Monday, February 21, 2005

Still Safer?

In a recent post on Iraq, I mentioned a report by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA's think tank, which concluded that Iraq had become "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills" for those who will eventually disperse to other countries.

In testimony last week, CIA chief Porter Goss confirmed the NIC findings. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that, "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists."

Goss went on to say, "These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries."

Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate panel that American "policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment." Indeed, Jacoby concluded, "Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world." Jacoby also testified that the insurgency in Iraq was growing stronger and more sophisticated. Obviously Goss and Jacoby hate America and are undermining national morale and the will of our fighting men. I say throw them in the Bastille!

Meanwhile, over on the other side of Capitol Hill, Don Rumsfeld said he has no idea how large the insurgency may be, and even if he did he wouldn't discuss the matter with nosy members of Congress.

Richard Myers jumped in and said that foreign fighters represent a very small, indeed miniscule part of the insurgency. Did he mean to say that we really aren't battling al-Qaida in Iraq? Does he hate America, too? Quick, someone call Tony Blankley and Sean Hannity.

The truth is that the Pentagon has no idea how large the insurgency has become. Rumsfeld himself pointed to the problem in an October, 2003 memo, where he wrote:

Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us? Does the U.S. need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists?
It appears that we still lack the necessary "metrics" to gauge success and failure in Iraq.

You would think that Mr. Bush might have stumbled across these words from Jesus in Luke 14 during one of his morning devotionals before watching 'Sport's Center':

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?"

So what are the costs so far? More than 1,400 American dead and 10,000 wounded; between 15-100,000 dead Iraqis; $300 billion and rising; an incalculable loss in U. S. moral authority.

Hey, I've got an idea! Let's invade Syria and Iran, too!


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