Category Archives: 9/11

Paul Krugman and the Flag Burners

There’s been a good amount of reaction to the blog post put up by Paul Krugman at the NY Times today. There’s been less reaction to the story that’s linked below Krugman’s on memorandum as I write:

A group of Muslim protesters set fire to an American flag outside the US embassy in London during a minute’s silence to mark the moment that the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Center 10 years ago.

You expect some Muslims fanatics to burn a US flag somewhere on any given day. You expect some irrational, angry leftist like Paul Krugman to post some irrational, angry bile on a day like today. So we don’t get particularly shocked or outraged by either event.

We tend to agree with William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:

That’s how they feel, so in a sense I’m glad Krugman gave voice to it on this day. They can’t stand the fact that the attacks on 9/11 proved that their world view was wrong, and every mention of 9/11 is like a thorn in their political sides.

Clarity about how leftists like Krugman think and what they believe about America is important, especially important as we approach an election year. We should encourage them to be as open and honest about their real views as possible.

Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air isn’t outraged either:

It’s nothing Krugman wouldn’t say (and probably does say) the other 364 days out of the year, and Krugman says it in pretty much the same vacuous manner of the everyday sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome. After reading this, you seriously have to remind yourself that the New York Times pays Krugman to write it; this wouldn’t even pass muster for a Letter to the Editor at most newspapers. It’s so trite, sad, and cliched that it’s hardly worth the effort to rebut. He’s mailing this in from 2003. It’s as if Krugman hasn’t bothered to think about 9/11 in the past ten years at all, which says a lot more about Krugman than it does about 9/11.


They were for waterboarding before they were against it

The Washington Post reports today, leading Democrats were briefed back in September 2002 about the CIA’s interrogation program, including waterboarding, and raised no objections then.

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism effort. …

This is just another in a long line of examples of the Democrats taking an important issue of national security and cynically exploiting it purely for partisan political advantage.

The Democrats keep complaining about America’s reputation in the world. Maybe that reputation would be better if they’d quit undermining it with so much slanderous partisan rhetoric.

Jules Crittenden responds with some good and very appropriate mockery of the Democrats’ poll-driven approach to issues of national security:

Not fair! The Dems have a political operation to run, and if they are going to govern by poll, it really isn’t sporting for people to start poking around in what they did or didn’t do, think and say when the polls were blowing in a different direction! Next thing you know, someone’s going to say the Clinton co-presidency thought Saddam had a nuclear program and backed regime change.

More from Captain’s Quarters:

That doesn’t settle the question as to whether waterboarding constitutes torture, but it certainly calls into question the notion that politics has nothing to do with the debate. … Only well after the practice had been abandoned did Congress raise objections to its use, and then never acknowledging their own acquiescence to it earlier. That lack of honesty allowed them to paint themselves as shocked, shocked! that waterboarding had been used as an interrogation technique.

In related matters, via Instapundit here is an excellent video documenting the Democrats’ irresponsible duplicity on the lead-up to and justification for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Obama: Forget al Qaeda in Iraq, invade Pakistan!

We noted a few weeks ago how incoherent Barack Obama’s last big foreign policy pronouncement was, and now he’s decided to make another, less coherent, foreign policy pronouncement. His goal seemed to be to sound like a tough guy to show he’d be strong on national security as president, but he didn’t seem to give much thought to the consequences of his ideas.

Via Yahoo News:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that he would possibly send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists, an attempt to show strength when his chief rival has described his foreign policy skills as naive.

The Illinois senator warned Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he must do more to shut down terrorist operations in his country and evict foreign fighters under an Obama presidency, or Pakistan will risk a U.S. troop invasion and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid.


Obama said that as commander in chief he would remove troops from Iraq and putting [sic] them “on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

But wait – to paraphrase what the Democrats have kept telling us about Iraq: Pakistan did not attack us on 9/11. If we can only fight “the real war on terror…in Afghanistan” as the Democrats keep saying, then there’s no basis for going into Pakistan.

But many of the al Qaeda terrorists that we’re fighting in Afghanistan have fled to Pakistan, so it’s the same people, you might object.

But the same can be said of Iraq – Zarqawi, for just one example, was in Afghanistan before he fled to Iraq. It’s just incoherent to talk about abandoning the fight against the al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq to go after those in Pakistan (which we know has nukes, incidentally. Obama doesn’t seem to have taken all of the consequences of his “plan” into account.).

Just imagine if President Bush had given a speech yesterday indicating he was thinking about invading Pakistan. Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth that would come from the Democrats in that case. Here we go again with the out-of-control, war-mongering cowboy routine… And unlike President Bush, Barack Obama never served in the military.

