Context is Everything
While the Post, and others have great headlines about how the war in Iraq is fueling terrorism, the NIE judgments finish the story.
For instance, we've all stuff like this since Sunday:
The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, in fact that's a headline Yahoo, the AP and others have used.
Except that if you read the rest of the paragraph (Thanks Charlie):
The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters forThat tosses a completely different light on the headline doesn't it. In fact, that paragraph basically kills the idea of cutting and running as the solution. Finishing the fight seems to be the answer the NIE came up with.
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.
"..The Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives";
This sentence has been the cry of the left since the leak came out in the NY Times (surprise) on Sunday.
Except, once again, an entire paragraph instead of a sentence out of context brings more of the true assessment to light:
Again, pointing out that if the Jihadists win in Iraq, they will be emboldened, not that leaving them alone there is going to make the resentment go away.
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.
Another interesting line from the NIE judgments:
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-Qaida,could erode support for the jihadists
Isn't this what George Bush has been pushing for the last 5 years? Stable, representative governments in the Muslim world? Notice no one on the left is screaming about that paragraph, or even mentioning it.
A few folks have also advocated releasing the entire NIE assessment. The Opinion Journal editors think it would be great for two reasons. One, it would put whole leaks into light, instead of the selective, out of context sentences we've been reading. The other is that we'd get to see just how worthless the entire document is. That's what happens when you have 16 organizations try and come up with aconsensuss document.