If Democrats are going to continue to acknowledge Bush's 'terror war', they should oblige him and aggressively tie it to the quagmire in Iraq and his wallowing failures elsewhere in the world.
Bush 'cut-and-ran' from the hunt for bin-Laden in Afghanistan to invade and occupy Iraq. As Bill Clinton pointed out the other day, Bush has far more military and other resources in Iraq than he does in Afghanistan where al-Qaeda was based.
If Iraq is now the center of his 'terror war', than Bush should know that effort is hopelessly bogged down in the bloody civil war that surrounds the US military's Green Zone.
Bush sent out Major General William Caldwell to spread the rumor that al-Qaeda was planning to enter the Iraqi political arena, and was planning to highlight and exploit the failures of the US occupation. He gave no specific details, but he insisted that their platform would include Iraqi complaints about unemployment, security, and shortages of electricity and fuel.
"Al Qaeda in Iraq wants to present itself as a legitimate organization and is striving to increase its operational power by building a political base with a military wing," Caldwell said.
"Al Qaeda in Iraq, through the media and other grassroots propaganda," he claimed, "will promote a theme that portrays the Sunnis as under attack by coalition forces, and the government of Iraq as being corrupt."
The general and the administration are working to conflate legitimate concerns about the occupation and the brutality and oppression surrounding our country's involvement there with al-Qaeda in an attempt to paint opposition to their bloody imperialism as akin to terrorism and terrorists. Bush has been flying around the country, with Dick close behind, playing the War president to Cheney's messianic campaign of fear and smear.
"There is no consensus that Republicans are better on terrorism than the Democrats, as once was clearly the case," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
"Republicans have done such a good job framing the invasion of Iraq as part of a "war on terror," he said, "that bad news from Baghdad is casting doubts on the anti-terrorism effort."
Pews Research's polling shows that Americans are taking Bush's cue and looking at mis-adventures like the Iraq occupation as they judge his 'terror war.' The report states that, "while more Americans say the U.S. is losing ground in preventing a civil war in Iraq, basic attitudes about the conflict are largely unchanged." From the report:
"The strong focus on news from abroad is having little impact on the public political opinions. President Bush's job approval rating stands at 37%, virtually unchanged from July. His personal image continues to be far less positive than it was about a year ago about half the public says he is not a strong leader, not trustworthy, and unable to get things done. Moreover, the renewed emphasis on terrorism has done little to boost the president's standing on that issue. The survey, which was largely conducted after the Aug. 10 revelations of the terror plot against airliners, shows that 50% approve of the president's handling of terrorist threats, little changed from June (47%)."
There is no evidence that terrorism is weighing heavily on voters just 2% cite that as the issue they most want to hear candidates discuss, far fewer than the number mentioning education, gas prices, or health care. And while roughly a third of Americans (35%) say they are very concerned that, if Democrats gain control of Congress, they will weaken terrorist defenses, even more (46%) express great concern that Republicans will involve the U.S. in too many overseas military missions if the GOP keeps its congressional majorities.
"America's security depends on liberty's advance in (this) troubled region.'' Bush said in his radio address.
We're "fighting them there" as Bush has said, "so we won't have to fight them there." But, the perpetrators who they say are responsible for mastermining the collapse of the Trade Towers were in Afghanistan when he broke off from the hunt and invaded Iraq.
The Bush regime, backed by all of his republicans, 'cut and ran' from Afghanistan and let bin-Laden and his accomplices get away. That's why our nation is still at risk; not from 'terrorists' in Iraq, but from an al-Qaeda organization and network which was emboldened by bin-Laden's escape, and is further encouraged to act against the US, our allies, and our interests by Bush's failure to catch them 5 years after he promised to apprehend them, "dead or alive."