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article imageJeb Bush says intelligence on WMD in Iraq was not 'accurate'

By Ralph Lopez     Feb 24, 2015 in World
Possible presidential candidate Jeb Bush has admitted that the intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs, on which his brother, the former president, said his invasion of Iraq was based, was not "accurate."
In a speech before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs last Wednesday, Bush said that the invasion which has splintered the Arab world into competing Sunni and Shiite factions, most recently manifesting itself in the rise of the Sunni group ISIS, was based on an "intelligence capability that everybody embraced about weapons of mass destruction [which] turns out not to be accurate."
Since the civil war between Sunni and Shiite factions in Iraq was unleashed by the removal of dictator Saddam Hussein from power, sectarian tensions have flared and spilled across borders, and transformed into full-blown religious wars. The latest incarnation of extremist jihad has been the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which recognizes no national borders but only its own brand of Sunni fundamentalism.
Many ISIS fighters in Iraq, where the group originated, are former high-ranking members of Saddam's Baath party, such as Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the King of Clubs on the U.S. military's deck of cards ranking former regime targets.
ISIS is a spin-off of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which did not exist until after the American invasion.
Although Jeb Bush held that the intelligence his brother put forth in his drive to make the case for the invasion of Iraq, between 9/11 and April of 2003, was "embraced" by "everybody," a long line of experts and policymakers vigorously opposed the 43rd president's march to war, and accused the administration of exaggerating and lying about the threat.
ISIS local commader Abu Jandal  center  Free Syrian Army commander Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi on left  i...
ISIS local commader Abu Jandal, center, Free Syrian Army commander Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi on left, in June of 2013 after capture of Syrian airbase.
In one of the worst deceptions in the run-up to war, says famed author and former Los Angeles County prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the Bush administration entirely deleted a passage from the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate in which US intelligence opined that Saddam would only resort to using weapons of mass destruction against the United States as a defensive measure.
Bush administration officials also said, incorrectly, that Saddam had the capacity to strike the US with nuclear weapons "in as little as 45 minutes."
The origins of ISIS have been traced to funding sources within the US and its allies. The Obama administration has openly been funding the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against its primary target of the Assad regime, but just last December a major Free Syrian Army unit changed its loyalties and declared it would join the battle on the side of ISIS.
The defection of a former FSA unit highlights the difficulty of controlling the flow of arms and funds from the US and its allies to fighters not ultimately committed to war against the West.
Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, General Wesley Clark, told CNN last week that,
"“ISIS got started through funding from our friends and fight to the death against Hezbollah,"
Clark likened ISIS to "a Frankenstein"
General Wes Clark, "“ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies"
An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17  2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq ...
An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters driving on a street in the northern Syrian City of Homs
, Al-Furqan Media/AFP/File
However seemingly disastrous the US invasion of Iraq has become, as one terrorist splinter group after another arises, one school of thought almost precisely envisaged and calls for the present state of affairs. Exploiting and fomenting the sectarian divisions long-present in the Middle East has been an openly stated goal of a small number of Israeli intellectuals and "neoconservatives," who describe a strategy of divide-and-conquer among the region's quarreling religious factions.
Influential Israeli foreign policy thinker Oded Yinon, in "A Strategy for Israel for the 1980s," wrote in 1982:
"In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north."
Yinon further wrote:
"Lebanon's total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target...This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today."
And in 1998 future Bush administration foreign policy team members Douglas Feith and Richard Perle all but anticipated the invasion of Iraq, writing in a policy paper for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," that Israel should undertake efforts to "shape its strategic environment," and that those efforts should "focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq."
Defenders of the Bush decision to invade Iraq point to Saddam Hussein's human rights record as another reason for the invasion. But Bush critics point out that the US has a long history of dealings with even worse human rights violators, such as the military governments of Guatemala and El Salvador in the Eighties, and in fact including Saddam himself during the same time period.
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