“Imperial Hubris,” authored by an anonymous CIA veteran of 22 years, looks like a book I’ll be buying in the near future. He had an interview with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News and has some pretty poignant observations of the Bush administration, the Iraq war and the War on Terror. MSNBC has the full interview in CIA insider says U.S. fighting wrong war:
Mitchell: “You call the invasion of Iraq, ?Ã„Ã²an avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat.?Ã„Ã´ Why do you think so?”
Anonymous: “For several reasons. That was a passage cut from a larger passage where I describe my personal aversion to aggressive war, to the war started by the United States. And I tried to draw an analogy between our war against Mexico in the 19th century and just saying it is not part of the American character or our basic sense of decency to wage wars except in self-defense or preemption.
“The major problem with the Iraq war is that it distracted us from the war against terrorism. But more importantly, it allowed–it made us invade, or it caused us to invade a country that’s the second holiest place in Islam. It’s not really the same as the Russians invading Afghanistan in 1979. Afghanistan is an Islamic country, but it was far from the mainstream of world Islam.
“Iraq, however, for both Sunnis and Shias, is the second holiest place in the Islamic world. And to invade that country, on the face of it, is a great offense to Islam and an action which almost entirely validated bin Laden’s assertions about what the United States intended vis-??-vis the Islamic world.”
Mitchell: “Since there has not been an attack on the homeland since 9/11 –”
Mitchell: “– doesn’t that suggest that al-Qaida has either lost some of its ability to mobilize and/or that our homeland security has been improved?”
Anonymous: “Well, that might indeed be the case. I tend to think that’s more analysis by assertion. The one thing these people have, bin Laden and his ilk, is tremendous patience. One huge failing of the American counterterrorist community throughout its existence has been the assumption that if someone hasn’t attacked us in a while, they can’t attack us. And I think that’s where we are, the kind of mindset that if it hasn’t happened, it’s because they can’t. I tend to think bin Laden will attack us when he wants to. He’s an individual who has been very unmoved by external events. If there’s a man who marches to his own drummer in terms of timing, it’s certainly bin Laden and al-Qaida.”
This guy is spot on in his assessment, I wish the right-wing media would latch onto this guy and try to refute him, instead there has been relative silence (from both sides) concerning what has to be the most reasoned (and insightful) view of the Iraq war in it’s relation to the War on Terror. We need to get our focus back on exterminating factual Al Qaida locations instead of our failed “half-war” in Iraq.
What about the connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden? Is there any such thing? Is it significant in any way?
I can only speak for the research I’ve done on that and I found, certainly, that there are reflections of contacts and discussions between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, or Saddam’s regime. I have not found anything in my research that suggests an important tie of any dimension and I also, just from my own study of Al Qaeda, believe that it is a much better organization than any Iraqi intelligence organization and would be loath to have cooperated with a service that it regarded as inferior to itself.
So what you’re saying is that Al Qaeda’s spying is actually better than Iraq’s, or that of any other government in the region?
My inclination is to say their intelligence gathering and counterintelligence abilities are substantial, and probably–given the damage they’ve inflicted on us, compared with the damage inflicted by other entities on us–a much more professional and effective service.
CIA insider says U.S. fighting wrong war [MSNBC]