One of the great contradictions of the pro war position has been that the Iraq war is making us safer, while simultaneously using the escalated terror threat resulting from the Iraq war to justify the continued occupation. So when the National Intelligence Estimate on al Qaeda reports that Al Qaeda is alive and well (thanks to the Iraq war), wingnuts try to spin this as proof that the Iraq war was a good idea after all.
As the president’s team sees it, the NIE is evidence that we need to stay in Iraq.
Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains just how wrong the White House is.
The National Intelligence Estimate that was released today—titled “The Terrorist Threat to the Homeland”—amounts to a devastating critique of the Bush administration’s policies on Iraq, Iran, and the terrorist threat itself.
Its main point is that the threat—after having greatly receded over the past five years—is back in full force. Al-Qaida has “protected or regenerated key elements” of its ability to attack the United States. It has a “safe haven” in Pakistan. Its “top leadership” and “operational lieutenants” are intact. It is cooperating more with “regional terrorist groups.”
As a result, the report concludes, “the U.S. Homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years” and is, even now, “in a heightened threat environment.”
More proof that the war is making us less safe.
If that isn’t bad enough, the Bush devotees are also insisting that the Iraq war is a success. I guess it would be if the stated aim was to bring aid and comfort to Al Qaeda, but I don’t remember that being one of them
CNN is discussing the National Intelligence Estimate about Al Qaeda. I assume the shrieking and gibbering I hear from afar emanates from Greater Wingnuttia. It’s worth pointing out though that Al Qaeda appears to be back in the news primarily because it has recently been discovered that Al Qaeda is in Iraq, of all places, and so now provides the latest reason why we must stay there forever. Of course, there would be no Al Qaeda in Iraq if we had not invaded Iraq….
Al Qaeda will try to tap its resources and capabilities in Iraq in its efforts to exact another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, according to a top government intelligence report released Tuesday.
“In addition, we assess that its association with [al Qaeda in Iraq] helps al Qaeda to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for homeland attacks,” states the declassified summary of the report.
Watching the press conference now. Funny, because the obvious conclusion from this report is that the only people in the whole entire fucking world the Iraq war has so far benefited… is Al Qaeda. And now the administration wants to stay in Iraq, so they need to pump up the Al Qaeda in Iraq thing. But they also don’t want anyone to draw the obvious conclusion that the war was a fuckup.
They also are running into trouble with the usual conundrum they face in bringing up Al Qaeda at all — here is this Threat that we told you we would Vanquish six years ago! And we did Vanquish them! But they are still a Dire Threat! Why, worse then ever! But we were not lying in saying we Vanquished them!
Shorter Bush administration:
IF YOU PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER AND GET FOUR, THE TERRORISTS WIN!
So you see, so long as we agree that two and two does not come to four, the GWOT is being won.
Spare a thought for the ministry of truth. Spinning a war is such a delicate operation. One has to maintain the fine balance between:
– presenting the enemy as an ongoing threat, while maintaining that you are defeating them;
– constantly defending the war, while convincing the public that you hate war and that war was the last resort and,
– reminding the public that they should be fearful, while trying to convince them they are safer than they were before the war