NIE: Iraq is a Disaster

I did not need a National Intelligence Estimate to tell me that Iraq is a disaster and that it has worked as a recruiting tool for Muslim Extremists. But that is what parts of the leaked intelligence estimate have suggested. WASHINGTON (AP) - A declassified government intelligence report says the war in Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that is likely to get worse before it gets better.

In the bleak report, released Tuesday on President Bush's orders, the nation's most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaida, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach... Bush ordered a declassified version of the classified report released after several days of criticism sparked by portions that were leaked.

Naturally, the politically timed leak has been utilized by the Democratic Party; the hand wringing and attacks on the Bush administration have also begun to take shape and the opposition party's rancor seems to be reaching a fever pitch. However, as reported above, President Bush has just declassified portions of the NIE to counter the Democrats attempts to drive home their point that the war in Iraq has not made America any safer. Usually, the Democrats are too quick in their hopes of grasping their desperately needed opportunities to hammer the President on National Security matters, that they end up looking rather foolish when all of the facts come out. So we should probably wait to see the whole report... Update: Declassified NIE; and surprise, it's not what the Dems have made it out to be.

More to the point. I agree that the war in Iraq is almost a complete failure. I also agree that it has been used by terrorist organizations as a recruiting tool aimed at gaining strength in their fight against the United States. However, I accept the fact that this war has led or will lead to more attacks and I accept the perception that Iraq has rallied our enemies. The reason why I accept these realities is because in the real world, these realities have long been expected. Yes, when we no longer sit back and allow our citizens to be killed and our national interests to be threatened, it does bring out those searching for an excuse to wage war against the United States.

When we, as a nation, fight back against global terrorism and we begin having a military presence in the Middle East, it is reasonable to assume that it will create a “breeding ground” for those who inherently want to kill us. Although, it is wholly unreasonable and deeply na├»ve to assume or think that placation of groups like Al Qaeda can convince them to end their holy war. And it is unreasonable to assume that America is safe or would be safer by withdrawing from the battlefield. In the near future, we will be attacked with nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons whether or not we fruitlessly try to get extremists to like us, or we aggressively fight against them. Iraq, if you agree with it or not, is part of the long-term and necessary strategy in this complex battle against Islamic Extremists.

In closing: fighting terrorists does indeed anger them and their sympathizers