Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Iraq II: Eek! There's a Second Intel Report on Iraq

Uh-oh. It turns out there's a second damning Iraq report out there and the Bush administration is trying to sit on it until after the November election.

TPM Muckraker broke the story based on remarks from Representative Jane Harriman, a California Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence (sic) Committee and it quickly went from blog news to big news.

Says TPM Mucraker:
"Dr. Lawrence Korb, a former senior Defense Department official now with the liberal-progressive Center for American Progress, hasn't seen the report but has discussed it with those who have. 'It's a very bleak picture of what's going on in Iraq,' he said.

Harman called for the White House to share a classified version of the report with Congress -- and to release a declassified version of the document to the American public, prior to the November elections.

Democratic sources on the Hill confirmed that the report has been a topic of discussion, particularly because of concerns that its release was being 'intentionally slowed' by the administration.

I don't know about you, but I'm shocked! Just shocked!

Meanwhile, once again playing the American people for suckers, the White House released only a portion the first report, a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, despite calls that the entire document be made public.

The estimate, the most authoritative document produced by the U.S. intelligence community, states the obvious:
"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.

"Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s 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."


Daniel DiRito said...

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:

Shaun Mullen said...

I believe that your most astute comments could be headlined AMERICANS DON'T GET IT & PROBABLY NEVER WILL.

Behind the violence and warfare is the "prevailing sentiment" to which you refer. And although the Democratic Party has tended to be a little more empathetic in fashioning foreign policy, I don't anticipate a sea change if it captures congressional majorities and/or the White House. Nor do I see pressure being brought to bear on Israel and the other major Middle East players to get Palestinian statehood back on track.

More radical Palestinian elements such as Hezbollah must share the blame, but in the end it all comes back to the U.S. having the will and only then finding a way.