, a nation that had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with terrorism or 9/11. And now we learn that this invasion and the subsequent quagmire-cum-civil-war has made things worse.


It's time to vote these numbskulls out of office. And once that happens, then it will be time to hold the Bush administration accountable for its crimes, of which there are many. The sooner, the better.


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