Thursday, May 03, 2007

returning to a tried and tested lie

You may have forgotten that de facto President Bush has admitted on several occasions that Al Qaeda had NOTHING to do with the attacks of September 11, 2001. But now the President has returned to his dishonest ways (which Cheney never abandoned), making the bogus claim that we have to stay in Iraq in a speech he delivered yesterday.

Bush said "The primary reason for the high level of violence is this: Al-Qaeda has ratcheted up its campaign of high-profile attacks." And he also said that the question was not about a civil war (hey, he admitted it was a civil war!), but it was "whether we stay in the fight against the same international terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11."

Two minor problems here. First, the violence in Iraq is OVERWHELMINGLY instigated by (and against) Iraqis who have nothing to do with Al Qaeda. And second, don't let Bush's little connection between Al Qaeda attacking the US on 9/11 and their exaggerated activities in Iraq distract you from the fact that Al Qaeda had ZERO presence in Iraq before we invaded in 2003.

Remember: Saddam and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Nothing. We invaded Iraq to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction, which turned out not to exist.

And remember further that Al Qaeda is not particularly important in Iraq compared to the various Sunni and Shiite militias and insurgents. Even Fox News white House correspondent Bret Baier sounded a note of skepticism, saying at Tony Snow's press briefing that "This morning the president said that al-Qaeda seems to be a bigger problem than sectarian violence. That seems to fly in the face of what we've heard in recent weeks and months on the ground in Iraq."

In response, Snow lamely said "Well, you've got a shifting series of circumstances."

That's true. The shifting circumstance is that three-plus months into Bush's "surge," violence is as high as ever (ask families and friends of the 100+ US service personnel killed in April, plus all the Iraqis) and they need to try something to deflect attention. What better than to return to Al Qaeda.

Gosh, maybe we should have tried harder to capture him in 2002 in Afghanistan, instead of switching resources to Iraq for a Republican war of choice.

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