US President George W. Bush says a secret intelligence report – saying that the Iraq war has led to the spread of Islamic extremism – was leaked for political purposes. And in fact, it contains ammunition for both Democrats and Republicans ahead of Congressional elections in six weeks time. At a conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Bush insisted the report showed his decision to invade Iraq was necessary to deal with a possible threat.
“I think it’s a mistake for people to believe that going on the offence against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe,” President Bush said. But Democrats have used the report – extracts from which appeared in the New York Times on Sunday – to argue that the Iraq war has made Americans less safe.
The Democrat Senator in New York Hilary Clinton called on the White House to change its direction on the conflict and throw the issue open to debate. “At this point I would settle for just admitting that we’re on the wrong course while we try to figure out what to do next. Let’s have that debate in the Congress and in the country,” Senator Hilary Clinton said.
President Bush says he’ll release the report so the American public can make up its own mind about it. But his decision may backfire in the upcoming elections. Americans have become increasingly weary of the conflict in which more than two thousand US soldiers have died.