THE �ESSENTIAL DILEMMA� RAISED BY THE NIE. A contact familiar with the April NIE on terrorism says that buried in the discussion of the report so far is this dilemma: �The report notes that �victory� in Iraq would be a blow to the jihadists, and that failure (especially if it led to the establishment of an al-Qaeda sanctuary or if veteran foreign jihadists dispersed out of Iraq to engage in terrorism in other parts of the world) would also be very bad. Thus, the report highlights the essential dilemma Iraq poses for the war on terror: staying fuels the al-Qaeda-inspired movement, creating a net increase in the terrorist threat; while leaving Iraq in chaos would also worsen the threat.
From time to time, I call up a longtime associate and business partner of Manucher Ghorbanifar, the infamous Iran-contra arms dealer and intelligence peddler deemed a fabricator by the CIA who lured the Reagan administration to secretly sell TOW missiles to the Tehran mullahs. This elderly Ghorbanifar associate is a former official in the Shah's government, long financially dependent on Ghorbanifar, whom he serves as a kind of dignified elderly secretary; like many Iranian exiles, he dreams that the mullahs will be overthrown and that he can soon return to his native country from his long exile in France.
The House of Representatives of our era doesn't lack for camp spectacle. There's Indiana's Dan Burton, who shot at melons in his backyard to “prove” that the Clintons had Vince Foster murdered. Tom Tancredo of Colorado once advocated that America “take out” Muslim holy sites. The list goes on.
Phase II. As General Peter Pace and General John Abizaid told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday that Iraq was on the verge of civil war, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Pat Roberts was complaining to The New York Times that the White House was obstructing the declassification of two new sections of his committee�s long awaited Phase II inquiry into the administration�s use of pre-war intelligence.
Magnus Ranstorp is among the world's leading experts on Hezbollah. Advisor to governments, former director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and currently chief scientist on asymmetric threats at Sweden's National Defense College, Ranstorp has interviewed hundreds of members of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other militant Islamist groups for his research, numerous articles, and books, including Hizb'Allah in Lebanon. He spoke from Sweden with Laura Rozen about the militia group and what the United States should be doing about the current conflict in Lebanon.