The Declassified National Intelligence Estimate

(See here) an MSNBCmedia PDF file that shows the declassified portions of the National Intelligence Estimate dated April 2006.

There has been a great deal of flack flying between the Democrats and Republicans about this document. Both point the finger of righteousness at each other saying their path is the correct one to follow and the other side's path is foolish.

Let me sum up my own opinion on this document and upon the bullshit being spewed by our political leaders.

First, BOTH SIDES deserve almost equal blame for getting us involved in Iraq. With only a few exceptions (Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi being a notable exception) the vast majority of BOTH PARTIES voted to authorize George Dubyah Bush to use force in Iraq.

This NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) notes that:
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.

Hang on a second. Us taxpayers actually pay intelligence experts to come up with jewels of wisdom like this for our political leaders? Political leaders need jewels like this to point to so that they can discuss the obvious? I need to take up a new career if people can actually draw a paycheck for shit like this.

First let me scold the Democrats. They say "See, the War in Iraq is increasing the number of terrorists, causing us to lose ground in the War on Terror." First off, Democrats share the blame for us being involved in Iraq. Yes, we would probably be in better shape had we not invaded Iraq, however jihadists would have still used the invasion of Afghanistan to fuel their recruitment efforts if Saddam still reigned in Iraq. Osama and company would not have been reasonable and agreed that they deserved what happened if we had stuck to Afghanistan.

Now let me scold Republicans. They say "See, the War in Iraq is the front line in the War on Terror. We can't "cut and run". First off, I agree defeat in Iraq is not in our best national interests. However I wonder why our wise political leaders, and the authors of our National Intelligence Estimates, did not take into consideration the possibility of defeat prior to rushing into that conflict! Yes, the War in Iraq probably now is the focal point in the War on Terror. However this did not have to be. We could have limited our actions to Afghanistan.

So which side, Democrat or Republican, wins this debate? Well in my estimation it is a draw. Democrats want us to cut and run without victory while they share a large portion of the blame for getting us involved in the War in Iraq in the first place. Republicans? I want to support them in our efforts in Iraq, but I then wonder which other foolish action Dubyah is going to get us involved in next. Like it or not, while Democrats are guilty of supporting Dubyah's leadership in getting us involved in Iraq, the Dubyah Administration was most vocal in justifying the invasion. Republicans led, Democrats followed.

Sigh, and to think how things could have been. Oh, things would not have been grand had we not invaded Iraq, however we could have restricted military action to Afghanistan and things could have been a lot less dire. Let's be truthful. As bad as things now are in Afghanistan, they would now be worse absent the Iraq War. Jihadists would have focused their efforts on Afghanistan absent the distraction of Iraq. However by restricting action to Afghanistan we would have enjoyed certain advantages. We would have enjoyed complete NATO support and nearly complete favorable international opinion that our actions were justified. All these advantages were lost by shifting the front lines from Afghanistan to Iraq. In Iraq, we stand nearly alone.

Meanwhile, Congress is set to authorize another $70 billion to fund the War in Iraq, and even this amount will only last us until spring. The Pentagon considers ways to accelerate deployment schedules so as to maintain a 140,000 strong occupation force while opinion polls show the majority of Iraqis want us out within a year.

I'm worried about my nation. I'm beginning to think we have nothing but lunatics at the helm of our "ship of state" up there in Washington. Our President, George Dubyah Bush, is screaming "Stay the course" while the course heads us directly towards the rocks and shoals. Democrat leaders scream "All back full" while it is obvious we must continue to make forward progress.

One does not need to be a Prophet to look into the crystal ball and predict that things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.


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