mr. zilla goes to town

Friday, January 14, 2005

hear no evil

From the FT:
One counterinsurgency expert said Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, had a "brutally accurate" picture of the situation and the potential dangers.

But a member of an influential neoconservative policy group said that such warnings "stop well short of the president".

He said Mr Rumsfeld, criticised for the conduct of the war, had an interest in hiding the true picture from the president.

According to Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and head of the independent Middle East Policy Council, Mr Bush recently asked Mr Powell for his view on the progress of the war. "We're losing," Mr Powell was quoted as saying. Mr Freeman said Mr Bush then asked the secretary of state to leave.

I shouldn't make the obvious disparaging and despairing remarks about the US President seeming to choose life a bubble. Let's recognise his intellect and wisdom for sending Powell from the room (and the Cabinet) for needlessly pointing out such an irrelevance:

After the Afghan War, despite the fact that many al-Qaeda personnel were in hiding, the jihad no longer had a clear address. That made it hard to plug new people into the network even though the popularity of jihadi ideology was, if anything, larger than ever. Now, thanks to the fighting in Iraq, people who want to sign up once again know where to go to get involved and gain practical experience in assymetrical warfare against the United States. Most of the people involved in the insurgency are native-born Iraqis with little to no interest in any broader struggle, but some come from elsewhere, and some Iraqis may well get interested in the larger war with the United States.

Right now, they're fighting us in Iraq, but in the future they'll be waging their struggle in Europe, the United States, elsewhere in the Middle East, or wherever else they can go. Importantly, this is bound to happen whether or not we in some sense "win" in Iraq. Either the jihadis will be driven out of the country, in which case they'll be fighting somewhere else; or else we'll be driven out, in which case some of them will go somewhere else to fight.


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