The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Iraq and 9/11

September 23, 2006

Yes, the war in Iraq is tied to the problem of transnational terrorism that America experienced on 9/11.

The Iraq war has increased the threat of transnational terror — and this is the “consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services” in the US. From the NY Times, to be published September 24:

A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document….

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

This conclusion is consistent with an early 2005 National Intelligence Council study finding that Iraq had emerged as the top training ground for new jihadists.

Yes, Saddam is gone and brave Iraqis voted to select their new leaders.

Yadda yadda yadda.

Is the Bush administration serious about American national security — or not?

It pulled assets out of Afghanistan and let Osama bin Laden escape at Tora Bora — in preparation for a dumb WMD snipe hunt in Iraq.

It also should have known that Saddam and OBL were enemies, failed to plan for the post-war in Iraq, and completely botched decision-after-decision once they declared “mission impossible.”

Now, of course, the administration wants Americans to elect a Congress that won’t investigate this comedy of errors — and might look favorably on a new Iran adventure.

Note: This is the weekend short version of my outraged rant.

…oh, and I accidentally called this “Iran and 9/11” for a few hours.

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.