Archive for February 14th, 2007

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Murtha’s Probably Right

February 14, 2007

I was perusing the blogs after work today and noticed this video clip over at hot air: Video: Murtha rips Howard, says Iraqis will rout AQ “the minute we’re gone” . Allahpundit states:

From the mind that brought you an over-the-horizon redeployment to Okinawa comes this latest exercise in magic and wonder, in which a Sunni population threatened with ethnic cleansing chooses to fight the Sunni jihadis in its midst instead of coopting them for battle against the Shiites. Or am I misunderstanding Murtha and what he really means is that the Shiites themselves will “get rid” of Al Qaeda in the course of massacring pretty much every last Sunni in the country?

I made an entry about Howard’s remarks the other day, so I thought I’d chime in on it again. That, and the fact that Allahpundit seems to be a bit more intellectually honest than your average ‘pundit’, so I figured I’d roll with it. ….

First of all, al Qaeda isn’t very popular in Iraq, even among the Sunnis.  According to WPO:

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

You almost have to ask yourself (with a straight face) if al Qaeda would get a 94% unfavorable rating in any country.   If US forces weren’t occupying Iraq, it would seem to me that al Qaeda would struggle to gain popular support.

I think that Murtha’s scenario is a lot more plausible than the idea that a group of a few thousand (many of them foreigners) will be able to do all this (as Howard would have you believe):

…. The stated goals of JTJ are to force a withdrawal of U.S-led forces from Iraq, topple the Iraqi interim government and assassinate collaborators with the “occupation,” marginalize the Shiite Muslim population and defeat its militias, and to subsequently establish a pure Sunni Islamic state. Presumably, if and when those goals are achieved, the global jihad would continue to establish a pan-Islamic state and remove Western influence from the Muslim world.

Yea, I think they’ve got a long way to go there.  Remember that their situation there was so bleak that they were trying to start a war (any war) and even thought about provoking a U.S./Iran conflict?  Anti-American sentiment is what fuels them.  It’s not that far out there to suggest that, if our troops left, their little movement would sputter and die.   That’s what Murtha meant, and he’s probably right.

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Feith Responds

February 14, 2007

This post will serve as a bit of a “part 2”  of my previous post about the IG’s report on the OSP, as Doug Feith himself has opined in today’s Washington Post: Questions We Were Right To Ask.

Promoters of the “Bush Lied, People Died” line claim that the recent Pentagon inspector general’s report concerning my former office’s work on Iraq intelligence supports their cause. What the IG actually said is a different story….

Feith goes on to explain that the Pentagon briefing that his office prepared was merely a critique of the consensus of the Intelligence Community, and therefore was not intended to be deceptive.  That still doesn’t explain the Downing Street Memo, or why Bush felt the need to deliver speech after speech in the fall 2002 claiming that Saddam had long standing relations with al Qaeda.  If Feith’s office was to prepare “alternative analysis”, the president sure did pick it up and run with it, didn’t he?  It appears Feith is trying to explain away actions that, on the surface, look like preparations of analysis geared specifically towards making the case for war.  I suppose the most pertinent question that comes to mind is:  Would we have gone to war with Iraq without the work of the OSP?  I don’t think so.

Daily Kos diarist litigatormom has a more detailed breakdown of Feith’s column here.