"I know that we're providing a useful addition to Iraq by chasing down al Qaeda and by securing -- by helping this country protect itself from al Qaeda," Bush said Thursday as he stood beside his junta leader, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. "One of our goals is to deny safe haven for al Qaeda in Iraq," Bush told reporters, "and the Maliki government expects us and wants us to provide that vital part of security."
Bush is deluded if he still thinks Americans are going to accept his substituting of his Iraq occupation for his failed hunt for the 9-11 suspects. After the 9-11 attacks, Bush promised to pursue the suspected perpetrators of the attacks, and apprehend the accused orchestrator, bin-Laden, "dead or alive." The very document which Bush uses to justify his grab for extra-constitutional powers, and to ignore laws he disagrees with, is an authorization to use military force to catch the perpetrators. However, Americans would be hard pressed today to find any active commitment of manpower or resources to that effort. The bulk of our nation's defenses are being squandered by Bush in Iraq; the country which Bush now calls the "center" of his contrived terror war.
Bin-Laden and his associates are on the loose, and have had no difficulty influencing and inciting others to violence against the U.S., our allies, and our interests in Iraq and elsewhere. It is the mere reality of the terrorist's freedom from prosecution for five years since the attacks which has emboldened others to use their own violence to achieve their political ambitions. It is the diversion of the bulk of our active defenses from that pursuit (about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, over 155,000 in Iraq) which has enabled the original, insulated band of thugs to posture as a vast movement when they are likely, still, a insulated band of thugs.
It is Bush's own elevation of bin-Laden and the dead rebel leader, Zarqawi, during his fear and smear campaign before the election which served as the vehicle to carry their cynical message worldwide. In speeches, using the terrorist's own words and ultimatums, Bush made armies out of windmills as he represented the occupation of Iraq as a "center" of his "war" against bin-Laden's al-Qaeda. Yet, bin-Laden has never been in Iraq, nor have any of those our government says were responsible for the 9-11 attacks been in Iraq. The 'al-Qaeda' Bush claims to be defending us against in Iraq is not the al-Qaeda which authorities hold responsible the Sept 11th violence.
Whatever combatants there actually are in Iraq who've taken on the moniker of the terrorist organization - whatever they are actually "fomenting" - they are not the cause of the violence there today. Nothing did more to animate the warring factions into their current state of civil war than the initial U.S. invasion - launched with the collateral destruction of Bush's "shock and awe" assault - and continuing with Bush's oppressive occupation.
In a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Thursday, Bush was asked, "in light of the war that the United States is fighting against terror in Iraq, what (had) been accomplished?" His answer was a rambling revival of the tired "we're fighting them there, to keep from fighting them here" defense, followed by a string of homilies about how he's "denying 'terrorists' a 'safe haven' from which to launch attacks" against the U.S. from Iraq.
"They want safe haven from which to launch attacks again," Bush told reporters. "A safe haven in Iraq, a country that has got a lot of resources, would be very dangerous for America . . . It didn't take but 19 people who were trained in Afghanistan to get on airplanes and come and kill over 3,000 citizens in my country. Threats that gather overseas must be taken seriously if we want to protect ourselves," Bush said.
Our warmonger-in chief is so simple-minded. He needs to be reminded that the terrorists who hijacked and crashed the planes which took all of those precious lives were living in AMERICA, and got their flying instructions from AMERICANS. If Bush wants us to examine how "seriously" he took the "gathering threat" in our own country; if he wants us to examine how seriously he took the threats from abroad before the attacks, he'll have his opportunity when the new Congress is sworn in.
If Bush wants us to look to his invasion and occupation of Iraq as a model for "spreading democracy" and rolling back the terrorist's fringe, he's left to account for the myriad of analysis from his own intelligence community which has concluded that his occupation of Iraq has increased the numbers of individuals how would commit themselves to do us harm; not lessened the risk, as he claims. There is absolutely nothing our soldiers are doing -defending the Maliki regime in Iraq - which would prevent someone there, or elsewhere, determined to stage an attack on our shores, from attempting such an outrage.
It's dangerously foolish reasoning that Bush wants Americans to adopt as he turns his back on the millions of Americans who voted this month for a change of direction in Iraq. We had the alleged perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks on the run. It was enough to hunt them down until they were caught, with every resource at our disposal. Bush promised to do that, but, did not pursue the suspected criminals with every resource at his disposal. Instead, he destabilized an Arab nation and facilitated a civil war.
Bush can rightly point to any and all other expressions of violence from any and all quarters in Iraq and condemn them as unacceptable, but, Bush bears the sole responsibility for choosing Iraq as his battlefield for his "ideological struggle" as he uses our soldiers to lash out at "enemies" and terrorists" he and Maliki perceive there. Now, he's afraid if he takes the soldiers away he's been hiding behind, these angry individuals he's been oppressing in Iraq will come to America and do him harm.
It's not bin-Laden who has destabilized Iraq, it's Bush who's determined to substitute his own will and whim for whatever course the Iraqis would decide for themselves. The country is not in revolt against our troops because they "hate freedom," or because they "can't stand democracies," or they want to "impose a hateful vision on as much of the world as possible," as Bush claimed today. Iraqis are scrambling for a stake in their own country. Our soldiers are waging Bush's manufactured terror war, in Iraq, against the very people he claims to be liberating there. They are being made to fight and die on one side of a multi-fronted civil war; on the least popular, increasingly disenfranchised side.
There's no mandate from the Iraqi people for Bush's use of Iraq as his mock terror stage. He can't keep pointing to the mock elections which were held under the increased occupation of the invading army, as proof the Iraqis want his junta to succeed. He should be pointing to his own country's elections, held just this month, which rejected every one of the justifications Bush used throughout the campaign, in speech after speech, equating the occupation of Iraq with his "war on terror."
Bush should come on home and listen to the American people. We want him to bring our soldiers back from Iraq. If Iraqis are going to fight, they can do that very well without our troops in the middle. That's the message he should have delivered to Maliki. That's what Americans told him they wanted him to do. He's not listening to us. He needs to come on home.