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The National Intelligence Estimate -- Fighting Terrorists Makes Them Mad

I have not had time to read the reports in the NYT and Washington Post yet, but saw a quick summary on my local news (before I turned the channel -- see update to Clinton interview post below) and thought it sounded "off." In other words, the summary of the report was at odds with many of the facts I knew to be true. On Fox News I saw a Negroponte quote saying that the summary distorts the contents of the report. Michelle Malkin has a very comprehensive post on the subject.

Captain Ed had this to say of the report of the contents of the NIE:

It makes the classic logical fallacy of confusing correlation with causation, and the basic premise can easily be dismissed with a reminder of some basic facts.

First and foremost, Islamist radicalism didn't just start expanding in 2003. The most massive expansion of Islamist radicalism came after the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, when the Islamists defeated one of the world's superpowers. Shortly afterwards, the staging of American forces in Saudi Arabia to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait created the most significant impulse for the expansion of organized Islamist radicalism and led directly to the formation of al-Qaeda. It put the US in Wahhabi jihadist crosshairs for the first time.
...
Unfortunately, we decided to allow Saddam to survive, and then got caught up in a 12-year war that only occasionally looked like peace... Either we had to acknowledge defeat in that war and retreat from the region after 9/11, or we had to end that twelve-year war in order to prosecute the war on terror in the region where terrorists lived.

Did that make Islamists more angry? Yes, I'm sure it did, and it probably did give them a great propaganda tool for recruitment. However, here's the crux of the problem: no matter what we do to fight the Islamists and to establish liberal thinking in opposition to them, they're going to get motivated because of it. Even an abject surrender and a return to isolationism will not work, because their victory over us will be an even greater motivational force for Islamist expansion.

We had to conclude the Iraq war in order to fight radical Islamist terrorists. We could not afford to allow Saddam to escape the noose -- which our erstwhile allies on the Security Council tried through the corruption of the Oil-For-Food program -- and to have his miltary on our flank in the region. When the planes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11, that truth finally dawned on Washington DC -- that the long quagmire in Iraq had seriously endangered the US in the region and beyond, and that we had to end the one war as a part of the new war that terrorist had thrust upon us.

To put it bluntly, fighting terrorists and upsetting their plans for regional domination will make them mad. Creating opportunities for liberalizing democratic structures to thrive in their back yard will give them enough resentment among Islamists to recruit more terrorists. If we don't already know that much, then we haven't paid much attention. When George Bush warned us that this would be a long war, this is exactly what he meant. The only way to win this war is to give the people in the region better options than Islamic totalitarianism, and a success in Iraq will go a long way towards that goal.



Update:
On CNN this morning I caught the end of an interview with Mark Mazetti in which he was asked if this report would be used to political advantage for the election. He said he did not cover the politics of it, so the CNN reporter pointed out that Democrats were already using it to their advantage and that viewers should stay tuned to CNN for their national security needs. Ha, then they did a piece on the gas price conspiracy and how bloggers were accusing the Bush administration of manipulating gas prices just before the election. The piece was ridiculous. Conspiracy theories were thrown out and then they interviewed "big oil" spokespeople who said prices could not be controlled that way. Then the reporter admitted that it is unlikely that the Bush administration could control prices that easily, but then opined that since big oil probably thought they would fare better under Republicans that there wouldn't be a "memo" admitting it, but that maybe they were doing it on their own to help Republicans. Heaven forbid they actually do a report explaining the concepts of supply and demand, or a report explaining that when you actually go after the terrorists, it tends to make them mad.


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Comments (33)

A-f*cking-menIslam... (Below threshold)

A-f*cking-men

Islamic jihadists have been going for centuries. Has everyone forgotten about the Barbary pirates in the early 19th century? Oddly enough it was the Barbary pirates' Islamic jihadistic attacks that emboldened US to create the United States Navy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_pirates), and served as a part of the now USMC opening hymn "Shores of Tripoli".

Just a side note, I found a website by a fellow named Thomas Jewett that is well written. I recommend you check it out, Lorie:
http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/2002_winter_spring/terrorism.htm
It compares the early Barbary war that the fledgling US Government had to deal with with today's war on terror. He compares Jefferson recognizing that money spent on tribute is money wasted. Jefferson tried to get a multinational force to help from Europe, but the Europeans just kept paying tribute. US Won the war against the Barbary pirates with the completely new US Navy, and our marines had themselves their first victory. The rest of it is the history of the Barbary war.

