The Natural Truth About the NIE
"If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives."--the National Intelligence Estimate.
Before you buy into the non-stop-repeated pseudo-journalism on the subject, please read the NIE for yourself. What you'll find is what common sense tells you:
A--There were terrorists before we took out Saddam, and if we'd left him alone, there would still be terrorists trying to kill us now. Only, they'd have a government and its intelligence agencies in Iraq ready to help out.
B--Some people are declaring jihad because we're in Iraq. But some of them would have declared jihad over Israel, or Lebanon or the an opera about Mohammad anyway. So we're not sure how many people joined Al Qaeda because we whacked Saddam (and I thought we all "knew" there's no connection between Saddam and Islamists in the first place?)
C-- Just as attacking Japan increased Japanese support for the empire, attacking Islamist terrorists causes some Muslims to rally 'round their cause. Also, NOT attacking them and letting them run wild causes some Muslims to support their cause. Also, supporting free speech, free press and rights for women and homosexuals causes some Muslims to support the Islamists. And the Bush-haters' solution to this is....?
UPDATE: Another highlight from the NIE: "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”