In the bleak National Intelligence Estimate, the government's top analysts concluded Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for jihadists, who are growing in number and geographic reach. If the trend continues, the analysts found, the risks to the U.S. interests at home and abroad will grow. ...
[Press secretary Tony] Snow said the report confirms the importance of the war in Iraq as a bulwark against terrorists. "Iraq has become, for them, the battleground," he said. "If they lose, they lose their bragging rights. They lose their ability to recruit."
The document has given both political parties new ammunition leading up to November's midterm elections.
For Republicans, the report provides more evidence that Iraq is central to the war on terrorism and can't be abandoned without giving jihadists a crucial victory.
For Democrats, the report furthers their argument that the 2003 Iraq invasion has inflamed anti-U.S. sentiments in the Muslim world and left the U.S. less safe.
I think they're both missing the bigger threat: Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism and a primary source for the ideology of Islamic totalitarianism. Iran has been waging a war against us for decades, from the 1979 taking of American hostages to today's support the insurgency in Iraq (see below). We can't simply make Iraq a "bulwark against terrorists," as the White House put it. We need more than defensive fortifications. We need to offensively take the war to the source.
Also from CNN: Military official: Iranian millions funding insurgency.
A Shiite Muslim militia involved in the warfare between Sunni and Shiites in Iraq has received "millions of dollars" and an assortment of weaponry from Iran, a senior U.S. military official says. ...
The official said that high-grade military explosives and specialized timers are among the "boutique military equipment" moving from Iran into Iraq.
Some of the equipment is of the same type that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shiite militia, used against Israeli forces in Lebanon during the summer, the official said.
The origin of the weapons was easy to discern because of Iranian markings on it, he said. Because Iran maintains tight control over armaments, he said, shipment of the weapons into Iraq had to involve "elements associated with the Iranian government."
The official said Iran wants "control of surrogates" in Iraq, not an easy task because Iraqi Arab nationalist groups, not pro-Iranian groups, have more grass-roots support.
Iran has "only has a window of opportunity" before historic animosities between Arab Iraq and Persian Iran prevail, he said.
Posted by Forkum at September 28, 2006 06:47 PM