Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

September 30, 2004

Intelligence Analysis

Filed under: International — Bunker @ 8:30 am

The concensus of Democrats and MSM is that Iraq is a quagmire, and continues to go badly. I understand their desire for that to be true. Obvious.

Yet Wretchard has been tracking, with statistics and everything, where and when the most recent attacks have taken place. He has done a lot of work putting it all together and drawing what I feel are strong conclusions.

I have to go back to something I wrote earlier, though. People tend to compartmentalize information, and censor in their minds any link between seemingly disparate facts. Intelligence analysts look for those tenuous links rather than discarding them. And the greatest indicator in my mind as to the success or failure in Iraq is peripheral information.

Bashir al-Assad is the President of Syria, a Baathist and President in the same sense as Saddam was President of Iraq. He has an intelligence network throughout the Middle East, and has strong ties to Baathists still in Iraq. I would say his intelligence on the true situation in Iraq is better than any other. And what does his intelligence tell him about the situation? I can only make an educated guess. But I think his recent actions say a lot.

He has decided to pull troops back from Lebanon, which Syria has occupied for thirty years (the real occupied territory). He has agreed to post troops along the border with Iraq to help prevent jihadists from crossing over. And he is attempting to find a new home for some Iraqis who fled to Syria during the last two years.

My analysis is that he sees the situation in Iraq as becoming stable enough for the US to consider actions against other supporters of terrorism. And he views himself as target #1. That’s one list where he would like to see his status decline.

So, who do you believe–the New York Times or Assad’s intelligence service?


  1. I’ve always felt that actions speak louder than words. I’m apt to believe what the Syrians are acting out of a sense of self preservation because they feel they have no choice. That speaks volumes to me.

    Comment by RedFalcon — September 30, 2004 @ 9:28 am

  2. Good post, Bunker.

    I would agree whole heartedly with your take.

    In fact, I’d add one more thing. Now that Syria’s use of WMD’s in Sudan has been verified, Assad has painted a bullseye on his forehead.

    It was no doubt made clear to him that Syria would be a far easier and convenient target than Iran.

    That Syria chose to use WMD’s in Darfur, at this time, not against an enemy but rather to ‘test’ the weapons, can only serve to highlight the nature of his B’aathist regime.

    If Assad wants to play, he’ll have to pay.

    Comment by Alex — September 30, 2004 @ 10:10 am

  3. The MSM is living in the same set of hotels. They rarely venture out into the streets away from their safety zone. It reminds me of the Democrats who were suprised that Reagan won both elections. They would say “everyone I talk to is going to vote for Carter.” Who voted for this guy? The reporters sitting in the hotel lobbys and bars all say “everyone says it is a quagmire” because every one I talk to says it is a quagmire.

    Comment by Michael Hess — September 30, 2004 @ 10:28 am

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