Wednesday, September 27, 2006

National Intelligence Estimate fallout: Now what do we do about Iraq?

By Diane Silver

As Oliver Hardy used to say to Stan Laurel: Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into. The sad thing is that both the United States and the world would be incredibly lucky if the situation in Iraq were just a millionth as light hearted as one of Laurel and Hardy's old movies.

Unfortunately, the war the Bush Administration drove us into is not only killing the brave soldiers we sent to Iraq and killing Iraqis, but it's doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do: Stop terrorism.

Looking at the National Intelligence Estimate released late yesterday by the White House, it's obvious there isn't much to laugh about. Looking at the coverage and comment on the report, though, there is one bit of hope: It's obvious that finally, FINALLY people are understanding the horrible truth.

Here's a smattering of views and coverage of the report.

Juan Cole: "Bush should be ashamed."

The Washington Post: "The overall estimate is bleak, with minor notes of optimism."

Several active and retired intelligence officials stressed that the judgments were nothing new and followed a series of similar assessments made since early 2003 about the impact of the Iraq war on global terrorism.
The New York Times news story: "The harder we work, the behinder we get"

The New York Times editorial: "Maddening circular logic that passes for White House rationale"

AMERICAblog also has a good roundup of links on the report.

The intelligence estimate has led to much talk, but the question now that has to be asked and finally answered is: What do we do? How do we truly stop terrorism? Do we really think we can just kill all the terrorists and not create new terrorists? What do we do about their surviving family, friends and neighbors? How do we defend ourselves, and yet, not make the situation worse?

I'm with the Wichita Eagle on this one: It's time to have a REAL debate about the war on terror. Let's talk about the nuances of it. Let's search for REAL answers and let's enter the world of the reality-based community. Neither the United States nor the rest of the world can afford anymore fantasy-based military adventures.

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