The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Iraq the "current world headquarters for Islamic terrorism"

That's the conclusion of a new CIA report. According to Scott McClellan, it's great news. The assassinations, increasing number of insurgents, and the threats to the Iraqi vote all show what a success the invasion of Iraq is.

Q Does the President disagree with the report's conclusion that the war and the uncertainty on the ground has created a breeding ground for terrorism?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think we just answered this question. We just went through it, so I would go back to what I just said, and those are, I think, the points to make.

Q I mean, the reason that we keep asking the question again is that it's just confusing to me how you can say it confirms your strategy is the right approach when there is terrorism in Iraq now, a terrorist breeding ground in Iraq now and growing there, and wasn't there before. So how does that confirm your approach?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's assuming that terrorists would just be sitting around doing nothing if we weren't staying on the offensive in the war on terrorism. I mean, by going on the offensive we've been able to liberate two countries, the people of two countries -- in Afghanistan and Iraq. And now we must continue to do everything we can to support efforts to build democratic futures for the people of the region. And that's exactly what we'll continue to do.

But I disagree with the characterization of the report, because I think the report confirms that we have the right strategy to win the war on terrorism, because of what I said a minute ago. So I would disagree with that. And this is -- the report looks at much more than just that. It's a speculative report that looks at a number of areas in the world, and we welcome the report. It's important to look at what the report has to say. And I don't think we've had time to look at the whole report, and I would encourage each of you to look at the whole report, as well, and maybe -- because I think some of the characterization is off the mark.