By Diane Silver
Wichita, Kan., has got to be one of the most conservative places in the country. Surrounded by ranches and farms and next door to McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita is rock-solid Republican. Its political and social life is dominated by the ultra-conservative churches of the Religious Right.
All of this means that George W. Bush, the Republican Party and, yes even Democrats, might want to pay close attention to today's editorial in The Wichita Eagle. The newspaper calls the conclusions of the newly disclosed National Intelligence Estimate a "bombshell" that can't be "ignored or easily dismissed." The Eagle writes:
To some extent, it's obvious. By declaring Iraq the "central front" in the war on terror, President Bush has found a convenient way to retroactively justify this disastrous conflict to Americans.
But clearly, as the report argues, the war has also provided a training ground for terrorists and a ready-made recruitment poster for jihadists around the globe, who point to U.S. occupation as proof that Western "crusaders" are intent on conquering the Middle East for their own ends.
The war is not just attracting bad guys -- it is creating them, possibly faster than we can rally resources to oppose them....
In light of this report, Americans must demand of the leaders of both parties a more specific, nuanced and honest debate about Islamic terrorism and how best to fight it.
Meanwhile, Bush just announced that he is releasing part of the Intelligence Estimate.