The rest of the story

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
In From the Cold has some more information on the NIE report and it sheds a different light on things:

In one of its early paragraphs, the estimate notes progress in the struggle against terrorism, stating the U.S.-led efforts have "seriously damaged Al Qaida leadership and disrupted its operations." Didn't see that in the NYT article.

Or how about this statement, which--in part--reflects the impact of increased pressure on the terrorists: "A large body of reporting indicates that people identifying themselves as jihadists is increasing...however, they are largely decentralized, lack a coherent strategy and are becoming more diffuse." Hmm...doesn't sound much like Al Qaida's pre-9-11 game plan.

The report also notes the importance of the War in Iraq as a make or break point for the terrorists: "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves to have failed, we judge that fewer will carry on the fight." It's called a ripple effect.

More support for the defeating the enemy on his home turf: "Threats to the U.S. are intrinsically linked to U.S. success or failure in Iraq." President Bush and senior administration officials have made this argument many times--and it's been consistently dismissed by the "experts" at the WaPo and Times.

And, some indication that the "growing" jihad may be pursuing the wrong course: "There is evidence that violent tactics are backfiring...their greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution (shar'a law) is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims." Seems to contradict MSM accounts of a jihadist tsunami with ever-increasing support in the global Islamic community..

The estimate also affirms the wisdom of sowing democracy in the Middle East: "Progress toward pluralism and more responsive political systems in the Muslim world will eliminate many of the grievances jihadists exploit." As I recall, this the core of our strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

H/T Powerline .

I realize that the White House does not like to see classified information in the papers and does not want to reward that kind of thing by publishing the whole report. But it might be wise to do so. Betsy has some interesting posts on this issue as well.

UPDATE: Bush announced today that the NIE report would be made public. Maybe Rove really is behind this.


David Thomson said...

"But it might be wise to do so"

It would likely destroy the Democrats in the 2006 elections. The left wingers who released only part of the report will wish they never got this ball rolling.

truepeers said...

Amazing; Bush really must be the devil incarnate for the MSM to do what they do and still sleep at night!

Knucklehead said...

Robert Kagan has an an interesting op-ed on the topic. Well worth the few moments required to read the whole thing. Here's a snippet:

As a poor substitute for actual figures, The Post notes that, according to the NIE, members of terrorist cells post messages on their Web sites depicting the Iraq war as "a Western attempt to conquer Islam." No doubt they do. But to move from that observation to the conclusion that the Iraq war has increased the terrorist threat requires answering a few additional questions: How many new terrorists are there? How many of the new terrorists became terrorists because they read the messages on the Web sites? And of those, how many were motivated by the Iraq war as opposed to, say, the war in Afghanistan, or the Danish cartoons, or the Israel-Palestine conflict, or their dislike for the Saudi royal family or Hosni Mubarak, or, more recently, the comments of the pope? Perhaps our intelligence agencies have discovered a way to examine, measure and then rank the motives that drive people to become terrorists, though I tend to doubt it.

Knucklehead said...

Slightly OT, but related, is this interesting article by Andre Glucksmann, Whipping boy Bush. (ht: normblog).

Remarkable how it takes a Philosopher to tell the Euros:

But let's be serious. Whatever his trials and whatever his errors, Bush did not invent the planetary extension of a terrorism that existed well before he came to power, and will continue no matter who succeeds him. The Cold War stopped with the fall of the Soviet empire, but the cold warriors have been there all along. They emancipated themselves, and extended the rule of the knife, the machete and the Kalashnikov to the four corners of the world. This rule was by no means the exclusive privilege of the Islamists. While the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) went after intellectuals and women, and massacred farmers en masse in Algeria, in Europe, the terrorism of ethnic cleansing (Milosevic) was opposing the democratic way (Vaclav Havel). The machete swingers in Liberia and Sierra Leone were delighted when the genocide of a million Tutsis moved on like the brown death to Congo, where civilians died in even greater numbers. The wars and massacres of Saddam Hussein, the bloody joys of Khomeinism, the killings in Timor, the atrocities of the Tamil Tigers, the ruins of Grozny and the hecatombs of Darfur give ample evidence for how the end of the blocs liberated not only the democracies, but also homicidal and genocidal impulses, with the blessing of diverse religious, nationalist and racist ideologies.

Regular or irregular soldiers, in civilian clothing or uniforms, t-shirts, caftans or three piece suits, the fanatic post-Cold-War warriors are cutting themselves a place in the sun with fire or metal, to gain houses, benefits, women, generals' stripes or absolute power. The colour of the flag is irrelevant, provided it legitimises the faculty for unchecked killing...

What should we think, once we've rid ourselves of the fantasy of an all-powerful America and a satanic Bush? We must return to the principle of reality, and see the world as it is: fragile and chaotic, peopled with individuals and peoples who are prisoner to a dramatic period of transition. They can no longer follow the millenarian norms which their ancestors respected with their eyes closed; the violence of modern centuries has gone the last step in effacing their traditional bearings. But neither can they rely as we do on the rule of law, which doesn't exist in their countries (not yet, say the optimists). In this period of transition, terrorists of all stripes proclaim: "we will win because you love life, while we are not afraid of death." The fall of the Twin Towers illustrates their challenge. Who will take the day? The nihilistic combatants who practise homicide and suicide? Or the majority of honest people who aspire – as much in the slums as in the chic neighbourhoods – to live civilly? To accept, or not to accept, the law of the human bomb? That, I fear, will be the question for the children of the 21st century: the question of liberty, and of survival.

Syl said...

And, some indication that the "growing" jihad may be pursuing the wrong course

The umma is also getting sick of the violence. And don't forget Zawahiri's admonishments to Zarqawi basically saying 'you're killing too many muslims and not enough Americans. You're turning the Iraqis against us.'

It's a rather frightening thought that Zawahiri was less worse than Zarqawi, who was a murdering psychopath. There was a document found where Zarqawi was killed basically saying he had been fired. (Just read that at strategy page or somewhere).

And look at Lebanon. Lebanese fuming at the destruction brought on by Hezbollah.

Fighting over THERE concentrates the mind of the umma on their own problems. We still have to deal with the non-violent though intimidating run through the institutions in the West by the other jihad.

Knucklehead said...


Flaws in the plan or execution (which undoubtedly exist) haven't changed the overall theme. Make them live with the problems of terrorism rather than us simply providing an export market for them.