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.Michelle Malkin analyzes the significance of this document on her blog:
• 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.
Putting aside how the outdated portions still refers to Zarqawi in the present tense, the big thing that strikes me about the key judgements is that they reflect a dhimmi, historically ignorant view of jihad more suited for the moonbat Left than our premier intelligence agencies.Here's Andrew McCarthy's analysis from National Review Online:
Osama bin Laden claimed in 1998 that President Clinton’s policy was a “continuing aggression against the Iraqi people”; a “devastation” that continued the “horrific massacres” of the 1991 Gulf War. For the world’s leading jihadist, Clinton’s purported “eagerness to destroy Iraq” was the “best proof” of America’s intentions toward the Islamic world. None of it was true, of course, but that didn’t stop him from saying it.
Now, did the Clinton Iraq policy endanger the United States by providing bin Laden with a valuable tool for recruitment and incitement? I suppose if I were a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, I’d have to say it did. After all, adopting what passes for this line of reasoning, the 1998 fatwa was followed by the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing well over 200 people. The following year, plots against Los Angeles International Airport and the U.S.S. The Sullivans were thwarted by sheer luck. In October 2000, the U.S.S. Cole was attacked, resulting in the murders of 17 American sailors. And in the run-up to the 9/11 atrocities, Bush did not change Clinton’s Iraq policy; he continued it.
If we’re to be honest, however, it would be preposterous to claim that anything President Clinton did — in Iraq or anyplace else — “caused” jihadist terrorism. Just as it is inane to argue now that our current Iraq policy is the “cause.”
Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, jihadism is attractive to tens of millions of people in what is called the Muslim world. Out of a total population of about 1.3 billion, that may not be a very high percentage (although I daresay it is higher than we like to think). But it is the ideology that attracts recruits. Grievances are just rhetoric. If the bin Ladens did not have Iraq, or the Palestinians, or Lebanon, or Pope Benedict, or cartoons, or flushed Korans, or Dutch movies, or the Crusades, they’d figure out something else to beat the drums over. Or they’d make something up — there being lots of license to improvise when one purports to be executing Allah’s will.
It is bad enough when the Muslim charlatans opportunistically use American policies they don’t like for militant propaganda purposes. It is reprehensible when American politicians do it.