There are no greater promoters of al-Qaeda in the United States than our president and vice-president. Time and time again, Bush and Cheney have repeated threats and edicts verbatim that they say have come from the suspected terrorists they hold responsible for the 9-11 attacks on our nation. Over and over, both men have used those taunts and declarations to buttress their argument for continuing and escalating their occupation of Iraq. Repeatedly, they've campaigned around the nation urging Americans to 'listen to the words of the terrorists' and take heed of the words of bin-Laden.
There are also, effectively no greater protectors of the original suspects in the airplane attacks on our nation than our president and our vice-president. If bin-Laden and the original band of thugs who allegedly orchestrated the 9-11 attacks are anything more than just a specter that the White House conjures up to frighten us into accepting and approving of their military aggression in Iraq, there has to be an accounting for the five-year state of freedom from prosecution in Afghanistan the terrorists have enjoyed while the bulk of our nation's defenses are bogged down in Iraq. There has to be an accounting for the effective "safe haven" which has been provided for the fugitives in the mountains of Afghanistan -- miles away from Kabul where Bush's puppet regime huddles in fear, encamped and encircled by the vain protection of our occupying forces.
There has to be an accounting for their failure to capture the perpetrators and nullify any prolonged notoriety or influence the organization which sponsored the thugs might have gained from their assaults. There has to be an accounting for the administration's failure to make good on the mandate from Congress, as outlined in the original authorization to use military force in Sept. 2001, which Bush has used to justify his 'extra-constitutional' assaults on our civil liberties and to justify his unilateral escalation of his Iraq occupation.
(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
The very administration which ignored warnings from their own intelligence agencies -- right up to the Oval Office in the form of a memo describing the intentions of the alleged 9-11 orchestrators, entitled, 'Bin-Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.' -- has not only failed to capture the perpetrators, but, in their zeal to invade and occupy Iraq, have allowed them to influence others who would do our nation and our interests harm by the mere virtue of their five-year freedom.
"I take the words of the enemy very seriously," Bush said, "and so should the American people."
What bin-Laden and his band of thugs wanted to accomplish out of their attacks was to provoke America into the very type of U.S.-centered overreach and imperialism that Bush was all too eager to commit us to after the original perpetrators had first eluded capture and his political face was crumbling. Bush's diversion to Iraq not only allowed bin-Laden to escape; it also did what bin-Laden had not been able to accomplish against the resistance of Saddam's dictatorship. The invasion and occupation effectively bound Iraqis to al-Qaeda's campaign of violence against the U.S..
In a speech yesterday before the conservative Heritage Foundation, Cheney derided those who assert that the Iraq occupation was a diversion from their mandate to make America "safer," and from their ideological "war on terror."
"Opponents of our military action there have called Iraq a diversion from the real conflict, a distraction from the business of fighting and defeating Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network," Cheney told the crowd. "We hear this over and over again, not as an argument, but as an assertion meant to close off argument," he said.
"Yet the evidence is flatly to the contrary," continued the vice-president. "And the critics conveniently disregard the words of bin Laden himself.
What Cheney wanted us to hear and take heed of was a ridiculous taunt from the specter of the fugitive terrorist attempting to set the terms of our engagement in Iraq -- not as the defense of the Maliki regime that Bush has insisted our soldiers are pouring in to protect; but as a virtual battle between al-Qaeda and the United States. What better promotion could the original members of al-Qaeda hope for five years after their devastating attacks on our soil than to have the vice-president of the United States elevate their sorry, defunct organization to a position of importance on par with our great nation without them having to sacrifice their lives or safety from prosecution.
It's not the edicts from al-Qaeda which are motivating Iraqis, who are actively engaged in militarized resistance to the heavy-handed U.S. support of the Maliki regime, to take on the moniker of the 9-11 suspects. It's the U.S. response and elevation of those threats and taunts to measure whatever success or victory they hope to achieve in Iraq which is motivating so many Iraqis to measure their own resistance against the American forces deployed there.
As for the actual words of the terrorists . . . do these really motivate anyone? Cheney graced his audience with some of the pablum from bin-Laden:
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