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Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate; Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States

September 27, 2006 Leave a comment

Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate
Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States
dated April 2006

[This is only what the Bush Administration wanted to declassify. Notice that does not include what was leaked to the New York Times. Still, this shows that our policies and actions are creating more “jihadists” and their geographical base is expanding. Also, opposition to our policies is giving rise to other leftists, nationalists, etc.]

Key Judgments

United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement—which includes al-Qa’ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells—is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.

· Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.
· If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.
· 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-Qa’ida, could erode support for the jihadists.

We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti- American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.

· We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.
· The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.

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.

· The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for 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.

We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.

· Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq jihad;. (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims all of which jihadists exploit.

Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement. They include dependence on the continuation of Muslim-related conflicts, the limited appeal of the jihadists. radical ideology, the emergence of respected voices of moderation, and criticism of the violent tactics employed against mostly Muslim citizens.

· The jihadists. greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution an ultra-conservative interpretation of shari.a-based governance spanning the Muslim world is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists. Propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.
· Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.
· Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders.

If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit.

Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.

· The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements. We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qa’ida.
· Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.
· The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qa.ida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.

Other affiliated Sunni extremist organizations, such as Jemaah Islamiya, Ansar al-Sunnah, and several North African groups, unless countered, are likely to expand their reach and become more capable of multiple and/or mass-casualty attacks outside their traditional areas of operation.

· We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al- Qa.ida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime targets and regional or global ones.

We judge that most jihadist groups.both well-known and newly formed will use improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.

· CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups. While Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, remain the most active state sponsors of terrorism, many other states will be unable to prevent territory or resources from being exploited by terrorists. Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.
· We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.

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Iraq Update: Bush Is "Considering Alternatives Other Than Democracy"! There Goes The Notion Of Sovereignty; Did You Really Ever Believe Iraq Had It?

September 5, 2006 Leave a comment

In the previous post, I put emphasis on a many different parts of the article.

That is because there is some important information there.

They are nuggets of truth that need to be emphasized on.

First, there was the fact that the number of attacks has risen steadily.

Second, was the admission that 90% of the attacks are against the US and so-called Iraqi security forces (70% against the US and 20% against the Shiite-militias in Army clothes).

Third, the comment that “the insurgency has gotten worse by almost all measures” seemed odd considering that in the same paragraph we are informed that “the insurgency has more public support.” If we are self-interested narcissists then maybe that is a sign that things are “worse,” but if we are not then we should recognize that support for domestic resistance is not what warrants that adjective. Our occupation does.

Then I noticed the typical “The Emperor does too have clothes on”:

Senior Bush administration officials reject the idea that Iraq is on the verge of civil war, and state with unwavering confidence that the broad American strategy in Iraq remains on course. [emphasis added]

But, when we were told that “Sunni Arab militants have prompted the rise of Shiite militias” I couldn’t take it anymore.

Those militias were in existence long before this war and occupation and were hiding out in Iran before the first Gulf War in 1991.

The US raids on Sunni areas with these Shiite and Kurdish militias-in-Army-uniforms has played a direct role in escalating sectarian tensions. That much is apparent, especially when recognizing that “many Sunnis say they believe that the new Shiite-dominated government has not made sufficient efforts to create a genuine unity government. As a result, Sunni attitudes appear to have hardened.”

Then we come to the end of the article where Iraqi sovereignty is put to the final test:

Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy.

That’s right. We, the “guest” (Gen. Caldwell) in Iraq, are “considering alternatives other than democracy.”

This reminds me of what Norman Solomon wrote recently about Bush’s comments about troop levels in Iraq, that it is up to the military commanders to reduce the levels as they see fit:

Bush likes to tell reporters that U.S. troop levels in Iraq hinge on the assessments from top military commanders. This explanation is so familiar that it’s hardly newsworthy. But journalists — and the public — should take a hard look at that rhetorical scam.

Civilian control of the military means that the president is accountable to citizens, not generals. But — despite the growing opposition to the Iraq war, as reflected in national opinion polls — the president fervently declares his commitment to the U.S. war effort. Rather than directly proclaim that he will ignore public opinion, Bush prefers to shift the discussion from domestic political accountability to ostensible military necessity.

