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Bush’s Iraq war increased terror threat against Americans

By
September 24, 2006

An official government intelligence estimate of the terrorism threat in the United States states flatly that President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq has spawned a new generation of Islamic radicalism and increased the terrorist threat against the United States.

The bottom line: The Iraq war has not, as the Bush Administration claims, made America safer but has actually increased the danger for this country and all Americans.

Writes Mark Mazzetti in Sunday’s New York Times:

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.

Adds Karen DeYoung of The Washington Post:

The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.

A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.

"It’s a very candid assessment," one intelligence official said yesterday of the estimate, the first formal examination of global terrorist trends written by the National Intelligence Council since the March 2003 invasion. "It’s stating the obvious."

The NIE, whose contents were first reported by the New York Times, coincides with public statements by senior intelligence officials describing a different kind of conflict than the one outlined by President Bush in a series of recent speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"Together with our coalition partners," Bush said in an address earlier this month to the Military Officers Association of America, "we’ve removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they’re carried out. We’re on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront, and we’ll accept nothing less than complete victory."

But the battlefronts intelligence analysts depict are far more impenetrable and difficult, if not impossible, to combat with the standard tools of warfare.

Although intelligence officials agree that the United States has seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qaeda and disrupted its ability to plan and direct major operations, radical Islamic networks have spread and decentralized.

Many of the new cells, the NIE concludes, have no connection to any central structure and arose independently. The members of the cells communicate only among themselves and derive their inspiration, ideology and tactics from the more than 5,000 radical Islamic Web sites. They spread the message that the Iraq war is a Western attempt to conquer Islam by first occupying Iraq and establishing a permanent presence in the Middle East.

14 Responses to Bush’s Iraq war increased terror threat against Americans

  1. Lysistrata

    September 24, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Dig, under the Bush administration fear is guiding our actions. Principles of freedom and dignity of human life was flushed down the drain when we permit torture humiliation, wire tapping, tribunals without habeas corpus and more.

    In two months more than twice as many Iraqis were killed than in the WTC.
    Look how we reacted to 9/11, why should they be different? For 5 years not one day went by without our talking about 9/11, every day, no stop ever. Think about it.

  2. erika morgan

    September 24, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    It seems weird to me that Bush and Co as the spoke persons for the Christian right are increasing hostility in the world daily and against us. It was my understanding that to be a Christian you needed to LOVE your enemy and friend the same and treat folks the way you wish to be treated. By this definition I only see masochists who would like nothing better then to find themselves at the Hague or some similar place being water-boarded, standing naked in a cold 50 cm square cage. If our congress won’t step up to the dictates of decency then the rest of the World will fill the void.

    A few examples of LOVE that Bush and Co rejected that would have gone a long way to making us safer. When Pakistan had its big earthquake we should have sent all our helicopters from Iraq and Afghanistan to assist in the relief. We could be spending the cost of Iraq on rebuilding Afghanistan’s agriculture with Bill Clinton and also be able to do something for Sudan and Chad. We could stamp out AIDS in the world with Gate’s leadership. It should never have been Hezbollah sanding on the streets in Lebanon handing out rebuilding US dollars for rebuilding, there are untold many ways to share love and we are not being served well at all by Washington as a whole.

    Dig I am very disappointed that you are still afraid the Hun will get you because of who you are rather then because of what is done in your name.

  3. GlennK

    September 24, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Here’s how this Mis-Admin. will use this report. They’ll say. “See we told u islamic terrorists are indeed everywhere and this justifies are attacking them anywhere like say IRAN right NOW!!”

  4. Bill

    September 25, 2006 at 7:47 am

    Bush has brought us to the lowest standing, if you can call it standing, in the world. He has no clout with any other country and Blair will be out of the picture soon.

    Has anyone heard anything in the news from the Iraqi people as to how welcome we are and what a wonderful job we are doing for them?

    Is there any press at all about Iraq other than blood shed?

    If you lived in Iraq and US troops invaded how would you feel 4 years later with nothing but bombs and death around you – daily! Your world in ruin with so signs of letup. Your family or children dead. How much would you hate Americans? I have traveled and visited these countries in the past and found the people there to be much like us. Living their lives, loving their children, interested in how we lived. They weren’t envious, just cuirous. And now they are dying for a political ideology.

    Write your Congress men and women. I write mine all the time. I demand amd remind them to impeach Bush (and they are Republicans). I demand and remind them not to make any of his rules, suggestions, or temporary measures permanent! Noting in life is permanent. I demand that they listen to the voting public and remind them that’s what they are there for, not Bush’s insane ramblings. I remind them that he is a liar and that we all know it.

    We had all better speak up or we will be the next nation in deep, deep trouble.

  5. beyond

    September 25, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    Well what comes next out of the mouth of your president.You really have a moron running the place. .how can you sleep while your beds are burning how much longer can your people put up with these fools.once such a great bastion of freedom has become a flickering flame one blow and your out I know your better than that please give me some hope that your beacon will burn bright again.

  6. mike chaney

    September 24, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    thanks george, you have created a mess we will never see the end of. Can you send the twins to help?

  7. Phil

    September 24, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    In other news, the sky is blue and gravity still works.

  8. carol

    September 24, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you mr dimwitted georgie boy, and your court jesters, rummy rumsfeld, dickless cheney, condom sleazy rice, and all the other fools in your court for raping our economy, and lying us into a cesspool of filth!!! Thanks for being the worst selected fool we have ever had as a “leader”!
    May you all burn in hell.

  9. T.H. Gardner III

    September 24, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    These men and women ‘running’ our nation into the blacker depths of a ne millenium abyss are, simply enough, war criminals. May there be a nice, hard seat in the dock at the Hague awaiting them. Tribunals indeed. Hoist the wretches well upon their own petard and let ‘er blow. SOS!

  10. sam

    September 24, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    so, carol, tell us how you really feel. Don’t hold anything back: the less you hold back, the more we can understand your purely rational outlook on this issue.

  11. dig

    September 24, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    The war in Iraq only accelerated what was already brewing, namely the hatred and resentment of Islamic extremists who have already declared jihad against the West. In the short term, the war may seem like a bloody mess. In the long term, it may eventually be one of the most strategic and courageous moves on the part of an American president to upset the stalemate and status quo in the Middle East and to force the players of the game to deal with the real ideological issues. But only time will tell. Let’s all say a prayer that we can all see the bigger picture and hope that our American principles for freedom and the dignitiy of human life uphold and guide our actions from here on out.

  12. Name

    September 24, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    This NIE report (completed many months ago, yet we are only learning of it now) is simply stating the obvious. Also obvious, civil war is the inevitable conclussion in Iraq. But that’s OK, after all, the “mission was accomplished” quite some time ago. Right?

  13. carol

    September 24, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    Sarcasm notwithstanding Sam, I just did. Have a nice day.

  14. Phil

    September 24, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    Sorry Dig, but you’re buying into one source of the problem: the widespread myth that the Muslim world declared war on the west and not vice-versa.