Somebody was right when she referred to Obama as “irresponsible and naive”.

Democrats simply ignoring facts and intelligence

It just doesn’t matter what the intelligence says, or what the facts on the ground in Iraq are, the Democrats will continue regurgitating the same talking points —

From the declassified summary of the new NIE:

“The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States.”

From Democrat Congressman Ike Skelton:

“We must responsibly redeploy our troops out of Iraq, handing responsibility for security over to the Iraqis and leaving only those forces required for limited missions,” said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “This will allow us to concentrate our efforts on Afghanistan and the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.”


They aren’t interested in debate, which makes last night’s dog and pony show in the Senate all the more absurd. There are some positive initial signs in Iraq as a result of the “surge”; it’s almost as if the Democrats are afraid it might work, they seem so intent on undermining the new strategy. If General Petraeus comes back in September with a report that indicates progress and greater hope for victory, the Democrats’ electoral strategy for 2008 collapses. That’s what the current “debate” is all about. They are invested now in defeat.

Senator John McCain eloquently elaborated on the point today on the Senate floor:

During our extended debate over the last few days, I have heard senators repeat certain arguments over and over again. My friends on the other side of this argument accuse those of us who oppose this amendment with advocating “staying the course,” which is intended to suggest that we are intent on continuing the mistakes that have put the outcome of the war in doubt. Yet we all know that with the arrival of General Petraeus we have changed course. We are now fighting a counterinsurgency strategy, which some of us have argued we should have been following from the beginning, and which makes the most effective use of our strength and does not strengthen the tactics of our enemy. This new battle plan is succeeding where our previous tactics have failed, although the outcome remains far from certain. The tactics proposed in the amendment offered by my friends, Senators Levin and Reed – a smaller force, confined to bases distant from the battlefield, from where they will launch occasional search and destroy missions and train the Iraqi military – are precisely the tactics employed for most of this war and which have, by anyone’s account, failed miserably. Now, that, Mr. President, is staying the course, and it is a course that inevitably leads to our defeat and the catastrophic consequences for Iraq, the region and the security of the United States our defeat would entail.

Senator Barack Obama offers flowery, yet vacuous and incoherent, foreign policy statement

Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama recently offered a lengthy treatise on war, terrorism, and foreign policy in Foreign Affairs (via Real Clear Politics). Herewith, a few observations about the points Mr. Obama made in the article:

“The Bush administration responded to the unconventional attacks of 9/11 with conventional thinking of the past, largely viewing problems as state-based and principally amenable to military solutions. It was this tragically misguided view that led us into a war in Iraq that never should have been authorized and never should have been waged.”

Obama fails to mention that our first response to 9/11 was a military one, directed at a state-based target, the Taliban government of Afghanistan. He offers no explanation for this line, so it’s difficult to assess what he means by it. This is a recurring problem in the article – there are lots of statements that seem to be used merely because he thinks they sound important or thoughtful. One could certainly argue that Iraq was the wrong military target because they weren’t directly involved in the 9/11 attack, but that isn’t what he’s arguing here.

“In the wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, the world has lost trust in our purposes and our principles.”

This is just a cheap cliché. Abu Ghraib was an aberration, not policy.

“…the security and well-being of each and every American depend on the security and well-being of those who live beyond our borders.”

Except apparently the well-being of innocent Iraqis, who we should abandon to al Qaeda and other jihadists.

“…Iraq was a diversion from the fight against the terrorists who struck us on 9/11…”

Here Obama, like most of his fellow Democrats, exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of the global nature of the Islamic terrorist threat. The war isn’t only about 9/11. It is more about preventing the next attack than responding to the last one. The statement also ignores the simple fact that al Qaeda is now fighting in Iraq.

“…we cannot impose a military solution on a civil war between Sunni and Shiite factions.”

Again, no mention of Afghanistan, a battle in the war on terror that Mr. Obama claims to support. We aren’t trying “to impose a military solution” in Iraq (or Afghanistan), we’re trying to provide a level of security that will allow the political process to go forward. We are defending democratic governments in both places from those who want to destroy them.

“The best chance we have to leave Iraq a better place is to pressure these warring parties to find a lasting political solution. And the only effective way to apply this pressure…”

…is to leave, regardless of the consequences. One could argue that it’s not worth our effort to continue fighting in Iraq. One cannot argue that leaving will increase pressure on the insurgency, that’s nonsense.

“We should leave behind only a minimal over-the-horizon military force in the region to protect American personnel and facilities, continue training Iraqi security forces, and root out al Qaeda.”

