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.
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.
Urging Americans in his speech to support his escalation in Iraq and help Iraqis "develop their young Iraqi-style democracy," Bush declared the resistance to his invasion and coup, "evil." He dismissed those who call the bloody struggles of Iraqi against Iraqi, 'civil war', and instead, labeled the sectarian violence his own intelligence agencies say his occupation if 'fueling' as "the same evil that inspired and rejoiced in the attacks of September the 11th, 2001."
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 . . .
After he realized our own nation was under attack - and had finished reading to the schoolchildren - Bush took to the air, darting around the country to stay "out of harm's way," according to his press flack, Karen Hughes. He then rallied Congress to give him special powers under the 'Patriot Act' in a paranoid scramble to uncover "enemies" among us who might have been allied with the attackers; enemies like the ones described in the National Security Briefing by Condi Rice, delivered to the White House months before the attacks (and ignored), entitled, 'Bin-Laden Determined to Strike in U.S..
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.
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.