Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Well said

From the New York Times, regarding the declassified summary (pdf) of the April, 2006, National Intelligence Estimate [my emphasis]:
As a political matter, at least for the next few weeks, the intelligence findings will only fuel the argument over Iraq on both sides. Mr. Bush has grown increasingly insistent that nothing he has done in Iraq has worsened terrorism. America was not in Iraq during the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, he said, or during the bombings of the U.S.S. Cole or embassies in Africa, or on 9/11.

But that argument steps around the implicit question raised by the intelligence finding: whether postponing the confrontation with Saddam Hussein and focusing instead on securing Afghanistan, or dealing with issues like Iran’s nascent nuclear capability or the Middle East peace process, might have created a different playing field, one in which jihadists were deprived of daily images of carnage in Iraq to rally their sympathizers.


Daniel said...

President Bush is still confusing the “War of Terror” with finding Osama Bib Laden and other terrorist leaders. Our understanding of the war on terror needs to be expanded to make it a war on extremism and jihadists, a war on the culture of jihadism to elevates suicide bombers to religious martyrs, a war on the ignorance that allows jihadists to be trained at an early age to hate. I’m not talking about a war on Islam, but on those extremist elements in Islam and everywhere else that teach hate and feed the terrorist networks with brain-washed zealots willing to believe anything they’re told and do anything asked of them.

Generations of ignorance, perpetuated in the name of hate and jihad, lead to cultural, sociological and economic situations that lead to the oppression and frustration of peoples and societies and feed the hate and jihad mindset. We’ve got to find and attack the root causes at the same time we find and attack the tactical/operational end of the chain.

The problem is that this takes intelligence and vision that the current administration lacks, they can only react to the hate with hatred of their own and can only see as far as revenge on those they hold responsible for attacking us.

Until we understand the true nature of war on terrorism, and go about finding and eliminating the root causes, we cannot win the “War on Terror”, we can only continue to fight the war and feed the war machine on both sides.

Matt said...

I agree with you, Daniel. This is the part of the War that is lost on so very many: we are not fighting a war of bullets but a war of bread and a war of ideas. No amount of torture, no number of overthrown governments, will acheive our collective goal of defeating Jihadic extremism.