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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La Maison Blanche mise à mal par de nouvelles révélations

by Hassane Zerrouky

The White House Embarrassed by New Revelations

Translated Monday 2 October 2006, by Henry Crapo

A confidential report by the American intelligence services confirms that the war against Iraq has led to a development of Islamic radicalism.

In its Sunday (24/9) edition, the Washington Post has confirmed the revelations by the New York Times of a confidential report put together by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the organism that unites all 16 US government intelligence agencies. The report in fact brings nothing new to the subject, nothing that we did not already know, but states clearly that "The war in Iraq has aggravated the general problem of terrorism".

In the year 2004, and the beginning of 2005, several high-ranking American officials and military leaders alerted the White House to the fact that the war in Iraq had led to the appearance of and development of a radical Islamic "terrorism". At the time, these revelations had only a limited impact in the United States. Almost three and a half years after the invasion of Iraq, the wager has changed. Not only have the GIs not returned home, as promised by the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, but the number of American soldiers killed has long surpassed the exaggeratedly optimistic predictions of 200 dead, predicted in 2003 by the strategists of the Pentagon.

It is the persistence of violence, the growing risk of civil war, the continuing toll of US soldiers killed, and the impact of these deaths within the United States, that contribute to the erosion of support by American public opinion for the policy of the "war against terrorism" of George W. Bush. And, with the steady increase of costs for the war, which the American Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz estimates at more than a trillion dollars. It is this situation that led the American commanders, in June-July 2005, to try to open a dialogue with the nationalist faction of the Iraqi guerilla movement, in order to convince them to agree to turn in their arms in exchange for a political agreement. This initiative, in view of the subsequent aggravation of inter-religious conflicts, seems to have gone nowhere.

In the meanwhile, these revelations are yet another big rock thrown in the pond for Bush. The Democratic opposition has used them to attack the policies of George Bush, "How many independent reports do we need to see, how many more dead, how far will Iraq have to plunge into civil war, for the White House to wake up and change its strategy in Iraq", Edward Kennedy, senator from Massachusetts, asked on Sunday.

While the report shows that serious damage has been inflicted on Al Qaeda, it notes that the Islamic networks are extensive and decentralized. The new cells are not linked to a central structure, they develop independently, communicate with each other, exchange information, and provide mutual ideological assistance across a dense network of more than 5000 internet sites. In 2003 there were only a half-dozen such sites.

Deeply concerned by the implications of these revelations, the White House has endeavored to minimize them. "We make no comments about confidential documents", is all he would reply, Peter Watkins, spokesman for the Bush administration. [1]

[1In the same issue of l’Humanité, there is a related article on the legalization of torture

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