Leave them behind where, if not in Iraq? Which Middle Eastern nation will host this “over-the-horizon” force that will be making incursions into Iraq to strike al Qaeda? And is a “minimal” effort against al Qaeda really the strategy we need at this point? Isn’t one of the complaints Democrats have made that we didn’t leave enough troops in Afghanistan to get the job done?

[Empty boilerplate about “road to lasting peace in Palestine” here]

Not even worth the effort…

“Tough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power — political, economic, and military …”

How “tough-minded” diplomacy differs from regular diplomacy, he doesn’t say. This will be an empty threat if we bug out of Iraq, as Obama advocates.

“Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran’s nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing.”

i.e. we should have relied on the UN and the “international community” in Iraq, but we should “go it alone” regarding Iran. This stance is incoherent.

“Our diplomacy should aim to raise the cost for Iran of continuing its nuclear program by applying tougher sanctions and increasing pressure from its key trading partners. The world must work to stop Iran’s uranium-enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

This is the current, failing policy. “The world” has rejected tougher sanctions on Iran. Unlike Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats, Iran’s leaders don’t care about the opinions and empty pronouncements from the UN.

“We must use this moment both to rebuild our military and to prepare it for the missions of the future. We must retain the capacity to swiftly defeat any conventional threat to our country and our vital interests. But we must also become better prepared to put boots on the ground in order to take on foes that fight asymmetrical and highly adaptive campaigns on a global scale.”

Except in Iraq, which has nothing to do with the war on terror, except to “root out al Qaeda” which is in Iraq. Again, this is incoherent. He wants to talk tough in the abstract while advocating defeat in the current particular case.

“We must also consider using military force in circumstances beyond self-defense in order to provide for the common security that underpins global stability — to support friends, participate in stability and reconstruction operations, or confront mass atrocities.”

Except in Iraq, where we are currently doing all of those things. Senator Obama should be compelled to explain why this standard doesn’t apply to Iraq. Will a fawning press ask a real question?

“But when we do use force in situations other than self-defense, we should make every effort to garner the clear support and participation of others — as President George H. W. Bush did when we led the effort to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991.”

And as President George W. Bush did when we led the effort to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq in 2003.

“…we must develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Iran and North Korea could trigger regional arms races, creating dangerous nuclear flashpoints in the Middle East and East Asia. In confronting these threats, I will not take the military option off the table. But our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy — the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.”

This is clearly and obviously false. Obama is just spouting baseless talking points here. The Bush administration has pursued diplomacy and international action for many years on many fronts, regarding both North Korea and Iran. Mr. Obama knows this. He is simply not telling the truth in that statement.

“From Bali to London, Baghdad to Algiers, Mumbai to Mombasa to Madrid, terrorists who reject modernity, oppose America, and distort Islam have killed and mutilated tens of thousands of people just this decade. Because this enemy operates globally, it must be confronted globally.”

Except in Baghdad, which we should simply walk away from and abandon to al Qaeda. Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to be following his own arguments. He could have at least left Baghdad out of the above paragraph, to provide a little cover for the otherwise glaring inconsistencies.

“We should pursue an integrated strategy…”

…that hopefully would involve more than spouting strings of important-sounding buzzwords.

“Although vigorous action in South Asia and Central Asia should be a starting point, our efforts must be broader. There must be no safe haven for those who plot to kill Americans.”

Except in Iraq …. …. …. …. …. ….

“To defeat al Qaeda, I will build a twenty-first-century military and twenty-first-century partnerships as strong as the anticommunist alliance that won the Cold War to stay on the offense everywhere from Djibouti to Kandahar.”

Everywhere but Iraq, which we should abandon. And another string of buzzwords – Democrats seem to believe they can sell any idea just by sticking the phrase “twenty-first century” in front of it. There’s a heavy dose of historical revisionism here as well – Obama forgets the massive anti-American “peace” protests in Europe in the 1980s. He should also be reminded of the Democrats’ willingness to abandon Central America to communism in the 1980s. Democrats were hardly staunch anti-communists in the 1970s and 1980s. Somebody should buy the senator a copy of Mona Charen’s excellent book Useful Idiots.

[Several paragraphs of empty rhetoric, listing a bunch of countries and regions and promising more cooperation, alliances, partnerships…twenty-first century, blah, blah, blah…a buzzword extravaganza.]

[Global warming boilerplate here]

“As the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, America has the responsibility to lead … China will soon replace America as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.”

Good. Then maybe the blame-America-first crowd can leave us alone for a change (fat chance). We can teach Al Gore Chinese and send him over there.