Twisted.1)The Holo... (Below threshold)
robert:

Twisted.

1)The Holocaust did not occur, it is all Israeli propaganda.

2)Palestinian 8 year old daughters are strapped to bombs while their leader buries billions in secret accounts in French banks - a noble cause for the long-suffering Palestinian people.

3)The 911 hijackers all went to a strip club, just before: “To see what we are fighting against”.

4)Jimmy Carter.

5)The Shah of Iran was a bad guy who needed to go but Saddam was a bad guy who provided needed stability. Hugo Chavez - buddy of Sheehan, Fidel and Chomsky - is a Simon Bolivar hero.

6)Many small children burned to death in a Russian school was bad, but many small children burned to death in Waco was unavoidable.

7)The United Nations.

8)John Kerry is a war hero.

9)Clinton was held back from getting OBL because of the Republicans.

10)Bush blew up the WTC with explosives.


I agree on Jimmy Carter. Mr... (Below threshold)

I agree on Jimmy Carter. Mr. Goodwill gets a pass when he's the one who basically emboldened the nutjobs in Iran.

This is what I don't "get".... (Below threshold)
Diane:

This is what I don't "get"...

SO WHAT if we make them (Muslims) mad...with our language, dress, mentioning Allah's name at the "wrong" time or "wrong" place. What gives ANY human the right to strap bombs on themselves or a moving vehicle & kill innocent people?--That should NEVER be justifiable.

Wouldn't it be great if those who have so much distaste worldwide for the Iraq War & Bush, would collectively channel their energies into verbablly attacking the suicide bombers? The Iraq War could have easily ended 2 years ago, if the suicide bombers would stop--it's always been in their control. The 50-100 people (civilians) who have been killed in Iraq each day, were needessly killed--but not by Americans.

If we want the civilians to quit dying, all need to stand up against the terrorist-bombers.

Do you thing it made Hitler... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Do you thing it made Hitler mad when he looked up and saw thousands of bombers over Berlin 'and they weren't returning from a raid on London'?

Dimmy Carter gets a pass because the entire world considers him a senile old fool. Of course telling his normal 70's rants from his insane rants of today takes some study.

Captain Ed's right again. N... (Below threshold)
Nell:

Captain Ed's right again. No matter what we do, it will inspire more hate and possibly help them recruit more jihadis. But there's no better recruiting tool than letting them think they're winning.

David Brooks on the Laura I... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

David Brooks on the Laura Ingraham show today:
“The terrorists are winning the war on terror.”

Thank you Bush and Rummy

I put the invasion of iraq ... (Below threshold)

I put the invasion of iraq at about number 6 on my top 10 of what radicalizes muslims:

1) Cartoonists
2) The Pope
3) Supporting Saddam Hussein in the 1980's
4) Sanctioning Iraq in the 1990's
5) Salman Rushdie
6) Removing Saddam Hussein from Power
7) Flushing Korans down the toilet
8) The invasion of Afghanistan
9) Satellite TV broadcasts of Baywatch
10) The success of 9/11

I understand that the NIE p... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

I understand that the NIE put out a similar memo late in 1943 claiming that the battle of Midway had "inflamed" Japanese militarism.

/sarc off

"Fighting Terrorists Makes ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Fighting Terrorists Makes Them Mad"

"We had to conclude the Iraq war in order to fight radical Islamist terrorists."

Once again, point missed. Very far off actually.

Yes, going after terrorists makes them mad and occasionaly it probably creates more terrorism. (So does killing innocent civilians, which the US has done in the thousands - I would actually say this creates more terrorists, btw.)

-The NIE was discussing Iraq.

-Iraq was not a terrorist threat and never was against the US. (Had any Iraqi ever committed a terrorist attack on the US before this awful war?)

BTW, Lorie - a very classy picture of a woman putting her hand into her bikini bottom on Wizbang's page. Huzzah conservative values!


You people are fucking INSA... (Below threshold)
j:

You people are fucking INSANE!

Even better NIE -- fighting... (Below threshold)
johnmc:

Even better NIE -- fighting terrorists MAKES THEM DEAD.

For those interested in thi... (Below threshold)

For those interested in this stuff, here's something that is a must read.

Scott Malensek has just completed his extensive rebuttal to the Senate Intel Co's Phase II Report.

RBT

*****

Bush Lied People Died NOT!

Re the NYT release of the NIE, read this rebuttal report by author Scott Malensek of the Senate Intel Co's recent Phase II Report. This a further example of the degree to which these important intel assessment/reports have become partisan hack jobs.

