Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat

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Submitted by PerryChase on September 25, 2006 - 10:18am

Bush's own spy agencies are telling us this.

Link to NY Times Article

Link to CNN Article

McCain not surprised

Sen. John McCain told CBS' "Face the Nation" that, while he knows nothing
about the report, it would not be surprising if the Iraq war was a rallying
point for terrorists.

"Frankly, it doesn't astound me that we would get an intelligence report that
if we're not succeeding as well as we had hoped that that would encourage the
enemy," the Arizona Republican said.

Link to Washington Post Article

Submitted by bgates on September 25, 2006 - 11:24am.

I had the opportunity to thank a wounded veteran for his service last week. First thing he said was, "no problem."

Second thing he said was, "Don't believe the media."

Perry, this story is an attempt by the CIA to influence an election by leaking classified information. [McCain said he knew nothing about the report, because it hadn't been released to the Senate.] If you were a patriot, that would bother you, no matter which party you supported.

You left out some of the McCain quote, by the way: "I would argue that we need to prevail in Iraq and that, if we fail, then our problems will be much more complicated," McCain said.

Submitted by PerryChase on September 25, 2006 - 3:26pm.

I agree with McCain "that we need to prevail in Iraq and that, if we fail, then our problems will be much more complicated."

However, it doesn't mean that the hair-brained people who got us in shouldn't pay a political price for their actions. I say that it's time to let someone else fix the mess because the people in charge now are screwing it up even further.

Submitted by bgates on September 25, 2006 - 3:35pm.

Why do I get the feeling you would have voted against Lincoln in 1864 or FDR in 1944?

Submitted by ybc on September 25, 2006 - 5:02pm.

"Why do I get the feeling you would have voted against Lincoln in 1864 or FDR in 1944?"

Are you implying that Lincoln and FDR are also as incompetent as the current administration in everything they do? Hmmm...

Submitted by bgates on September 25, 2006 - 5:25pm.

That's certainly the argument made against them at the time, while the wars they fought were going on. Lincoln in particular was savaged for being a hick elected with a weak mandate who stumbled into a war of choice that was far longer, bloodier, and more expensive than anticipated, damaged American relations with Europe, and led many Democrats during his reelection campaign to support an opposing candidate with a more distinguished military record who promised to bring the troops back home (out of Virginia). After declaring an end to major combat operations after Lee surrendered, an insurgent campaign continued to assassinate members of the newly formed Reconstruction governments and terrorize members of other ethnic groups for almost 100 years.

So, you tell me.

Submitted by North County Jim on September 25, 2006 - 6:01pm.


I'm inferring you are giving the intelligence agencies a lot of credibility here. If so, why?

Submitted by jg on September 25, 2006 - 6:55pm.

PC and ybc, you are up against The Dynamic Duo, b "History and Current Events" gates and Jim "Data" the Realtor. Make like the French and surrender, because resistance is futile!

Submitted by PerryChase on September 25, 2006 - 7:13pm.

The spy agencies were never sure that there were WMDs in Iraq. The Administration decided to act on assumptions; in essense putting their doctrine of preemption into practice.

The intelligence agencies latest report cast doubt upon the effectiveness of the Iraq intervention.

The more press coverage, the better informed the public will become. Give data to the people and they'll make up their own minds. It's like real estate. We need to stop living in a bubble.

Submitted by PerryChase on September 25, 2006 - 7:37pm.

Is North County Jim the same as Jim Klinge who said that "superior" properties will be insulated and only drop 10-15%? I respect Jim who as, a realtor, is shooting straight with us; however, ever since he wrote that blob, I question his motives. Does he want buyers to feel confident about buying those "superior" properties?

Submitted by North County Jim on September 25, 2006 - 7:44pm.

The spy agencies were never sure that there were WMDs in Iraq.

Please educate us which spy agencies were unsure.

It would certainly not include the CIA. This was George Tenet's infamous "slam-dunk" call.

It certainly wasn't the agencies who supplied Sen. Rockefeller (ranking minority member of the Intelligence Committee) intelligence prior to his speech on the Senate floor and his subsequent vote in favor of authorizing force to disarm the Iraqi regime.

So who were they?

Submitted by North County Jim on September 25, 2006 - 7:45pm.

For the record, I am not Jim the Realtor.

Submitted by jg on September 25, 2006 - 7:51pm.

Oops! My mistake, NCJ.

Submitted by bgates on September 25, 2006 - 7:59pm.

Your first para is a pretty fair assessment. There wasn't unanimous agreement in the intel community (I'll leave it to admin opponents to hunt down quotes, though). Like NC Jim says, the (Clinton-appointed, Bush-retained) DCI did call the case for war a 'slam dunk', so it's not like the admin just made the idea up. Likewise, while the intelligence agencies have a very difficult and perforce very secretive job, and many of their successes may be kept hidden, they've had several failures in this area: the Indian nuclear test in 1998; the extent of Saddam's WMD program in 1991 was a surprise as well. So the intel community is not infallible here.