“By 2050, global demand for low-carbon energy could create an annual market worth $500 billion. Meeting that demand would open new frontiers for American entrepreneurs and workers.”

Great. With such a massive financial incentive, there’s no need for a President Obama to use any tax dollars to create more.

“Our global engagement cannot be defined by what we are against; it must be guided by a clear sense of what we stand for. We have a significant stake in ensuring that those who live in fear and want today can live with dignity and opportunity tomorrow.”

Except Iraqis, who should be abandoned to fear and want. Talk is cheap, senator.

“Citizens everywhere should be able to choose their leaders in climates free of fear.”

Except in Iraq, where we should have left Saddam Hussein unmolested. If Obama had his way, Iraqis would still be living under the butcher Saddam Hussein, with no hope for democracy, as they have now.

“…the United States has a direct national security interest in dramatically reducing global poverty and joining with our allies in sharing more of our riches to help those most in need.”

Ah yes, the liberal answer to everything – throw more of other people’s money at the problem.

“As President Kennedy said in his 1961 inaugural address, ‘To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.’ I will show the world that America remains true to its founding values. We lead not only for ourselves but also for the common good.”

Kennedy committed US troops to fight communism in Vietnam. The Democrats later violated promises to provide continued support to the South after 1975, leading to mass killing in South Vietnam and the surrounding region. Which path does Obama have in mind? His views on Iraq suggest the latter.

“Ultimately, no foreign policy can succeed unless the American people understand it and feel they have a stake in its success …”

Ultimately, no policy can succeed if those in the opposition political party work tirelessly for its failure after themselves voting to implement it.

“It was not all that long ago that farmers in Venezuela and Indonesia welcomed American doctors to their villages and hung pictures of JFK on their living room walls, when millions, like my father, waited every day for a letter in the mail that would grant them the privilege to come to America to study, work, live, or just be free.”

What in the world is he talking about? This is pure fantasy, or pure dishonesty, take your pick. It is true today that millions hunger to come to America. Perhaps Mr. Obama is somehow unaware of the current immigration debate taking place in the U.S. Senate and the nation. This fatuous statement alone may disqualify the man from the presidency.

“This is our moment to renew the trust and faith of our people — and all people — in an America that battles immediate evils, promotes an ultimate good, and leads the world once more.”

Except in Iraq, which should be abandoned to immediate evils, if Senator Obama has his way.

Barack Obama: The Audacity of Hypocrisy

It really takes a lot of nerve, or confidence you won’t get called on your double-talk by a fawning press, to condemn someone for a statement, while simultaneously making essentially the same statement you’re condemning. But that’s basically what Barack Obama did in response to a speech by Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday.

Giuliani essentially said he believes Republicans have better policies to keep Americans safe from another terrorist attack, and that Democrats support policies that would be less effective. This is exactly the kind of statement one would expect a candidate for office to make. In response, Obama said:

“Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low and I believe Americans are ready to reject those kind of politics,” Obama said in a statement. “America’s mayor should know that when it comes to 9-11 and fighting terrorists, America is united. We know we can win this war based on shared purpose, not the same divisive politics that question your patriotism if you dare to question failed policies that have made us less secure.”

First, the statement about “questioning your patriotism” is just a canard, a falsehood. Criticizing Democrats does not equate to questioning Democrats’ patriotism.

But leaving that aside, notice what Obama is saying there – the policies of Republicans are “failed policies that have made us less secure.” So it’s perfectly OK for Obama to say Republican policies will make us less safe, it’s totally outside the bounds of decent discourse for Giuliani to say the same thing – that Democrats’ policy preferences would make us “less secure”.

Does Obama believe this nonsense? Or is the outrage phony? We suspect he just says whatever he thinks will sound good to the audience.

Debating whose policies will better protect our national security isn’t out of bounds. It’s exactly what the campaign should be about.

Pentagon report confirms pre-war Iraq-terrorism ties

The Washington Post confirms – Iraq under Saddam Hussein had longstanding ties to terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, contrary to the baseless assertions of Democrats, who have for several years now repeated the slanderous fantasy that President Bush and his administration made up the threat posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein.

From the Post account:

The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community’s prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.

So the CIA and the Post acknowledge there were contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda, they’re just quibbling about the extent. They’re also using post-invasion intelligence to make arguments about pre-invasion events, which is disingenuous.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), who requested the report’s declassification, said in a written statement that the complete text demonstrates more fully why the inspector general concluded that a key Pentagon office — run by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith — had inappropriately written intelligence assessments before the March 2003 invasion alleging connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq that the U.S. intelligence consensus disputed.

