NIE: Iraq Fueling al-Qaeda Threat to US
Fred Kaplan at Slate points out that it does not take much reading between the lines to conclude that the new National Intelligence Estimate indicates that Bush`s Iraq War has generated a new and deadly threat against the US. In other words, the US had al-Qaeda on the run and would be safer now if it hadn`t invaded Iraq.
By the way, I had this argument two years ago with a US counter-terrorism official. He was skeptical of prognostications that the Iraq War would generate anti-US terrorism. I told him, you can`t have a massive US military occupation of a major Arab Muslim country for years on end that does not come back to bite you on the ass.
“Al-Qaeda in Iraq” is of course just a bogeyman phrase to describe Salafi Jihadis there. But they obviously feel some kinship to the real al-Qaeda (you never want to see that) and they are threatening to get up an attack on the United States. There was no al-Qaeda in Saddam`s Iraq, so it is Bush who has created this current threat, which did not have to be there.
Of course, the US Right will conveniently use the small “al-Qaeda in Iraq” organization, which it more or less created by its militarism, to justify more militarism. But I don`t think the American public is that stupid.
Meanwhile, the Voice of America reports that the Bush administration will freeze the assets of persons or organizations that attempt to destabilize Iraq. VOA says:
“President Bush has signed an order that allows the U.S. government to block the assets of any person or group that threatens the stability of Iraq.
The order exempts the United States.”
Either the VOA copy writer is a little clueless or this person has a wicked, dry sense of humor.
PS For excellent entries on Iran and Pakistan, see recent postings of Farideh Farhi and Manan Ahmed at our group blog on global affairs. Dr. Farhi weighs in on recent developments in the Iranian detention of Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari, as well as in the arrest of student activists ahead of Iranian elections. For those hungry for Iran analysis, this is a real treat.