NIE Skewers the Democrats' Cut and Run Policy on Iraq
The Mainstream Media would have you believe that the National Intellligence Estimate declassified and released on Tuesday calls into question the Bush Administration's policy to stay the course in Iraq. In fact, if one takes the time to actually read the NIE, published in full here, it is apparent that it actually shoots down the call by many Democrats for immediate withdrawal.
The most often quoted line from the NIE, frequently put into headlines by newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, reads, "'The Iraq Jihad Is Shaping a New Generation of Terrorist Leaders." However, that quote is only half of a sentence from the report, truncated and quoted out of context to conceal the portion that does not support the Democratic critics of President Bush. Here is the complete sentence and the bullet point that immediately follows it:
"We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success 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 U.S. 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."
The complete excerpt really lays it on the line. If the jihadists are perceived to have succeeded in Iraq and to have defeated the United States and its allies in the war against Islamic extremism, it will encourage the jihadists to open new fronts and attack U.S. and Western interests elsewhere. Conversely, if the jihadists are defeated in Iraq, and are perceived to have lost, it will sap the momentum of the worldwide jihadist movement.
Simply put, if the NIE is correct, will the Democratic Party's policy of cut and run strengthen or weaken the forces of Islamic extremism? The answer is self-evident.