Also, you don't know what's in the full NIE, because it hasn't been released. In fact, no quotes from it appear in either of the stories you link - just quotes from anonymous government sources who say they've read it. Better information is good, so long as it does not compromise security; and I would expect that quite a lot of stuff gets classified that doesn't need to be. So by all means, let's make more stuff public. But don't pretend that what's been printed in your two articles is anything but a thinly-sourced hit job.

Robert Kagan says a lot that I agree with.

Submitted by PerryChase on September 25, 2006 - 8:20pm.

To you guys out there, you may not believe it, but I'm trying not to be partisan on the Iraq issue.

1) I hope that we succeed because for our national interest we NEED to succeed. I just don't have any confidence in the decider for making the right decisions.

2) I'm mad at Bush for getting us into Iraq. It's like buying an overpriced house in 2004. It seemed like a good investment at the time, but now you own the POS. What're you gonna do? Rationalize the decision and keep it for the long run? Or sell now and loose big bucks? Either way the prospects are grim. Bush put all of our foreign policy eggs in that POS basket. He bet the farm and now we're up the creek because of that.

3) When I hear George Will and David Brooks criticizing the Administration on Iraq, I know that we're running out of options in Iraq.

4) I'm supporting a change of direction rather than a stay-the-course policy. To me that's like the condo-converters hoping for an uptick in the market by 2008.

Submitted by technovelist on September 25, 2006 - 9:06pm.

Of course, you weren't talking to me. However, I certainly would have voted against both of those tyrannical scum. They were two of the very worst presidents we have ever had. Georgie boy, however, is doing an "excellent" job of eclipsing their record of trashing the Constitution, getting us into wars for fabricated reasons, and generally lousing up the country.

Submitted by greekfire on September 25, 2006 - 10:26pm.

Perry, I appreciate the passion in your beliefs, but you should try a bit harder to be non-partisan. Yes, there are several points that can be made about why we should not have gone to war in Iraq. I remember saying to myself at the time that there were more reasons for going than merely the WMD argument that we were being proffered. Any clear-thinking person would understand that there are often many reasons for undertaking a complicated venture such as a war. To constantly throw your hands in the air and cry, "But there were no WMD!!!s" is a weak attempt at justifying your beliefs; especially considering many Democrats and other nations were confirming the WMD claim...and the UN voted for UN Resolution #17 against Iraq.

It is one thing to say that you are trying to be non-partisan, it's another to actual be it. Believe me, I don't agree with a lot of things that this administration has done. I also do not agree with how they've prosecuted the Iraq War...I think they should've used even more force. But you have to understand that the media needs to sell newspapers, adspace, or just get more viewers, and the best way to do that is to stick to the basics - death, violence, sex, etc. Building schools, repairing water or electrical infrastructure, or freeing a people (especially women) from decades of opression aren't covered in the media because there's no money in it.

I surmise that you are an educated person, and that you can see the media's angle from a mile away...especially if it's slanted to the right. Take off your blinders and try to see it from the other side. Then you'll be able to recognize that this report, based on it's scope, findings, and timing, is likely an attempt to affect the upcoming mid-term elections. Nothing more, nothing less.

My question to you is have you questioned the validity and sources of the report prior to taking it as gospel? Please explain to all of us how you dismiss the intelligence reports that came out before the Iraq War which statedthat Iraq was trying to obtain WMDs; yet you are so quick to put your name behind these recent intelligence reports that criticize the same Iraq War?

Submitted by bgates on September 25, 2006 - 10:52pm.

Perry, ok, I'll try to not be partisan as well. I appreciate that you want what is best for the country, and I think I can understand some of your frustration. (You should realize, though, that George Will has been lukewarm at best about the Iraq mission from before it started. Contrary to popular belief, there's been much more diversity of opinion about this war among conservatives than among any other political group. Don't assume that a prominent conservative opponent of the war has had a change of heart; he may have felt that way all along.)

For me, I'm frustrated with the president for a couple of things, neither of which I think are deal-breakers in terms of supporting him going forward. First, they should have seen the insurgency coming. We knew Saddam was completely overmatched; so did he. He's crazy, but he's not stupid. Insurgency is the way to go against a superior force, and it's the only way to make Americans go home.

I'm more frustrated that the president hasn't done a better job explaining the facts on the ground the past 5 years. He's in a great position to explain his position on a regular basis, and he should know if he doesn't his opponents will, and they have.

