Search This Blog

Friday, May 28, 2004

IISS update

Back in September 2002, a report from the International Institute from Strategic Studies (IISS) was often referenced in the debate about Iraq's potential WMD. While the report was actually fairly skeptical of Iraq's WMD absent significant technical assistance, many major media outlets highlighted some of the scariest parts, which helped the Bush administration make its case for war.

The most dramatic headline from The Guardian: "Iraq could build nuclear weapon within months."

Of course, the IISS caveat was substantial -- Iraq either had to steal or buy fissile material, otherwise it would take the regime years to make it. Again, the "mushroom cloud" as "smoking gun" was a total distortion of the evidence.

Now, IISS returns with its annual Strategic Survey that suggests the "coalition of the willing" fighting the global "war on terror" has perhaps not succeeded very well. Indeed, the prosecution of the war has perhaps exacerbated the problem.

The document isn't on line, but the organization conveniently has a summary of news stories available on their website.

This time, bloggers like Stuart Hughes are all over these findings:
* Al-Qaeda has fully reconstituted and set its sights firmly on the US and its closest western allies in Europe.

* Al-Qaeda must be expected to keep trying to develop more promising plans for terrorist operations in North America and Europe, potentially involving weapons of mass destruction.

* There appears to be little chance in the immediate future that the security vacuum that has dominated Iraq since liberation can be filled.

* The war against terror and the Iraq conflict has led to diplomatic underinvestment in the Middle East peace process.
IISS concludes that the occupation of Iraq has meant a "potent global recruitment pretext" for al Qaeda.

Moreover, IISS estimates that al Qaeda has 18,000 global members and that about 1000 foreign fighters are in Iraq.

The administration certainly isn't framing the story in this way. Instead, Attorney General Ashcroft is implying that the terrorists are trying to elect John Kerry.

Oh, here's another right-wing distraction, in regard to the Gore speech this week: MoveOn is like the Klan (Hannity). Yes, that MoveOn. And yes, that Klan.


Like TalkLeft, I think it's patriotic to point out the hazards of current policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment