Bush isn't really looking to win what he calls his 'war on terror' at this point, so much as he wants to be 'perceived' as winning. He's terrified that he'll be revealed to the world as a pathetic loser who's squandered everything that was given him (again) and destroyed everything he's touched. Bush can't decide which excuse for his failures he should choose from the slim thread of lies he has left, so he's just throwing them all together to see if any will give him cover from the heightening scrutiny on his poor and negligent conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on his failed 'hunt' for bin-Laden and his accomplices.
Bush opened his defense of his presidency Saturday in his radio address quoting the National Intelligence Estimate, which has concluded that his occupation of Iraq is spawning and fueling 'jihadists' bent on harming the U.S., our interests, and allies. He told Americans when the April report was revealed to the public that they didn't have the entire picture; that the news accounts of the NIE left out key passages in his defense. He said in his address that the leak of the Iraq report had created "misimpressions." Bush wanted to clear things up.
The NIE, he said, listed "four underlying factors that are fueling the extremist movement: first, long-standing grievances such as corruption, injustice, and a fear of Western domination; second, the jihad in Iraq; third, the slow pace of reform in Muslim nations; and fourth, pervasive anti-Americanism. It concludes that terrorists are exploiting all these factors to further their movement," he said.
So much of what Bush related in those 'underlying factors' concluded by the NIE has long been under the charter and responsibility of our nation's State Dept.. All of these have traditionally been addressed in partnership with the international community; most effectively, with those nations which border the areas of conflict. The partnerships which were formed after 9-11 promised to usher in a new era of cooperation between nations against the forces which were aligned against America. Those partnerships were strained, and in many instances, dissolved, as Bush pulled away from the pursuit of the perpetrators of the attacks on our nation to unilaterally, preemptively invade and occupy Iraq.
As the very intelligence report he chose to own-up to concludes, Bush's militarism has not proven effective in halting the spread of the threat, nor has his blundering approach been successful in even stifling the actions and influence of those individuals that they themselves identify as the original orchestrators of the 9-11 attacks. The most damning conclusion of the report is that Iraq has been much more than just a diversion from addressing the 'underlying factors' they identified, as dangerous as that is alone.
The invasion and occupation has actually aggravated and deepened the animosity among the citizens of those Muslim nations who have watched the U.S. committing repeated acts of collateral and deliberate atrocities with their bombings; with their search and destroy missions; with the reflexively defensive casualties committed by our soldiers at the myriad of checkpoints; and with the mass detentions which have harbored more torture of innocents than Saddam could imagine; all of that representing our continuing self-appointed control over the citizens there.
Bush turned to the words of his co-hort, Tony Blair with the British Prime Minister's argument that, "This terrorism isn't our fault. We didn't cause it. It's not the consequence of foreign policy." Yet, it was Blair who long ago admitted that their assault on Baghdad was essentially a muscle-flexing exercise. They thought Iraq would be a cakewalk (the hunt for bin Laden was a bust) so they loaded up our national pride and covered all of us with Iraqi blood to go with the blood of innocent Afghans caught in our swaggering reprisal. Tens of thousands of innocents, in Iraq and Afghanistan have been killed by our cluster bombs, our search and destroy missions, and by the misguided hands of our nervous soldiers so that Blair and Bush could "draw a line in the sand" like bullies in front of a crowd.
'Bring them on,' was Bush's challenge to any and all who would resist his bloody overthrow and theft of their land and resources. To Bush and the republican enablers in Congress, expressions of liberty and self-determination are merely threats to their consolidation of assumed power.
All of this has been done with the awesome and vital force of our nation's defenses. But, five years after the attacks of 9-11, Bush and his republican co-horts have failed to learn the fallacy of the use of force in suppressing those 'ideologies' they fear, and have failed to recognize the danger of their own arrogant slaughter and detention of innocents caught in the way of their greed and hunger for power.
Thursday, Bush taunted Democrats as a party which has forgotten the lessons of FDR and Truman. It's doubtful that Bush ever read any of the words of those outstanding Democrats. But, lest we allow him to continue to mislead, I would offer one quote from FDR which would instruct Bush and his republican party of fear: In his fourth inaugural address, Roosevelt remarked that, "We have learned the simple truth, as Emerson said, that the only way to have a friend is to be one. We can gain no lasting peace if we approach it with suspicion or mistrust or with fear."
Even simple truths, however, seem to escape Bush's view as he readily sacrifices trillions of dollars and thousands of lives in his vain attempt to dominate these Muslim nations; to be perceived as a victor, and to deny his phantom 'terrorists' their own perceived victory. But the orchestrators of 9-11 have already made gains off of his blunders, back-steps and abuses.
"The National Intelligence Estimate," Bush argued in his address, "declares 'perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.' It also says that 'Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.,' he read.
Is Bush saying that we only need to make combatants 'perceive' they're losing to make them stand down? That statement alone is an amazing measure of his weakness in prosecuting his own manufactured 'war on terror' in Iraq, the center of his campaign of fear. There is no lessening of al-Qaeda's influence there as our troops continue to serve as Bush's mercenary security force for his protege', Maliki, on one side of a multi-faced civil war.
Almost everywhere throughout Iraq, outside of the seat of the green-zone protected junta, instigations to jihad are rivaled by everyday battles just to survive, and defend territory and homes against rival sects, tribes, and others displaced in the upheaval and wake of Bush's overthrow of Saddam.
Iraq was even under curfew Friday in response to a reported coup attempt and worries about the possibility of a green-zone infiltration. Baghdad is the last stand in Bush's occupation of Iraq. It's a vain hope that Bush would leave his 'terror war' behind in Iraq and bring our troops home, end the deaths of the average of 2-3 of our soldiers daily.