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Because Bin-Laden Says So

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Message Ron Fullwood
"We know what the terrorists intend to do because they've told us -- and we need to take their words seriously." -- Bush, discussing his 'War on Terror' 9/05/2006

I can't be the only one who's dumbfounded by Bush's obsession with the statements of bin-Laden and other terrorists. Bush seems enthralled with their words, and determined to respond to their every nuance. We all know how the terrorists hang on Bush's every word. Indeed, bin-Laden himself must have been glued to his television set, watching c-span with pride today as the explainer-in-chief solemnly read off passages of propaganda from the terrorist's own speeches and dispatches.

As Bush recalled the horrors of 9-11, he took time to reflect on bin-Laden's gloating statements made in the aftermath. Did Bush really need to echo the taunts of the man he says is responsible for the violence to make the point that the attacks were "unparalleled" or "unmatched'?

The collapse of the Trade Towers was a devastating act; couched by those who took responsibility in elaborate justifications of nationalism and religiosity. But, the violence amounted to nothing more than murder by the perpetrators and accomplices. Whatever they wanted the killings to accomplish didn't necessarily have to occur. In fact, with most of the world allied against the attacks, there was no ideological victory, power shift, or territorial victory for the terrorists which was able materialize in their wake. The coalition of countries who supported the U.S. in their response helped invade Afghanistan and took away any permanent base of operations bin-Laden may have had there.

Yet, Bush seemed intent in his speech on elevating bin-Laden's aspirations; not as defeated ambitions, but as some unfulfilled destiny, as they may well be. The rebel leader has not been apprehended; in part, as a consequence of Bush's shift of the bulk of our forces and resources to Iraq in the middle of the hunt. Bin-Laden could be waiting out the chaos that he admits to have instigated, waiting to step out of the shadows and into his role as terror svengali to the masses. But he wouldn't have a thing to lord over if Bush hadn't followed his dare and invaded and occupied yet another Muslim-dominated country.

Did Bush really repeat bin Laden's assertion that, "al Qaeda spent $500,000 on the event, while America lost -- according to the lowest estimate -- $500 billion -- meaning that every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars of America?" Was Bush thinking of the $8 billion we are spending every month in Iraq alone with bin-Laden nowhere to be found there?

Did I really hear Bush repeat bin Laden's threat to "launch a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government?" Is that another preemptive strike on domestic critics of his blundering imperialism? Is Bush suggesting that we should shun any action that bin-Laden says he agrees with?

In Bush's updated, 'National Strategy for Combating Terrorism' that he references in his speech (which mentions bin-Laden only once in a reference to his 'privileged upbringing'), there's a passage about terrorist's "increasingly sophisticated use of the Internet and media" to "spread their propaganda." Bush and his cohorts have labeled domestic critics as ''appeasers' and akin to Nazi sympathizers. It's no stretch to assume that the administration wants the general public to equate legitimate criticisms which come from the Internet community as akin to al-Qaeda's efforts. So much for the terror report's assertion that, "democracy offers freedom of speech, independent media."

Was Bush really telling Americans that just because bin-Laden says Iraq is "a war of destiny between infidelity and Islam", that we should regard it as such and persist, even in the face of the negative effects of our own heavy-handed military occupation? The occupation has had the effect of creating more animosity and producing more individuals bent on violent reprisals against the U.S., our interests and our allies; not less, as Bush continues to claim.

Bush needs to decide what our nation's interests are in continuing the occupation of Iraq and adjust our troop's involvement there according to 'conditions on the ground', as he's said he intends, not on whatever blather comes from the propaganda of these muckrakers and murderers. We should not allow the policy and direction of our nation and military to be guided and dictated by the voice of these terrorists' violence.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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