Jules Crittenden, city editor of the Boston Herald, points out the sheer mendacity of the press acounts of the NIE, based, as they are, on cherry—picked leaks. First he properly notes
In time of war, the nation's classified intelligence analysis of the enemy's capabilities is none of our, the public's, business. It is not the New York Times' business. It is the business of those who are prosecuting this war. They use it to determine strategy and tactics for defeating that enemy.
He then excerpts the newly released "judgments" material and draws some smart conclusions.
"Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit."
we know. Building democracy in medieval fiefdoms is difficult work, particularly when faced with an adversary willing to blow up its own constituents, but we're working on it. [....]
"We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist sucess there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.
"The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."
Very interesting. Let me see if I have this right: The assessment of our nation's top intelligence analysts is that bringing democracy to Muslim nations, such as we are doing in Iraq, where millions of people braved jihadist bombs to vote in free elections, is a key weapon against jihadists. Cutting and running from Iraq would encourage the spread of jihad. Perseverance and success in Iraq would be a serious blow to jihad. OK. I think I get it. That is not at all the impression I got from the New York Times or the Associated Press.
There's more and it's smart. Well worth a read.
Thomas Lifson 9 27 06