Notice the assumption that the CIA is apparently always right, and so can never be disputed. An odd stance to take towards a government agency that has gotten so many things wrong so often. What happened to the left’s usual celebration of dissent?

…the report said, the CIA had concluded in June 2002 that there were few substantiated contacts between al-Qaeda operatives and Iraqi officials and had said that it lacked evidence of a long-term relationship like the ones Iraq had forged with other terrorist groups. [emphasis added]

So the CIA reports that Iraq had long-term relationships with terrorist groups, but according to the Democrats “Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism.” And they repeat this obvious falsehood while accusing the Vice President of lying. Absolutely shameless.

As we’ve noted repeatedly, the consensus view before the war, even going back throughout the eight years of the Clinton administration, was that Iraq was a threat, had WMD, and was a state sponsor of terrorism. But since things got tough in Iraq, the Democrats have cherry-picked the intelligence after the fact, focusing on the footnotes and caveats, to engage in the utter slander that “Bush lied us into war”. They have sought partisan advantage over U.S. national security at almost every turn.

The Case for Waterboarding

An article at Frontpage Magazine makes the case.

Many on the left, always fond of making moral equivalence “arguments”, wish to compare the limited coercive interrogation of terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to the brutal torture of political dissidents by totalitarian regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein or the old Soviet Union. (Here is a prime example) But this is foolishness. These are no more equivalent than the imprisonment of convicted criminals is equivalent to the imprisonment of political dissidents. Context is everything.

Does this mean we should go around cavalierly waterboarding every person we capture in Iraq or Afghanistan, at the slightest suspicion they might be allied with our enemies? No, of course not. But when we are dealing with a known terrorist (the prime example being Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) who we have strong reason to believe has information that will save lives, perhaps thousands of lives?

Pouring water on a terrorist’s face for a minute or two, versus thousands of innocent civilians dead – seems to us like the ethics are pretty straightforward in that type of circumstance.

If the pacifist, defeatist Left has a counter argument, they should stop the vapid moral preening and make it.

NY Times: Supporters of House passed detainee bill not “normal”

Here is an excerpt of the NY Timeshysterical editorial on the legislation passed by the House yesterday dealing with terrorist detainees:

Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws – while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.


Last week, the White House and three Republican senators announced a terrible deal on this legislation that gave Mr. Bush most of what he wanted, including a blanket waiver for crimes Americans may have committed in the service of his antiterrorism policies. Then Vice President Dick Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.

First, how does the Times editorial board know that any of the remaining detainees were “captured in error”? (Hundreds have been released already, after receiving hearings, a point the Times ignores.) They provide no basis for their assertions.

Second, note that “normal people” agree with the Times editors, and presumably “abnormal people” are those who agree with the president and a majority of the members of Congress. How open-minded.

Seemingly, according to the Times and their fellow Democrats, we must give foreign enemy combatants and terrorists the same rights as American citizens, or we’re barbarians and totalitarians – there is no middle ground at all. That seems to be the position of those on the left. Lay one finger on the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and it’s “torture.” Deny any legal protection granted to citizens of the U.S., and it’s “un-American”, an affront to the Constitution. (How dare they question our patriotism!)

Also notice it’s always those nasty Republicans who are engaging in politics (Imagine! politicians engaging in politics!); Democrats, including the Democrats who write editorials for the Times, never engage in politics. Right.

The Washington Post, also not a bastion of conservative thought, reports on the legislation here.

NY Times cherry-picks Iraq intel in NIE

So no surprise, the NY Times cherry-picked the intel they received via leak from the CIA to present the public with the most anti-war/anti-Bush slant they could manage.

The actual NIE, partially declassified today by the Bush administration, does not support the “Iraq made terrorism worse” spin from the Times and in fact can be read to discredit the Democrats’ preferred strategy of retreat and defeat in Iraq.

The key excerpts:

Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa’ida, could erode support for the jihadists.

This is the key to President Bush’s strategy of democratization in Iraq and the region. Will it work? That is up to the people of the region. We are giving them an opportunity for something better, not a guarantee.

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.

If we do what the Democrats want – cut and run – the jihadists will perceive it as a victory, inspiring them to continue the “struggle”.

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.

If, on the other hand, we do not do what the NY Times and the Democrats (somewhat redundant, we know) want, if we defeat the jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan, fewer will be inspired to continue their terrorism.

So contrary to the NY Times original spin on the story, the NIE seems to suggest that following the path preferred by the Democrats will lead to a greater threat from Islamist terrorism.

WaPo: Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight

In a related note, good old AP “reporter” Jennifer Loven engages in some more opinion journalism trying to pass for a news report.