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The Specter of Bush's Terror War

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Message Ron Fullwood
"Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me . . . Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!" --Job 10:18

If you happened to watch Bush answer questions in his news conference Thursday, you can't have any doubt that he's come to the end of his string of lies about Iraq, and about the state of his manufactured 'war on terror'. For the past year Bush and Cheney have adopted a strategy of renewed fearmongering which includes a diatribe about "listening to the terrorists." Bush repeated that diatribe on Thursday as he attempted to wrap his Iraq fiasco in the tattered banner of his phony terror war.

"In a war against extremists and radicals like these, we ought to be listening carefully to what they say," Bush told reporters in the Rose Garden Thursday. "We ought to take their words seriously."

There is the obvious question of why Bush is more intent on listening to and repeating the words of terrorists rather than demonstrating just once that he's listening to the American people who he claims he's defending with his swaggering militarism. There's also the obvious question of why the individuals he holds responsible for the 9-11 attacks are still at large and are able to issue their threats and edicts with impunity from their safe haven in Afghanistan/Pakistan.

However, a more important question occurs after listening to Bush defend his invisible pursuit of the 9-11 suspects - including his dubious 'hunt' for Osama bin-Laden. Does Bush really believe al-Qaeda's most notorious terrorist, who he promised to apprehend "dead or alive," still lives? Despite the fact that there have been zero visual broadcasts of bin-Laden in years, and just a handful of audio manifestos which have been forwarded from the terror organization, Bush still continues to use the specter of bin-Laden as the nation's greatest threat; and as justification for every pernicious grab for power he's been able to exploit since 9-11.

We all heard Bush tell the nation in a press conference in March of 2002 that he 'didn't know' where bin-Laden is. "You know, I just don't spend that much time on him to be honest with you," Bush answered when asked why he barely mentions him anymore. "He's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized," he said. "His network, his host government has been destroyed," Bush claimed.

Yet, sometime before the recent midterm congressional elections - 6 years or so after his assertion that he doesn't "spend much time on him; Bush began to resurrect the specter of bin-Laden in order to strike renewed fears in Americans to better enable him to exercise his self-appointed role as the nation's protector in his cynical protection scheme.

"What I say to the American people when I am out there is, all you got to do is listen to what Osama bin Laden says," Bush told reporters in the Rose Garden a month before the congressional elections which swept his party out of their enabling majority and replaced them with Democrats pledged to end his Iraq occupation and bring our troops home.

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

Bush's 'Iraqi al-Qaeda' are becoming as important and elevated as the original 9-11 orchestrators have been as a result of his rhetoric raising the combatants to a level of importance reserved for nation-states which actually threaten our defenses with substantial armies and weaponry. While the original al-Qaeda continue to influence recruits and supporters by the mere fact of their Bush-enabled freedom from prosecution, Bush is satisfied to regard the 2% or so Iraqis our intelligence agencies identify as al-Qaeda sympathizers as the most important threat our country faces which deserves the bulk of our nation's defenses and the continuing and escalated sacrifice of our nation's defenders in Iraq.

Cheney echoed that sentiment at the beginning of May, this year, as he tried to make his audience as fearful as he was by quoting the 9-11 terror suspects' taunts that a U.S. exit from Iraq meant victory for the fugitive band of thugs. Amazing as it was that Cheney would accept an enemy's definition of victory or success in Iraq, it was even more incredible to hear him assert that the suspects - who've been enabled in their freedom from prosecution by his Iraq diversion - would actually welcome a U.S. exit from Iraq.

It's more than obvious to us all that an exit from Iraq would inevitably result in a renewed focus on the remaining 9-11 suspects' flight from justice, and on the safe haven in the mountains of Afghanistan Bush has granted to whoever is left of the original perps by his diversion of the bulk of our nation's defenders to Iraq. Yet, the administration yokels still insist that a withdrawal from Iraq would mean 'victory' for bin-Laden and al-Qaeda.

"Success in Baghdad will be success for the United States," Cheney quoted the terrorists as declaring. "Failure in Iraq is the failure of the United States. Their defeat in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars," Cheney said, quoting a ridiculous edict from some terrorist propagandist.

So, why not go after them with the full force of our military? What is it about pursuing the suspects into Pakistan that Bush and Cheney are so afraid to disturb with the same swaggering militarism they think suits Iraq? Why are they so satisfied in protecting a parcel of land which they say could, one day, be the dominion of their enabling nemesis? The solution obvious to everyone looking on would be to go after the core of the terror organization and take that seductive influence they've taken to promoting at every opportunity down for good?

In his news conference Thursday, Bush may have given us a clearer view of his intentions and actual understanding of the true nature of the threats he's been parroting as a warning against withdrawing from Iraq. Despite his repetition of the lines about al-Qaeda wanting us to leave Iraq and his impression that leaving would automatically be some sort of victory for the terrorists, the old Bush came to the fore with a mixture of disinterest in apprehending bin-Laden; along with the assertion that despite the incredible losses our troops have suffered in Iraq and will admittedly suffer at an increased rate along with this escalation, has constituted an effective defense against the goals of the terrorist organization.

"Why is he still at large?" Bush was asked on Thursday. "Can you tell the American people -- is he still on the run? Why is he so hard to catch?" Bush was asked.

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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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