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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Al Qaeda's President

George W. Bush celebrated Independence Day with an address from Martinsburg, W. Virginia. It was, of course, more BS.

L.A. Times:

Al Qaeda's propaganda stoogePresident Bush equated the war in Iraq on Wednesday with the U.S. war for independence. Like those revolutionaries who "dropped their pitchforks and picked up their muskets to fight for liberty," Bush said, American soldiers were also fighting "a new and unprecedented war" to protect U.S. freedom.

In a reprise of speeches he delivered throughout the 2006 congressional campaign, the president said the threat that emerged on Sept. 11, 2001, remained today and "a major enemy in Iraq is the same enemy that dared attack the United States on that fateful day."

The president was adamant in his Fourth of July message that he would stand up to calls to end the war before he believes it has been won. When Congress returns next week, Democrats plan to renew their push to bring home the troops.


Considering that this is the president least respect for american liberty and freedom in recent memory, the hypocrisy factor's already pegging the dial. But US forces overthrew a government in Iraq, set up a puppet replacement, and -- far from fighting a revolution -- are busy putting down rebellion in Iraq. We aren't the revolutionaries in this analogy, we're the british -- complete with hessian mercenaries. The only thing that the Iraq war and the revolutionary war have in common is that both involved americans with guns.

I don't think this is a war George Washington would've signed onto, having said in his farewell address, "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world," and we should "avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty."

It's easy to get stuck in the trap of pointing out the crap in Bush's arguments. There's just so much of it every time he opens his mouth. He seems totally incapable of saying three sentences without including some ridiculous lie -- he uses dishonesty as easily as others use commas. If you turned it into a drinking game -- obvious lie, do a shot of tequila -- you'd never make it through twenty minutes of a Bush speech. Seriously, don't try it. Your liver will thank you.

Let's just stick to the claim that 'a major enemy in Iraq is the same enemy that dared attack the United States' on Sept. 11, 2001. Al Qaeda in Iraq is a very minor player. Saying that al Qaeda's a major player in Iraq is like saying that most of Bush's opposition at home comes from Libertarians. Libertarians do think Bush is a moron -- but so does almost everyone else. Bush could concentrate on flipping Libertarians to the Bush cause all he wanted, but even if he succeeded, he'd still be screwed poll-wise. There aren't enough Libertarians to make much of a difference.

Likewise, al Qaeda in Iraq aren't much of anyone. We're fighting the Mahdi Army and the Sunni Insurgency for the most part, al Qaeda exists in Iraq only to be able to say that al Qaeda exists in Iraq. It's practically a PR firm.

In fact, the Financial Times reports today:

Iraq is not a haven for al-Qaeda sympathisers, as Afghanistan was under the Taliban regime. Al-Qaeda there is under a constant security clampdown and is rejected by the majority Shia, the minority Kurds and many Sunni Arabs. But experts say Iraq has magnified al-Qaeda's destructive reach, raising the prospects of a blowback effect, as better trained militants return to their home countries.


Al Qaeda is using Iraq as a live fire training ground and a recruiting tool. Most of the al Qaeda fighters in Iraq are foreign and most of them will go home once they've used US forces as target practice. It's hard to see how helping to train terrorists is extremely helpful in the cause of fighting terrorism.

And, by pushing this myth of al Qaeda being a major player in Iraq, Bush is acting as the spokesman for terrorism. What does it say when al Qaeda's propaganda and Bush's are virtually identical? It certainly brings into question the rightness of Bush's cause when he's shoveling from the same pile as terrorists.

And it brings into question why the war is still being fought. If Bush really believes that the only compelling argument for continuing the occupation is a lie, then how weak must the actual arguments be? Personally, I'm convinced that Bush wants to keep going so that he's not the president who 'lost' Iraq.

But Iraq was lost from the gitgo. You can't fight a war by acting as if your lies are true -- that's not fighting some enemy, that's fighting reality. When you fight reality, all of your strategies serve two purposes; the first is military and the second is propaganda. If you pretend that al Qaeda's the big threat in Iraq, you force yourself to fight al Qaeda -- to the point of ignoring the real threats. In addition, al Qaeda exists in Iraq solely to fight US forces. We're serving al Qaeda's strategy, not our own.

In the end, Bush's strategy is al Qaeda's -- al Qaeda's only looks further ahead. Bush sees his strategy as serving him -- not America -- until 2009. Then he's outta here and we can all screw ourselves. Let some other slob clean up this Iraq mess and take all the blame history has to offer. What's he owe us? He gave us a perfectly lovely and pointless war and we, ingrates that we are, gave him nixonian poll numbers. We can go choke on the war for all he cares.

And if Bush's strategy helps al Qaeda, then all the better. Al Qaeda will become bigger and stronger and then we'll see how right George W. Bush was about how dangerous they are. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But history won't remember Bush as anything other than what he is -- a terrible incompetent, corrupt as hell, and a worldclass liar. We'll make sure of that. The mantle of 'bad president' has been taken off the shoulders of Jimmy Carter and placed on George W. Bush.

And it fits the latter much, much better.

--Wisco

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