January 2003 Predictions of the Current Iraq Mess

Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran to assert its regional influence and “probably would result in a surge of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups” in the Muslim world.

The Iraq invasion might help Iran and Al Qaeda?! That’s why I thought we should not invade Iraq. Too bad our intelligence agencies failed to inform the President. Oh wait:

The intelligence assessments, made in January 2003 and widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war, said that establishing democracy in Iraq would be “a long, difficult and probably turbulent challenge.” The assessments noted that Iraqi political culture was “largely bereft of the social underpinnings” to support democratic development.

Bush knew this was a really bad idea from a policy perspective – and yet he did it anyway. Then again – it did help him during the 2004 elections. Partisan advantage over the interest of the American people – your modern Republican Party!