That’s where the it’s-up-to-the-generals gambit comes in. As soon as the question is re-framed around what multi-star generals say, a closed loop turns into a tightening noose. And a fraud. After all, until the moment of retirement, the generals are in a chain of command — with the president, as commander in chief, at the top.

The president’s claim that key deployment decisions rest in the hands of military chiefs is not only a dodge. It’s also manipulative — shoving public discourse toward the mindset of assessing military tactics instead of ethical choices. And the claim dangerously encourages the idea that military leaders should have a major say in U.S. foreign-policy decisions.

By using the logic of “considering alternatives other than democracy” – which implies that they failed, not us – we are laying the groundwork to thwart responsibility.

I have written about al-Maliki’s reconciliation offer and who gutted it. These Shiite politicians only gutted it because they feel they have the political clout to do so, that clout being the backing of the US military. Our government did absolutely nothing to endorse the plan and it is this failure to reconcile the sectarian differences; the difference between terrorism and resistance; offer an olive branch to the resistance; and at the very least, setting a timetable to end the occupation that is making “democracy” impossible.

Please try to remember that “democracy” is the political concept of the general public having the political power to guide and manage their affairs. When a foreign country “considers” what kind of government another so-called “sovereign” country will have then this should be a clear sign that we were never sincere about our rhetoric.

What this admission amounts to is that we are unable to force “democracy” on to them under our terms, so we are now “considering alternatives other than democracy.” Can anyone say: “military dictatorship”?

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No Shit Sherlocks: The War of Terror IS Breeding Terror

September 5, 2006 Leave a comment

Since the beginning of this round of “War on Terror” that was launched in 2001 I have called this war what it is:

the WAR OF TERRORISM

When we use a tactic to fight the same tactic there is not much else you can call it. The propaganda war that is skewing this fact only shows that either Walter Lippmann* was right or we are all incredibly stupid. I am leaning towards the first, but the latter is possible.

There is lots of valuable information in the following articles. Most of them stick clearly with the fundamental fact that US policies (aka our terrorism) are provoking their “terrorism”, and not reducing or addressing it.

Take your time to read the articles, but if you don’t have the time then at least ponder the meanings of what these people have to say…

Howard Zinn:

If reacting to terrorist attacks by war is inevitably immoral, then we must look for ways other than war to end terrorism, including the terrorism of war.

Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay:

In relying overwhelmingly on bombs and bullets, they say, the United States has alienated much of the Muslim world, driving away even moderates who might be open to Western ideas. The West has largely failed to offer a positive vision or deal with the root causes of Islamic extremism.

Andrew Cockburn:

The real reason of the increasing violence in the Middle East is the return to imperial control and foreign occupation half a century after the European colonial empires were broken up. This is the fuel for Islamic militancy. This is why fanatical but isolated Islamic groups can suddenly win broader support. Governments allied to the US and Britain have no legitimacy. The attempts by America and Britain to crush Islamic militancy across the Middle East are making sure it will become stronger.

Former Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami:

As America claims to be fighting terrorism, it implements policies that cause the intensification of terrorism and institutionalized violence.

War is Not a Solution for Terrorism
By Howard Zinn

The repeated excuse, given by both Pentagon spokespersons and Israeli officials, for dropping bombs where ordinary people live is that terrorists hide among civilians. Therefore the killing of innocent people (in Iraq, in Lebanon) is called accidental, whereas the deaths caused by terrorists (on 9/11, by Hezbollah rockets) are deliberate.

This is a false distinction, quickly refuted with a bit of thought. If a bomb is deliberately dropped on a house or a vehicle on the grounds that a “suspected terrorist” is inside (note the frequent use of the word suspected as evidence of the uncertainty surrounding targets), the resulting deaths of women and children may not be intentional. But neither are they accidental. The proper description is “inevitable.”

So if an action will inevitably kill innocent people, it is as immoral as a deliberate attack on civilians. And when you consider that the number of innocent people dying inevitably in “accidental” events has been far, far greater than all the deaths deliberately caused by terrorists, one must reject war as a solution for terrorism.

For instance, more than a million civilians in Vietnam were killed by US bombs, presumably by “accident.” Add up all the terrorist attacks throughout the world in the 20th century and they do not equal that awful toll.

