Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Big deal!

[Sorry for that previous post. I was in a bit of rush.]

Anyway. . . AP reports that W. says he's going to declassify some of the NIE in question so everyone can see how "naive" his critics are about the contents of the report. He says, "you read it for yourself. Stop all this speculation." [We report. You decide.]

My question is: if, as he claims, the NIE doesn't conclude that his Iraq war has been a recruiting boon for al-Qaeda, but rather that, as he says, "because of our successes against the leadership of al-Qaida, the enemy is becoming more diffuse and independent," then why didn't he come out with this good news back in April when he got it?

Wait! Is the fact that al-Qaeda has become more diffuse and independent really any better? Wouldn't the really good news be that he had found and killed the man behind 9/11? Or that the war in Iraq had got al-Qaeda on the run?

But, W. says this is all about politics, anyway: "Here we are, coming down the homestretch of an election campaign and it’s on the front page of your newspapers. Isn’t that interesting." Imagine; declassifying secret intelligence for political gain! What depths won't the Defeatocrats sink to?

You know, I don't know what the big deal is anyway. The fact that terrorism is on the up-swing because of W.'s little war is no surprise. As the Post points out, most experts find the NIE "unexceptional." There were predictions O' Plenty of the mess we've now found ourselves in, before and immediatly after the war began.

Remember, Jeffery Record's Army War College report in 2004 blasting the administration's war aims in the WOT? Record wrote: "[T]he global war on terrorism as currently defined and waged is dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious, and accordingly . . . its parameters should be readjusted." And more ominously, "A cardinal rule of strategy is to keep your enemies to a manageable number. The Germans were defeated in two world wars . . . because their strategic ends outran their available means."

Could he have been predicting the sorry state our military, particularly our Army, finds itself in today? The NYT reports:

"Other than the 17 brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan, only two or three combat brigades in the entire Army -- perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops -- are fully trained and sufficiently equipped to respond quickly to crises, said a senior Army general."

It turns out the Third Infantry Division is going back again, and while they're trying to get up to speed for Iraq, the Times writes that "the Army assigned the division other missions it had to be ready to execute, including responding to hurricanes and other natural disasters and deploying to Korea if conflict broke out there. . . Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who took command in June, says officials at Army headquarters ask him every month how ready his division is to handle a crisis in Korea. The answer, General Lynch says, is that he is getting there." [Lets hope the North Koreans don't do anything crazy.]

And in 2005 there was this article in the Boston Globe, about two studies done about foreign fighters in Iraq. Both studies, one by the Saudis and one by an Israeli think tank found that:

"The vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself. The studies, which together constitute the most detailed picture available of foreign fighters, cast serious doubt on President Bush's claim that those responsible for some of the worst violence are terrorists who seized on the opportunity to make Iraq the 'central front' in a battle against the United States. "

Peter Bergen, a terrorism specialist at the nonpartisan New America Foundation, is quoted saying, "The president is right that Iraq is a main front in the war on terrorism, but this is a front we created. 'To say we must fight them in Baghdad so we don't have to fight them in Boston implies there is a finite number of people, and if you pen them up in Iraq you can kill them all," says Bergen. ''The truth is we increased the pool by what we did in Iraq."

So, again, why is this such a big surprise and why isn't the Rummy/Cheney cabal in jail?


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