Monday, September 25, 2006

Bull In The Pottery Barn

US Report Says Iraq Fuels Terror

Source: BBC News

The New York Times newspaper has published what it says are the findings of a classified US intelligence paper on the effects of the Iraq war.

The document reportedly blames the three-year-old conflict for increasing the threat of terrorism and helping fuel Islamic radicalism worldwide. [...]

According to the New York Times, which has spoken to officials who have either read it, or been involved in drafting it, the report says the invasion and occupation of Iraq has spawned a new generation of Islamic radicalism that has spread across the globe.

It also warns that Islamic militants who have fought in Iraq could foment radicalism and violence when they return to their home countries, much as returning Jihadis did after the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Al-Qaeda threat

It reportedly concludes that, while al-Qaeda may have been weakened since the 11 September 2001 attacks, the radical Islamic movement worldwide has strengthened with the formation of new groups and cells who are inspired by Osama Bin Laden, but not under his direct control. [...]

In a series of recent speeches, President George W Bush has been portraying the war in Iraq as the central front in the war on terrorism. This report implies while that may be true, that it is a front of America's own making.

New York Times:

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat


Report Stirs Debate on Terror Fight

Other articles:

The Globe and Mail:
The report says the long, bloody war in Iraq, coupled with reports of U.S. atrocities and allegations of torture and ill-treatment at Guantanamo Bay and other prisons, has fomented Islamic radicalism. [snip] The latest report on the trend in Islamic extremism was apparently completed in April. Richard Holbrooke, formerly Mr. Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations, said it confirms what many have said for a long time -- that Iraq wasn't originally where the terrorists were.

"The 9/11 terrorists didn't come from Iraq, but Iraq has become a breeding ground for terrorists. It's increased anti-Americanism around the world. It's contributed to other crises. It's strengthened Iran," he said.

Guardian Co UK:
"It's a very candid assessment," said one official who has seen the report. "It's stating the obvious." [snip] The report's tone contradicts recent optimistic assertions by the US administration. It also furthers the divisions between the military and politicians in their assessment of the impact of US policy in Iraq.

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