If reacting to terrorist attacks by war is inevitably immoral, then we must look for ways other than war to end terrorism, including the terrorism of war. And if military retaliation for terrorism is not only immoral but futile, then political leaders, however cold-blooded their calculations, may have to reconsider their policies.

U.S. Winning Battles Against Terror, But May Be Losing the War

Indeed, a growing number of analysts, many of them former top government counterterrorism officials, argue that the very notion of a “war” on terrorism is the wrong strategy.

In relying overwhelmingly on bombs and bullets, they say, the United States has alienated much of the Muslim world, driving away even moderates who might be open to Western ideas. The West has largely failed to offer a positive vision or deal with the root causes of Islamic extremism.

The War on Terror, Five Years on: An Era of Constant Warfare

Far from ending terrorism, George Bush’s tactics of using overwhelming military might to fight extremism appear to have rebounded, spawning an epidemic of global terrorism that has claimed an estimated 72,265 lives since 2001, most of them Iraqi civilians.

Pentagon Issues Grim Iraq Report
‘Conditions that could lead to civil war exist,’ military analysts tell Congress. Deaths and injuries now exceed 3,000 a month.


The violence in Iraq cannot be attributed to a unified, organized insurgency, the report noted. Instead, violence is the result of a complex interplay between international terrorists, local insurgents, sectarian death squads, organized militias and criminal groups.

Another Fatal Day in the ‘War on Terror’
The ‘war on terror’ has fuelled resentment of the West and brought new levels of death and destruction


The real reason of the increasing violence in the Middle East is the return to imperial control and foreign occupation half a century after the European colonial empires were broken up. This is the fuel for Islamic militancy. This is why fanatical but isolated Islamic groups can suddenly win broader support. Governments allied to the US and Britain have no legitimacy. The attempts by America and Britain to crush Islamic militancy across the Middle East are making sure it will become stronger.

US Losing Control Fast

The U.S. military has lost control over the volatile al-Anbar province, Iraqi police and residents say.

The area to the west of Baghdad includes Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns that have seen the worst of military occupation, and the strongest resistance.

Despite massive military operations which destroyed most of Fallujah and much of cities like Haditha and al-Qa’im in Ramadi, real control of the city now seems to be in the hands of local resistance.

In losing control of this province, the U.S. would have lost control over much of Iraq.

“We are talking about nearly a third of the area of Iraq,” Ahmed Salman, a historian from Fallujah told IPS. “Al-Anbar borders Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and the resistance there will never stop as long as there are American soldiers on the ground.”

Salman said the U.S. military is working against itself. “Their actions ruin their goal because they use these huge, violent military operations which kill so many civilians, and make it impossible to calm down the people of al-Anbar.”

The resistance seems in control of the province now. “No government official can do anything without contacting the resistance first,” government official in Ramadi Abu Ghalib told IPS.

“Even the governor used to take their approval for everything. When he stopped doing so, they issued a death sentence against him, and now he cannot move without American protection.”

Khatami: U.S. Policies Trigger Terrorism

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said Saturday that U.S. foreign policy triggers terrorism and violence in the world, but American Muslims can play a key role in promoting peace and security.

In his first public appearances during a nearly two-week visit to the United States, Khatami spoke twice in the Chicago area. He is the most senior Iranian official to visit the United States since Islamic fundamentalists seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held Americans hostage for 444 days.

“As America claims to be fighting terrorism, it implements policies that cause the intensification of terrorism and institutionalized violence,” Khatami said at the Islamic Society of North America’s 43rd annual convention.

—–

*

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough.

The creation of consent is not a new art. It is a very old one which was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy. But it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technic, because it is now based on analysis rather than on rule of thumb. And so, as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power.

Within the life of the generation now in control of affairs, persuasion has become a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government. (Walter Lippman in his book Public Opinion. Chapter 15)

What this maggot shit is saying is that since our government is no longer based on the “rule of thumb” there has been a new methond implemented and “it has, in fact, improved enormously in technic, because it is now based on analysis… as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication.”

He sums it up with:

Within the life of the generation now in control of affairs, persuasion has become a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government.

He should know. He was a dominant member in the CREEL committe that was established to “persuade” the American public to go into World War One.

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