Not Saussure

September 27, 2006

US Intelligence Report on Iraq

Filed under: Chatham House, Iraq, Israel, usa, War on Terror — notsaussure @ 3:35 pm

The White House has now released the declassified sections of the intelligence report, leaked to the New York Times about how, in the words of one anonymous official “the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse”.

Tony Blair clearly wouldn’t agree; he protested in his farewell speech yesterday that ‘This terrorism isn’t our fault. We didn’t cause it.’ And, to be fair, he knows better than most about the problems you can run into if you rely overmuch on a dodgy dossier from the intelligence services.

The report, however, makes somewhat depressing reading. It reckons

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.

In other words, bad news for us generally if the terrorists win in Iraq, but it unfortunately looks as if that’s what’s going to happen despite our best efforts.

It continues, very much echoing the recent Chatham House Report on Al Qaeda, that

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.

All very true, no doubt, but , unless it was in, but remains classified (which would be understandable) — why on earth doesn’t it mention — other than possibly by alluding to it in the phrase ‘underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement’ — what is clearly, rightly or wrongly, the most obvious ‘entrenched grievance’ and cause of ‘pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims’ ?

As Chatham House put it,

While Muslim anger was galvanized around Iraq it hardly ever lost sight of the Palestinian cause which could always be conjured up by any radical movement, whether religious or secular, to rally support. If there is one area of general consensus among Muslim majorities over the West’s double standards and the justification for the resort to suicide bombings, it would be in the case of Palestine. While the US and UK governments continued to deny a linkage between regional crisis and terrorism, not only al-Qaeda but also Muslims who condemn al-Qaeda continued to stress the connection. Even Muslim governments acknowledge it exists, particularly with regard to Palestine, and more recently the EU has acknowledged an implicit link between the two.


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September 15, 2006

Mr Eugenides’ bargain: a bluff called?

Filed under: Amnesty, Blogroll, Israel, Lebanon, Respect Party — notsaussure @ 12:32 pm

Mr Eugenides has struck a bargain; the following from his blog should be self-explanatory:

Israel’s war crimes Following this post earlier (noting the complete lack of reaction on the left to Amnesty International’s report, published today, accusing Hezbollah of war crimes in the recent conflict with Israel), I asked Neil Williams the following on his RESPECT Party Supporters’ Blog :Any chance of a post condemning Hezbollah for war crimes, as alleged by Amnesty International this morning?

My hopes weren’t high. After all, this is the same Hezbollah to whom George Galloway sang this paean of praise a couple of weeks ago:

“I came here to extend my congratulations to the Lebanese people on a great and historic victory against this aggression. I want to congratulate the Lebanese resistance and their leading edge, Hizbollah, whose martyrs and her s have achieved this great victory. And in particular to their leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose name now rings in joy around the world.”

Neil’s response: OK, Mr Eugenides you print in full the Amnesty International report on the Israeli war crimes in Lebanon on your site and send me the WWW reference and I will post the Amnesty report in full on Hezbollah – cant be fairer can I?

No, I don’t suppose you can be. It will be nice to see the Respect blog carry in full a condemnation of the tactics of Hezbollah. I’ll link to it when it goes up.

Here, then, is the Amnesty report into Israel’s actions: in full, unedited and uneditorialised, and front and centre on my blog.

He then keeps his side of the bargain and goes ahead and prints it. Let’s see what happens next…

The Amnesty report on Israel is at http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE180072006; the report on Hezbollah is at http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE020252006

PS: Mr Eugenides posted a link on the Respect blog to show he’d fulfilled his side of the deal at at 11.15 on Thursday night; at the time of writing — Friday lunchtime — Respect don’t seem to have reciprocated. I don’t particularly agree with Mr E about Israel much of the time, but a deal’s a deal…

PPS: I misjudged them; they’ve kept their side of the deal and published Under fire: Hizbullah’s attacks on northern Israel – AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. on their website

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