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Bush and Bin-Laden, Sittin' in a Tree . . .

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Message Ron Fullwood

Can there be any doubt at all that al-Qaeda *hearts* Bush and his republicans? How could they not love they way Bush and his republicans are spreading their messages of fear and hatred while, at the same time, arguing to continue the Iraq diversion which has enabled bin-Laden and his associates to run free.

The Iraq invasion and occupation is the realization of a conservative dream, which surfaced during Ronald Reagan's term, that envisioned a federal budget which bled the social programs and entitlements dry by directing almost every dollar to defense spending and corporate welfare. Now, five years after the 9-11 attacks, Bush and his republican enablers have perfected the art of the 'national security' con to the point where the money for military muckraking is automatic, while the rest of the country's needs get nothing more than a miserly pittance of attention.

Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq has be the realization al-Qaeda's dream, as well. Bush and his republican apologists can twist the facts every which way they want, but their diversion from the hunt for bin-Laden and his accomplices in Afghanistan to invade and occupy Iraq has to have been the single, most blundering appeasement of terrorist violence by our government ever; certainly the largest since Reagan and Bush were caught in Iran trading arms for hostages.

Consider the argument that Bush and his republicans are making after five years of letting bin-Laden run free; after five years of shifting justifications for diverting to Iraq, and flip-flops regarding the importance of capturing or killing the rebel leader and his band of thugs. They are now reduced to arguing that the best place to wage their 'war on terror' is in Iraq, as Bush put it, Iraq is the "center" of his terror war. Why? "Because bin-Laden says so."

"We know what the terrorists intend to do because they've told us -- and we need to take their words seriously." Bush said in September.

Did Bush and his republicans ever consider that al-Qaeda might be saying that Iraq represents something important to them to keep the bulk of our nation's defenses bogged down there while they enjoy their freedom from prosecution in Afghanistan/ Pakistan? In Bush's radio address this weekend, he seemed to understand that al-Qaeda had some degree of political sense when he praised their "sophisticated propaganda strategy."

What makes more sense? That al-Qaeda would rather we had Iraq's 145,000 U.S. troops deployed along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, or, would they rather have the piddly 20,000 troops we have there now defending the mayor of Kabul, Karsai? Would al-Qaeda rather have an over-deployed force in Iraq which is stretched thin and under siege, or, would the terrorists prefer, as Bush and his republicans would have us believe, that we leave Iraq and focus our resources on their apprehension?

Bush and his republicans are more than content to listen to the terrorists, and they want us to listen too. "Don't believe me," Bush told Americans in his Rose Garden news conference earlier this month. "Listen to the enemy, or listen to Mr. Zawahiri, the number two of al Qaeda, both of whom made it clear that Iraq is central in their plans."

"I take the words of the enemy very seriously," Bush said, "and so should the American people."

Nothing must thrill al-Qaeda more than to hear Bush read off passages of propaganda from the terrorists' own speeches and dispatches, except maybe the slick campaign commercial the republican party put out this weekend featuring the terrorist's words lovingly super-imposed against bin-Laden's smiling image. "What is yet to come will be even greater," the announcer quotes bin-Laden as saying. "These are the stakes," is the hook; strangely reminiscent of the '64 'Daisy' ad Johnson ran in his campaign which featured a countdown to a nuclear explosion.

All of Bush's emphasis on bin-Laden and al-Qaeda won't have any effect at all on eliminating any imagined threat. How tragic and sad for the American people, and how utterly wonderful for al-Qaeda that Bush and his republicans are promoting the terrorists' appeals to fear. The promise that would come from allowing the republican party to remain in power would be that bin-Laden and his accomplices would be able to continue to run loose in Afghanistan/Pakistan while they continue to direct the bulk of our defenses the other direction, to Iraq.

That's their promise to the American people. "For as long as Bush is president," as he has said, " they will continue to sacrifice lives and limbs in Iraq (where 16 of his intelligence agencies say our occupation is creating terrorists, not eliminating them) and continue to short-shrift the search for the leaders of the organization which is influencing other combatants with the example of their members' historic attack and the orchestrators' escape from justice.

For as long as Bush and his republican enablers hold the majority, our soldiers will continue to be killed at a rate of 2-3 a day in Iraq; over 80 American soldiers dead this month alone. Al-Qaeda has to be just loving it all. Why on earth would they want the relationship to end? In the face of Bush's retreat from the hunt in Afghanistan they've managed to expand the numbers of those who would associate themselves with them; right under our noses in Iraq, just by the fact of their resistance against our violently repressive military occupation.

You can't help but imagine any number of responses to the 9-11 attacks, which would focus directly on catching the perpetrators, that would not have embroiled our nation in an "ideological struggle" in Iraq, passed on to "future presidents." The thugs in the leadership of al-Qaeda have to be loving the gullible instincts of Bush and the republicans as their party of failure and fear rise to the terrorists' every utterance. All of their mutual support will pay off big if republicans manage to hold the majority and continue to enable the imperial presidency with impunity. Why would Bush and the republicans want to end the relationship?

Al-Qaeda *hearts* Bush and the republicans. The American fools give them life, meaning, and elevation. In return, the terrorist goons provide the fear for our leaders to exploit and lord over us. They are "two bodies with one soul inspired." Beloved and inseparable.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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