If Bush explained the course of the war better, and how we've adapted to the insurgency, I think he would have a lot more support. The fact is we can't be beaten on the battlefield. If you want to do housing analogies, I think the anti-war "we create 10 terrorists for every 1 we kill" sounds a lot like the flipper's "I can afford 10 more houses for every one I buy." Mathematically that can go on for 9 cycles before one guy owns every house on the planet, and everyone else is a terrorist. We can replenish our side much faster than the enemy can theirs. We're training the Iraqi army, and as we train soldiers and they get some experience, they can train more themselves. Last week we won over almost everybody in Anbar (that's the province Ramadi and Fallujah are in). More important than getting more riflemen - which is also nice - that's going to get us a camelload more intel. The bad guys are in the bubble here. They've been getting lots of press, and hanging around longer than expected, but they're unsustainable. Meanwhile, Cheney's been saying the insurgents are in their last throes for almost exactly as long as everyone on this forum has been saying the same thing about real estate. We're all right about the end state, but our timing has been off. If Bush explained the fundamentals behind the al Qaeda bubble - how they shoot themselves in the foot by shooting Muslim civilians in the face; how 99 of 100 Iraqi encounters with US troops are a pleasant surprise because our troops are mostly normal people, while 100% of Iraqi encounters with our enemy are a nightmare because our enemy are barbaric; how the enemy needs the populace to fear that we're leaving, and how we diminish that fear every hour we stay; how we offer a rebuilt, representative government while the enemy offers nothing but death and destruction - if Bush explained all that as well as Rich explained the bubble here, I think fair-minded people would agree that while we may not be able to predict the day it ends, we're looking at an enterprise in the insurgency that can't go on indefinitely. There's no fundamental support for it.

Submitted by ybc on September 25, 2006 - 11:23pm.

bgates, where exactly do you get your information about Iraq? You think that it's bad only because it wasn't "explained" well? I'm speechless.

There are many Iraqi veterans who spoke out against the war -- what do you say about that? And there are quite a few retired generals who came out criticizing the execution of the war at very high level -- stragetic level, what do you say about them? I consider those as people who know what's going on on the ground. (I think that there are quite a few returning veterans running for offices, and a dominant majority of them are running on a platform against the war. But correct me if I'm wrong here).

Cognitive scientists say that we understand the world through our own internal mapping of the world. That's what perception is. The more I read all the debates here, the more I believe this theory.

I sincerely hope that Iraq will have a better turn, and innocent Iraqi people won't continue to suffer so much from all the violence there (sectarian violence and/or civil war may or may not involve terrorists). The sad reality in the world is -- it's always people at the bottom who suffer greatly for mistakes made by people at the top.

Submitted by bgates on September 26, 2006 - 12:00am.

ybc, I really appreciate the good-faith debate you're willing to have on this. When I say Bush should explain things better, I have in mind what FDR did in the fireside chats - but more frequent, probably more transparent. FDR laid out for people in rough terms where the fighting was and why. In doing so he didn't stop any attack by the Germans or Japanese, but he let Americans know what they were fighting for. I'm not suggesting that terrorism would stop if Bush had a really nice PowerPoint. I'm saying people would support Bush more if they heard regularly from him what he was trying to do and why, including things like references to heroic acts by our soldiers. (You know who Audie Murphy was? How about Norman Schwartzkopf? Can you name a single decorated veteran of this conflict, who's not running for office?)

As for the number of veterans, even generals speaking out - it gives me pause, I'll admit. Proportions are important to keep in mind: there are ~6,000 serving and retired flag officers. Six of them are making a lot of noise. They were high up, but not the highest; and they may speak for lots of fellow officers, but they may not. Yeah, the criticism of the generals bothers me. But it's not without precedent, either. In 1864 Lincoln's ran against the man who'd been the Union commander at Gettysburg the year before.

ybc, your last paragraph says it all. If you want Iraq to have a better turn, there's just no other way besides the present course. Maybe if the Democrats had some way to fight the war better - but they don't, they want to leave. There are people over there willing to murder anyone. They won't stop if we leave. We can stop them, we can help the fledgling Iraqi government stop them if we stay.

Submitted by powayseller on September 27, 2006 - 8:48am.

Off topic, but this is one of the most exemplary political debates I have ever seen. People are stating their arguments and not getting personal, and listening to each other, elevating this discussion and making it a joy to read.

Submitted by carlislematthew on October 1, 2006 - 9:35am.

In my opinion, the decision to vote for or against the current administration has little to do with what course of action you take NOW. Most people, including most democrats, agree that staying for *some* period of time is the way to go and that packing up and leaving in the short term is a bad idea.

What *does* matter is how much you trust the current administration to competently execute the plan. If you believe that they messed up in the past, then this should be a signal to you that you might mess up in the future! If you believe that the Iraq war has gone just great, then by all means continue to support the administration.

Again, it's not about the direction we take; it's about who you trust more to not mess it up.

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