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August 30, 2006

So Much The Better

In the latest interview with President Bush, we again learn he never said Saddam ordered 9/11:

BUSH: [T]he war came to our shores, remember that. We had a foreign policy that basically said, let's hope calm works. And we were attacked.

WILLIAMS: But those weren't Iraqis.

BUSH : They weren’t, no, I agree, they weren't Iraqis, nor did I ever say Iraq ordered that attack, but they're a part of, Iraq is part of the struggle against the terrorists.

And recently:

THE PRESIDENT: [N]obody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.

Interesting phrasing. Here's a November, 2004 Esquire article by Walter Russell Mead:

But what were the real reasons for going into Iraq? I'd asked a senior administration official...And the connection between containment and Al Qaeda? I asked. Between our Iraq policy and September 11?

The official pointed out fatwas from Osama that cited the effects of sanctions on Iraqi children and the presence of U. S. troops as a sacrilege that justified his jihad. In a real sense, September 11 was part of the cost of containing Saddam. No containment, no U. S. troops in Saudi Arabia. No U. S. troops there, then bin Laden might still be redecorating mosques and boring friends with stories of his mujahideen days in the Khyber Pass.

As it was, the administration took what looked like the path of least resistance in making its public case for the war: WMD and intelligence links with Al Qaeda. If the public read too much into those links and thought Saddam had a hand in September 11, so much the better.

July 1, 2003:

Seven in 10 people in a poll say the Bush administration implied that Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein were involved in the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States.
Posted at August 30, 2006 08:55 PM | TrackBack

While it is quite obvious that Walter Mead, a Henry Kissinger fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, is an abject ass he manages to glom onto one fact, that being Cheney is certainly a driving force behind our Mid East policy if it can be dignified in that manner. But one does not need to be a fellow of the CFR to be cognizant of that little slice of reality.

I became curious as to what Mead is saying now concerning foreign relations and more specifically the Mid East.

"That's right. I imagine Bush, Blair and Maliki are not going to want to get into deadlines and timetables, but if you were an Iraqi politician you would certainly feel that getting the foreign troops out of the way sooner rather than later would strengthen your authority and your government's. So I think what you've got is a situation where Bush, Blair, and Maliki would all like to see, as soon as possible, foreign troops moving, in the first place off the street, and becoming less visible, and then ultimately leaving the country."

"Well, it's hard to see much happening in the Middle East as long as the impasse between Hamas and Israel remains, and I don't see anything changing that anytime soon. Under those circumstances, Israeli withdrawal, unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, might be about the best thing one could hope for in terms of stability there. But clearly that wouldn't get you to where you'd ultimately like to be, which is a real peace process."

Ah well, so it goes, Israel withdrawing from the West Bank will not lead to a peace process and Bush wants leave Iraq soon. Why they call these think tanks think tanks is beyond me.

But to stick with the topic at hand if Bush, Cheney and the rest have not deliberately misled John Q. Public on the true nature of what they fondly refer to as that terrorist threat then who has been doing the misleading? The Liberal press, Jane Fonda, The Pillsbury dough boy?

A Harris poll just last month had this to offer up for thought.

Seventy-two percent believe that the Iraqis are better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein (slightly down from February 2005 when 76 percent said this was true).

Just over half (55%) think history will give the U.S. credit for bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq (down substantially from 64% in February 2005).

Sixty-four percent say it is true that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda (the same as 64% in February 2005).

Personally I find these data to be absolutely mind boggling. And while per some recent interesting posts at this website by some conservative thinkers who suggested that liberals have their heads in an interesting anatomical position I feel unconvinced by their arguments.

Posted by: rob payne at August 31, 2006 03:44 AM

In the "interview" with Brian Williams last night, Bush CONTINUED to avoid actually answering questions, filling in with all kinds of meaningless bull. Williams could have pressed a lot more than he did, especially to follow up on the Iraq responses. I wonder if he had to submit the questions first--he didn't say and I wouldn't be surprised. Loved that jacketless, tieless setup--jest two guys chawin' together over these little bitty topics on a summer day...

Posted by: Mimi at August 31, 2006 05:53 AM

George W. Bush indicated the connection between Saddam Hussein and the Sept 11 2001 events in his "Mission Accomplised" speech:
The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on.

That terrible morning, 19 evil men, the shock troops of a hateful ideology, gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the beginning of the end of America.

By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation's resolve and force our retreat from the world.

They have failed.

Posted by: Erik at August 31, 2006 08:54 AM

Enough talk, time for action. Indict the sdumbitch before Congress passes the amnesty law that will free him and all his evil ilks (the s makes it sound better) from responsibility.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at August 31, 2006 09:24 AM

Before the invasion according to a WaPo poll, 68% of Americans thought bin Laden and Hussein were the SAME person. That kind of conclusion is no accident.

Posted by: Maezeppa at August 31, 2006 10:21 AM

Let us assume Bush will remain for his full term which seems likely and then let us assume we shall all still be around for the next presidential election. Who will the republicans nominate as their candidate?

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey

John McCain gets 20 percent, Rudy Giuliani gets 24 percent and Condi Rice gets 21 percent.

Gallup Poll. June 1-4, 2006.

Rudy gets 29 percent, McCain 24 percent.

What about the democrats?

Pew poll.

Hillary gets 40 percent, Gore gets 18 percent, Edwards 11 percent.

Gallup poll.

Hilllary gets 39 percent, Gore 16 percent, Edwards 12 percent.

Clearly the American people want more war, cannot get enough war, want more war.

The war hawks are in the lead, got war?

Posted by: rob payne at August 31, 2006 10:46 AM

I'd like to order the hummus surprise with a side of a major attack on the infidel imperialist USA. Oh, and can I get some extra bread?

Posted by: wkmaier at August 31, 2006 07:04 PM

that karl rove sure knows how to manipulate an audience, huh?

where's that fitzmas that all the bloopgers were so happy about?

Posted by: almostinfamous at September 1, 2006 08:21 AM