Friday, September 29, 2006


Intelligence and Strategerty

Intelligence on Bush's side, apparently....

Reading over the original document I am wondering whether Costello (the author) is making his argument a little too strong.

He says the NIE document "stresses" that the spread of democracy "will" work against the terrorists. I don't see that anywhere. What I see is the following:

"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."

That's a whole lot of if-maybe-probably language Costello decided to leave out. I wonder why?

Costello also seems quick to wave his hands at parts of the document that disagree with his conlcusions in very certain terms. "Iraq is fueling jihdist sentiment? Well I don't know about that."

Costello is following a very familiar spinning strategy. High light the things you agree with, ignore the parts you don't. In fact, it's the exact same thing Bush oppontents are doing.

The fact is that this is a document ment to inform policy. The political certainty Costello craves wont be found between these pages.

What the document essentially says is that the jihadist movement is spreading (partially fueld by the Iraq War), pulling-out of Iraq will make it worse, and maybe democracy will help mitigate the problem in the long run. That doesn't sound very supportive of Bush to me, but it doesn't help liberal opponents much either.
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