RBT

EXCLUSIVE: Rebuttal to Phase II Report
Scott has just completed his definitive rebuttal to the Phase II Report of the Senate Intel Committee:

Independent
Rebuttal Report Regarding
The SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
ON
POSTWAR FINDINGS ABOUT IRAQ'S WMD PROGRAMS AND
LINKS TO TERRORISM AND HOW THEY COMPARE WITH
PREWAR ASSESSMENTS

[...]

Read More

Does anyone else see the de... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Does anyone else see the delicious irony? The Bush administration has a national INTELLIGENCE estimate?

:-)

The no president left behind initiative must be working!

To say that "Fighting terro... (Below threshold)
Fangor:

To say that "Fighting terrorists make them mad" in response to the findings of this report is a misleading statement because it conceals the fact that we haven't made existing terrorists more angry so much as we have made many people who were formerly not terrorists into terrorists. We invaded Iraq with a wealth of evidence indicating that Saddam Hussein, while certainly a brutal and disgusting dictator was the ONLY thing keeping Islamist Extremism from thriving within his country. Combine this in a place where many people have family and loved ones who have been killed as a direct result of American attacks, and I think that you will see that the reason that extremism and terrorism are on the rise in Iraq is not because fighting terrorists makes them angry, but because fighting that results in death and hardship in your back yard will make ANYONE angry. Even to the point of giving your life up in an expression of rage towards all those who you believe may hold some responsibility for that death and hardship.

War begets war and killing will always result in more killing.

Fighting terrorists makes t... (Below threshold)
buck:

Fighting terrorists makes them mad. And killing thousands of women and children makes regular moderate muslims want to support terrorists. I agree that we have to fight terrorism but we have made so many mistakes and changed our rationale so many times that we look like we are the bad guys. When moderate muslims turn on the news every day and see more deaths(accidental) at the hands and bombs of the US, they want to support the terrorists. When the US tortures innocent muslims in Iraq it makes moderate muslims into terrorists. When Bush argues in favor of torture it makes moderate muslims hate us. Isn't America strong enough and brave enough to defend ourselves and stop terrorism without having to use torture? I think we are. Torture is necessary for petty thirdworld dictators, not America. We should stand up for what's right. If our ham-handed attempts to being freedom to the Middle East is not working then we need to change our tactics. The sad truth is that America has killed many more innocent children and women accidentally in our war on terror than the terrorists have killed of us. Even if we are acting out of pure motives, we are killing innocents. It is wrong. We are better than this.

When the US tortu... (Below threshold)
Mike:
When the US tortures innocent muslims in Iraq it makes moderate muslims into terrorists

Bullshit. How many U.S. citizens have become suicide bombers as a result of the Muslims beheading Americans ?

Moderate don't threaten to behead people over cartoons, or statements that they find offensive, or...

It's funny to see the same people who malign the October '02 NIE treating the most recent one as 'gospel'.


"War begets war and kill... (Below threshold)
robert:

"War begets war and killing will always result in more killing."

Perhaps by accident Fangor, you have hit on the foreign policy of Jimmy Carter - do nothing. The Soviets were laughing.

Do you think that dictators would do anything other than roll over your sorry ass?

Wimps unite! Let's hold hands and throw flowers.

"Let's hold hands and throw... (Below threshold)
Fangor:

"Let's hold hands and throw flowers."

Well, not that I'm agreeing with your dramatization of my comments, but when was the last time holding hands and throwing flowers end in there being more terrorists in the world? Maybe not the best course of action, but certainly moving in the right direction.

I find it typical...we are ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

I find it typical...we are given a little information and our minds are made up...Surely a redacted copy of the report could be released...as a nation whose trrops killed just past 2700 killed...23,000 wounded over $300 billion spent entitled to know what ALL our agencies believe?
...and you know Jimmy Carter did not order the invasion of Iraq...you know Bill Clinton did order the invasion of of Iraq..you know Congress did not give the order for a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq..
our President did...
As such he is responsible for the successes and the failures...of course if you believe there have been no failures in Iraq...and if there were they were the fault of Clinton, Carter, then FINE...

Before we get into the "nob... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Before we get into the "nobody could have predicted"
this is from September 2003...but of course it come from a proven "moonbat" site http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0902-03.htm

Mike, we don't need to beco... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Mike, we don't need to become suicide bombers or behead people to get retribution. We send out the most powerful military in the history of the world to do it for us. One-at-a-time drama killings wouldn't deter terrorists anyway. We need to kill them by the hundreds and thousands, then the moderates will surely see the light and become peace-loving, forgive any trespasses and adopt democracy, that about right?

