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Bush lied: Foreign Fighters
Forbes/AFX (Franch)
December 2, 2005

WASHINGTON (AFX) - Despite US claims of progress in quelling the insurgency in Iraq, it remains as robust as ever and could grow a good deal stronger, according to a new study released Thursday.

The study by two veteran defence analysts working for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy also said the US operation in Iraq was at a 'tipping point' that will last for six to nine months.

"I think the outcome of this tipping period is probably going to dictate whether or not the US effort in Iraq succeeds or fails," analyst Jeffrey White said at a lunch unveiling the report.

The study said the insurgency, comprised of nationalists, members of Saddam Husseins toppled regime and foreign Islamic fighters, showed no sign of losing steam 32 months after the US-led invasion.

"Although thousands of insurgents have been killed and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been detained ... incident and casualty data reinforce the impression that the insurgency is as robust and lethal as ever," it said.

Moreover, the researchers said, the insurgency has managed to exploit only a fraction of the disgruntled minority Sunni Muslim population with any kind of military training.

"Should the insurgency succeed in exploiting this untapped potential, it could greatly increase its military capabilities," they wrote.

The report was prepared by White, who spent 34 years at the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, and Michael Eisenstadt, a former analyst with the US army.

The tone contrasted with the assertion in the "national strategy for victory in Iraq" unveiled by President George W. Bush on Wednesday that US forces were making "significant progress" in containing the insurgency.

Eisenstadt and White said the war in Iraq was still winnable, but added that the fight "will be protracted and costly, and is likely to be punctuated by additional setbacks."

US officials cited by the report estimated that the Sunni insurgency counted up to 20,000 members, including 3,500 active fighters. White told AFP the total number of supporters could top 100,000.

While Washington has billed Iraq as the central front in its war on terror, White said foreign jihadists represented only 5-7 percent of the insurgency and did not account for the majority of attacks or fatalities.


Copyright AFX News Limited 2005. All rights reserved.

We're dealing with two versions of reality again. So it's important to lay each out so you can evaluate which you think is more likely correct.

First: Bush's speech, "The third group is the smallest, but the most lethal: the terrorists affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda." Now this study, "foreign jihadists represented only 5-7 percent of the insurgency and did not account for the majority of attacks or fatalities."

The question of "foreign terrorists" representing the majority of fighters in Iraq is now considered a lie by everyone, including the Bush White House. What's left is whether these 'foreign fighters' are "the most lethal" as Bush says, or they "do not account for the majority of. . . fatalities.

Bush's record of telling the truth or being right remains at or near zero, so if you're interested in this top you can do more reseach. I'd suggest you begin here. The 'myth' of Iraq's foreign fighters

The CSIS report says: "The vast majority of Saudi militants who have entered Iraq were not terrorist sympathisers before the war; and were radicalized almost exclusively by the coalition invasion."

The average age of the Saudis was 17-25 and they were generally middle-class with jobs, though they usually had connections with the most prominent conservative tribes. "Most of the Saudi militants were motivated by revulsion at the idea of an Arab land being occupied by a non-Arab country. These feelings are intensified by the images of the occupation they see on television and the internet ... the catalyst most often cited [in interrogations] is Abu Ghraib, though images from Guantánamo Bay also feed into the pathology."

Bush says the majority of foreign fighters are from Sandia Arabia. If that's true then the reason they're fighting against us is because of our invasion. In other words, Bush is causing the terrorism he claims to be fighting.