Much ado in the media and among liberal pols about part of the National Intelligence Estimate leaked earlier this week that says the war in Iraq has actually increased terrorist recruiting.
Problem is, they only provided part of the statement, in essence lying by stripping the statement of context and completeness. George Bush trumped them by declassifying a more complete text (although not all of it, as that would have revealed the undercover sources).
The whole statement they refer to reads: 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.
So basically it says engaging jihadists makes them madder, but defeating them will reduce the threat.
As White House Spokesman Tony Snow pointed out yesterday, the same could have been said about WWII -- by entering the conflict, the U.S. substantially widened the war but also hastened its favorable conclusion.
The report also says, among other things:
-- The spread of democracy in Muslim nations will reduce the threat of terrorism;
-- The loss of key leaders al-Zarqawi, al-Zawahiri, and (dare to dream) Usama Bin Laden, will fracture the terrorist movement
-- The strict Sharia law caliphate espoused by Bin Laden and his terrorists is largely unpopular among the majority of Muslims.
So, essentially, the Bush policy of engaging the terrorists and the states that sponsor them and promoting democracy in the Middle East is the right course. And bailing out of Iraq would be a disaster.
Hmm, I wonder why the leakers didn't leak those parts...
Interesting what happens when you read the whole text and don't just pick out the parts you like.
The statement clearly outlines ongoing risks associated with the war on terror, but does not categorically conclude the all is lost and the president is wrong.
But don't take my word for it -- read it for yourself.