A few days ago terror mastermind Osama bin Laden released a videotape on the anniversary of September 11 when his goons forced passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York City killing thousands of innocent people. The tape was a grim reminder that our vaunted president, George Bush, has failed to bring in Osama “dead or alive.” Six years after the worst terrorist attack on US soil Osama bin Laden is still taunting the United States and making belligerent statements about killing our citizens while a pompous Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman called him “impotent.”
George Bush and Osama bin Laden’s antics resemble the eternally comical and hilarious feud between Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. Ole George’s best laid plans keep getting bungled and turn out to be exercises in futility. But this amusing rivalry would be cause for unrestrained laughter if the real situation was not so serious. In an ironic and warped twist of fate the antics of both men helps each of them as Osama helps Bush to posture even more while the terror king gets more TV propaganda mileage.
In the new video the al-Qaeda leader again taunts Bush, the United States – and then the Democrats for not forcing an American withdrawal from Iraq, which should help guarantee that the Democrats won’t dare press for a withdrawal from Iraq. Bush immediately pounced on this statement saying the following:
“I found it interested that on the tape Iraq was mentioned, which is a reminder that Iraq is part of the war against extremists. If al-Qaeda bothers to mention Iraq, it’s because they want to achieve their objectives in Iraq, which is to drive us out.”
It appears that Osama knows exactly how to push President Bush’s buttons and force the kind of reaction that the cunning terrorist wants. United States intelligence and other sane people have long held that al-Qaeda wants the opposite – it is in their interests to have the war in Iraq drag on and on. What al-Qaeda really wants is to bog the United States down in a hopeless, bloody war in Iraq that has been a boon for recruiting young jihadists, raising money, and protecting al-Qaeda’s leadership holed up in base camps inside Pakistan.
Bin Laden continues to play the role of another cartoon character, Walt Disney’s Brer Rabbit, who escaped one famously tight spot by begging not to be thrown into the briar patch when that was exactly where he wanted to go.
In 2000 al-Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in a brazen operation aimed at drawing the United States deeper into a conflict with the Muslim world aimed at building the organization’s stature and demonstrating that the mighty United States was vulnerable. When that did not work it attacked the World Trade Center with disastrous consequences. The United States then attacked Afghanistan and ran Osama bin laden and his murderous crew out of that country while smashing the hated Taliban.
The mistake in not continuing to pursue in an aggressive manner the person and group responsible for 9-11 was both a strategic and military one. The United States allowed bin Laden to slip into Pakistan and set up shop. The second and perhaps most mind-boggling of a series of political and military blunders was the decision by a power drunk Administration led by an inept president was the decision to attack Iraq – a country that never threatened the United States.
Al-Qaeda, then weak and on the run, was given a respite. President Bush handed the terror mastermind and his organization the most effective recruiting tool imaginable and was directly responsible for the reconstituted, re-invigorated, energized and deadly al-Qaeda of today. To al-Qaeda’s relief and amazement, Bush also began diverting key U.S. military resources away from Afghanistan toward Iraq, whose secular Sunni leader Saddam Hussein was an enemy of al-Qaeda’s Sunni fundamentalists.
Bush’s invasion of Iraq not only eliminated a key Sunni rival in Hussein but rallied thousands of angry Muslims to al-Qaeda’s banner. Soon, al-Qaeda even had an affiliate in Iraq led by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. As al-Qaeda gained strength in the Islamic world, bin Laden came to see Bush as something of a strategic ally. When Bush found himself in a tight battle with Democratic Sen. John Kerry, bin Laden issued a videotape denouncing Bush on the Friday before Election 2004.
The terrorist’s vitriolic, bombastic statement gave Bush a jump in the polls and helped to remind ordinary Americans that he was still “out there” and allowed Bush to claim Republican superiority and determination to prosecute the war on terror and to ratchet up the fearmongering a few more notches. It can be argued that Osama bin Laden wanted Bush in office so that the war in Iraq would continue. The strategy worked.
And contrary to the Bush mantra that al-Qaeda wants the United States out of Iraq to establish a terrorist state from which to attack the United States, intercepted communications say the opposite as do the United States’ own intelligence community. But in true cartoon character form Bush and his cohorts are doing exactly the opposite.
“The mujahedeen must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal,” wrote Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second in command in 2005, who was also worried that a premature departure of the Americans also might leave the depleted ranks of al-Qaeda foreign fighters at the mercy of angry Iraqis.