Thursday, September 28, 2006

Logically Challenged

Commenting on the conclusion of a recent National Intelligence Estimate that the United States faces a greater threat from terrorism because of its war in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld said today that "the implication that if you stop killing or capturing people who are trying to kill you, then therefore the world would be a better place, is obviously nonsensical."

Which pretty much ignores the point that the furor over the NIE's leaked conclusion follows from the suggestion that invading Iraq has had exactly the opposite effect from that desired and claimed by our stalwart defenders in the Bush administration. In short, Rumsfeld & Company not only didn't help by invading Iraq; they made things worse.

This war has by some accounts radicalized an entire generation of Muslims worldwide. The cancer has metastasized. And if the NIE's finding weren't enough, a leaked unfinished document (repudiated by the British government) by Britain's MI6 intelligence service says that the Iraq war is "acting as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world."

What an expensive mistake this has been. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says the Iraq war is now costing the U.S. $2 billion per week. And that pales beside the lost lives and horrific violence.

Sadly, Rumsfeld's response to the NIE's indictment is to flail wildly at a straw man. Who's suggesting that we should "stop killing or capturing people who are trying to kill" us?

What is "obviously nonsensical" is the notion that all of this couldn't have been readily anticipated. Indeed, the NIE merely confirms what sane observers have been saying for years. That this hellhole we call Iraq is now a terrorist hotbed is a situation entirely of our own making. It certainly wasn't that under Saddam Hussein.

Way to go, Don.

Copyright (C) 2006 James Michael Brennan, All Rights Reserved


At Tue Oct 17, 01:03:00 PM, Anonymous bert said...

Iraq is certainly a motivater for anti-American terrorists. But is it more a hotbed for terrorists than say ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia where countless young men are unemployed with nothing better to do than dream of jihad? Consider where the the 9/11 hijackers came from. Or what of Pakistan with its madrasses (sp?)?

Even if (highly unlikely 'if')the U.S. pacified Iraq, hotbeds for terrorists remain.

But the problem now has become the anti-shia and anti-sunni terrorists in Iraq. Only the United States is keeping Iraq from full-blown civil war.

Ethically we can't leave until Iraq becomes stable enough to manage its own security.

The very definition of a quagmire.

I predict the U.S. will withdraw out of self-interest and Iraq will go up in flames like the former Yugoslavia. Or like the partition of India and Pakistan.

Bush and Rumsfeld will go down in history as responsible for the catastrophe.


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