Yes Robert , but that does ... (Below threshold)
914:

Yes Robert , but that does not begin to explain Booooshes evilness!

We need to kill t... (Below threshold)
Mike:
We need to kill them by the hundreds and thousands, then the moderates will surely see the light and become peace-loving, forgive any trespasses and adopt democracy, that about right?

History indicates that the overwhelming use of force tends to create a lasting peace while placating hostiles only emboldens them. How many times since 1945 has Germany invaded its neighbors ?

So lets see Mike. Should we... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

So lets see Mike. Should we discriminate between men, women and children when we kill those hundreds of thousands? Should we indiscriminately bomb cities? Fire bomb them? Nuke them? Carpet bomb them? Should we indiscriminately destroy their mosques? In any country where Islam is practiced? Should we destroy their schools? With the children in them?

How would you propose doing what you so happily seem to want to? How should our military do that?

You do know that Germany was a country with defined borders and so not so hard to target those hundreds of thousands you seem to like to see dead? Well, maybe you never knew that. So the terrorists all live in a place where we can easily identify them and kill hundreds of thousands of them?

Your ignorance is almost unmatched...well I take that back. Lots righties are as ignorant as you.

I'll give you an example of... (Below threshold)
Mike:

I'll give you an example of the correct solution to a recent problem. Fallujah should have been razed. The method isn't important, but the end result should have been one large pile of rubble. Risne and repeat where required. War is not civilized and to put the constraints of civilization on it does nothing but extend the misery it causes. Fighting a fire while trying not to get things wet or dirty does accomplish anything.

Hugh:
Your ignorance is almost unmatched...well I take that back. Lots righties are as ignorant as you.

You do realize that including inane crap like this exposes your juvenille mindset ? How much of an unhappy, miserable little twit you must be... or to put on your level, you're dumb; grow up. :)

correction:or dir... (Below threshold)
Mike:

correction:
or dirty does NOT accomplish

Mike: U.S. citizens might b... (Below threshold)
ba:

Mike: U.S. citizens might become suicide bombers or take on suicide missions if a Muslim military were occupying our country & killing/torturing our citizens -- at least I hope we would do so.

Please, when you are trying to "understand" the enemy, use universality in your argument. If you can't appeal to a reverse scenario that is precise, don't bother with a spurious analysis. You just make our side look stupid -- and hey, then you are just aiding the terrorists.

>When the US tortures innocent muslims in Iraq it >makes moderate muslims into terrorists

>>Bullshit. How many U.S. citizens have become >>suicide bombers as a result of the Muslims >>beheading Americans ?

Mike:Thanks for yo... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Mike:

Thanks for your response. You continually demonstarte the isanity of a right wing kook. Kill, kill, kill.....a simple answer to a complex problem. Raze cities. Kill, kill, kill.

I love armchair killers like you. What makes you any different than a terrorist?

I love armchair killers ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

I love armchair killers like you. What makes you any different than a terrorist?

I'd never INITIATE the use of force. I also would never saw the head off of morons (yourself included).

Hugh, what your myopic, sheltered little mind can't seem to grasp is that the loss of life is minimized by the overwhelming use of force. Moderation in warfare does not minimize the loss of life... so in typically liberal fashion, you advocate the course that results in MORE loss of life because it makes you 'feel' better.

I don't particularly like dimwitted leftards like you. Oh and don't they have dictionaries in your mental ward? ('demonstarte the isanity')

No, you'd just indiscrimina... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

No, you'd just indiscriminatley raze cities to kill those hundreds of thousand you think should be taught a lesson. Women? Children?
Ah well, war is hell you know.

That fact that you don't like me pleases me because then I might be like you. Stark raving crazy for blood.

From Mike:Ri... (Below threshold)
mantis:

From Mike:

Risne and repeat where required.

this exposes your juvenille mindset ?

And then:

Oh and don't they have dictionaries in your mental ward? ('demonstarte the isanity')

Of course all of those were clearly typos, from both of you, but anyway, pot, meet kettle.

Hmmmm to you reckon old huh... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hmmmm to you reckon old huhgie and "preying mantis" are "married"? They sound like they are from the same record. And I bet old "pucker puss" (lee lee) is one of their "kids".




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