The Bush White House has come to a point where their denial over losing their legislative majority in Congress has been countered by a dose of reality from the Democrats' opposition to their almost unilateral insistence on continuing and escalating their occupation of Iraq. But, it's clear Bush will not allow himself to be easily awakened from his imperial dream-state, or willingly step down from the phony throne he fashioned for himself atop the mountain of rubble of debris and humanity from the attacks of 9-11; the mountain he hurried to climb with his bullhorn to declare himself protector, ruler, and owner of the world.
Five years have passed since those attacks and Bush still wears them like a badge of honor and privilege as his every grab for imagined power and authority is buttressed by his ready justification that "everything changed that day," and that all of our nation's affairs must be weighed against his fear of 'enemies' everywhere looking to knock him off of the high horse he rode to power and put an end to his campaign of dominance and intimidation around the globe.
In a speech yesterday, Bush again used the 9-11 attacks, which he presided over, as justification for his continuation and escalation of his Iraq occupation. It's clear that Bush has all but replaced the original 9-11 suspects he was authorized to use our military to pursue, with the new specters of 'terrorists' and 'enemies' in Iraq who he thinks would be 'emboldened' to attack the U.S. if our military stopped creating more of them and fueling their violence with our occupation, as his own 2006 intelligence estimate concluded was the result of our continued presence there.
Again calling his Iraq occupation "part of a long ideological struggle," Bush set himself firmly against the will of the American people; and against the will of Congress, apparent in their legislative attempts to restrain him. Two separate polls this week, Gallup and Pew, produced 60% who say they favor a withdrawal from Iraq by 2008, but Bush presses on anyway . . .
It wasn't enough for Bush to just carry through on his promise to pursue the original suspects in the 9-11 attacks and capture them, "dead or alive." He's failure in motion. His history in this term in Iraq, and in his last, is marred by his arrogant blustering excuses in the face of disaster; followed by his repeated flailing of our military at situations which are clearly beyond their ability to manage with more violence and intimidation. But Bush, himself, hasn't demonstrated he understands or is capable of any other approach than his blundering militarism. He seems afraid and insecure as he attempts to mow down everyone who dares to stand him down from his expansion into the Muslim-dominated region. It must be empowering for him to stand behind the power of our military defenses as he wages his aggression without any personal sacrifice. As he shirked the military duty he signed up for in the past, and watched as others fought and died in the Vietnam war he claimed to support, Bush is running from his fear of the people he's ordered others to wantonly attack and devastate in trying to dominate Iraq.
In the document, Bin-Laden was said to be planning hijackings; was recruiting Muslims for terrorist strikes within the U.S.; and supporters were conducting surveillance of federal buildings in New York. His association with the convicted World Trade Center bomber, Ramzi Yousef was highlighted. The memo states that the FBI was conducting at least 70 'bin-Laden related', 'full-field' investigations. Yet, Bush still insists that the day of the attacks awakened him to the dangers of international terrorism or to the potential for attacks inside our borders.
The world rallied to help Bush in the wake of 9-11, and Britain's Blair took advantage of experienced nations of the world as they rallied together to race into Afghanistan and to capture the attackers and their alleged accomplices. We watched as our military seemed to corner the suspects, and were left wondering when it appeared they'd escaped. And we waited . . . watching for any sign the capture was at hand. But, months later, that moment evaporated when Bush declared he was "truly . . . not that concerned about him."
"I have no idea (where he is) and really don't care," he said when asked in March 2002 . "It's not that important. It's not our priority." Bush later brushed off his remarks by claiming he meant he had " shoved (bin-Laden) out more and more on the margins," and that he had "no place to train his Al Qaeda killers anymore."
Capturing the suspected attackers of 9-11 certainly wasn't Bush's priority in 2002; Iraq was. The invasion of Iraq was carried out to "draw a line in the sand," as his cohort Blair put it later. "After Sept. 11, it was necessary to 'draw a line in the sand', and the country to do it with was Iraq because they were in breach of U.N. resolutions going back over many years," Blair told reporters after the revelation of the Downing St. memos.
Having failed to capture bin-Laden in Afghanistan, Bush decided to take the bulk of our military forces and snatch-up Iraq as a base of operations from which to launch his offensive attacks in the region. The architects of the plan to invade Iraq were part of the same cabal of military industrial warriors who had infected previous republican regime, and were hungry to launch the military takeover of the sovereign nation they had been planning and developing while they endured their years of exile from the White House.
But, the Iraq invasion wasn't presented as a plan, it was dictated to Congress and the American people from our new commander whose assumed authority from the original authorization to use military force to pursue the 9-11 terrorists had compelled him to insist on mobilizing troops months before the congressional elections and declaring his intention to invade Iraq, with or without authorization. The republican-controlled Congress approved the diversion, and that authorization to use military force in Iraq was laid atop the terror resolution like another phony amulet on Bush's fake military jacket he wears in front of the troops. Bush couldn't wait to invade Iraq and take the "slam-dunk" from atop Rumsfeld's shoulders, then come down on a bed of flowers and candy from the 'free' Iraqis.
Bush was still calling Iraq a threat to our national security, even though his original hype that, "Iraq was expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons; Iraq had stockpiled biological and chemical weapons; is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons; Saddam Hussein authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons; was seeking nuclear weapons; Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program; the regime had produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sabin nerve gas, VX nerve gas; Iraq had a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas; Iraq was exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States; Iraq was rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past; Iraq had attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes for gas centrifuges, used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons," had long been discredited, repeatedly, by his own administration.
Bin-Laden may have been lost to Bush in 2002, but by the 2004 presidential election bin-Laden was the hook in every one of Bush's fearmongering speeches. His main theme was, "Iraq is the center of the 'terror war', because bin-Laden says so." No matter to Bush that he was quoting declarations from a man he'd let run free as he scorched the Iraqi earth to deny the terrorist "safe haven."
No matter to Bush that bin-Laden would clearly benefit from the safe haven given him by the U.S. in Afghanistan with the bulk of our nation's defenders dumped in the middle of the chaos of the civil war in Iraq. No matter to Bush that the original-al-Qaeda's most pernicious influence was their ability to flaunt their freedom from prosecution, and to point to the Americans' bloody aggression in Iraq and in the region.