Wednesday, August 30, 2006



On August 21st, at a White House press conference, President Bush warned that pulling out of the conflict in Iraq would threaten United States security. The President appeared to be using his bully pulpit as political turf marker in the upcoming fall elections, painting supporters of the continued occupation as being tough on terror compared to the unwise cut n run types who call for a reduced presence. In truth, if the President were keeping it real, his criticisms of vocal war critics who say cut the losses ASAP, are merely disguised attempts at silencing those who tell the truth about the poorly run mission in Iraq and its continued grim and dangerous state of affairs.

But, after he had sarcastically called the Democratic Party the “Democrat” party, he tried to slip in a common Bush administration subliminal ad, the discussion of Iraq and September 11th in the same sentence. Fortunately, an alert reporter decided to call the President out, asking, “what did Iraq have to do with that?”

The President, clearly miffed, answered “Nothing” adding that no one in the administration had ever suggested Saddam Hussein ordered the attack on New York and Washington.

Now really Mr. President, let’s not get huffy and muddle the truth like mint in a Mojito.

Perhaps no one in the administration ever publicly stated, word for word, that Saddam Hussein had a direct hand in the attacks of 9/11, but we do know that members of the administration were quick to look for, and use, any shred of evidence that could possibly be linked to the attacks, and that those shreds were then used as public justification, or associative P.R. if you will, for an invasion of that country and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a long held and determined goal of key members of the Bush White House.

Outspoken opponents of the invasion have always dismissed the stated intentions of the Bush administration in Iraq. For one, opponents did not believe it was America’s duty to de-throne the murderous dictator that Saddam Hussein was. Others subscribed to the common belief that the war was about Iraqi gold, commonly known as oil. These were all debates that could have been held in an honest public policy forum. Instead, the Public Relations road to Iraq was sinister and down right sneaky. There were attempts to mislead, confuse and spook the American people. Individuals as well as politicians saw their patriotism questioned. Members of the administration along with a number of Republican leaders helped along by a media in passive mode and little vocal Democratic opposition were successful at lumping all the Allah worshiping nations together as one in the minds of millions of American voters, who were still hurting and angry after the attacks of 9/11. An underreported truth was the fact that top members of the Bush administration, neo-conservatives who had actually anointed Bush as a Presidential candidate and brought him up to speed on their version of foreign affairs, had long wanted to rid the world of Hussein, and use Iraq as the bargain Bazaar of American style democracy. The second in command, Dick Cheney himself, was an active member of a group run by William Kristol that included Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld among others, called Project for the New American Century, which as early as 1998, had called on then President Clinton for military action in Iraq that would overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Once in positions of power, the kingmakers like Rumsfeld and Cheney were not so naïve to think that the American people would support an unprovoked American invasion of Iraq. The tragic events of 9/11 provided the Bush Administration with the carte blanche the Administration needed for the invasion and a subsequent outpost for American style democracy.

The potholed road of deceit to Iraq began just hours after the 9/11 attacks. According to a 2002 CBS News report by correspondent David Martin, Donald Rumsfeld was already in the express lane.

Martin’s report cited notes taken by Don Rumsfeld aides that quoted the Defense Secretary as saying he wanted the “best information fast”. The notes continued with “judge whether good enough to hit Saddam Hussein”.

“Go massive” and “Sweep it all up. Things related and not” said Rumsfeld in the notes according to the CBS.

The Bush Administration campaign to convince Americans of a link between 9/11 and Iraq continued in speeches, television appearances and press conferences according to a report by Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank at the “Washington Post” in June 2004

-In the later part of 2001, Dick Cheney said it was “pretty well confirmed” that September 11th mastermind Mohamed Atta met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official before the attacks, in April 2000 in Prague.

-In May 2003, President Bush said “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror.” Of Iraq, the President said “we’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding.”

-In September of 2004, Vice President Cheney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “If we’re successful in Iraq…then we will have struck a major blow at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.”

-Cheney also said on the same episode of “Meet the Press” that “The Iraqi intelligence service had a relationship with al Qeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the 90’s.”

In a March 2003 prime time news conference where the President was discussing war plans for Iraq, the President mentioned September 11th eight times. The President mentioned Saddam Hussein several more times than that, often in the same sentence that he spoke of September 11th.

Unfortunately, no one really challenged the manipulative 9/11-Iraq charade flowing from the administration. Democrats appeared to be asleep actually falling for the associative allegations while the media had a field day, blasting dramatic background musical introductions to news reports and graphic “war on terror” banners and language as it prepared to embed reporters on tanks for what everyone thought would be a quick antiseptic war in Arab land.

A week after the March press conference, Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland told the “Christian Science Monitor” “The administration has succeeded in creating a sense that there is some connection between September 11th and Saddam Hussein.”

The United States began military action in Iraq on March 20th, 2003.

By the fall of that same year in September, the BBC was confirming Kull’s earlier assertion, reporting that 70% of Americans polled believed that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the attacks of 9/11.

But, fast forward a few blood soaked years to August 2006 as more disturbing facts bubble to the surface and the war shows its more complicated side. A CBS/New York Times poll is reporting that 51% of Americans now think of the war in Iraq as “separate” from the overall war on terror and 63% think the war in Iraq has made Americans less safe from terrorism according to another poll conducted for the newsmagazine “Newsweek”

Most of the alleged relationships between the Islamic fundamentalist al Qaeda and the secular tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq originally charged by Bush Administration members were disputed by the findings of the September 11th Commission in 2004. In fact, the 9/11 Commission found that Osama Bin Laden had at one time “sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan.”
Meanwhile, somewhere in a cave in Afghanistan or perhaps our ally Pakistan sits the Godfather of an organization that murdered 3,000 innocent people on a clear crisp September morning.

Another 3000 American lives, countless injuries, an estimated 40 thousand Iraqi lives and $300 billion later, a decidedly more unstable anti-American world has begged the awful question of us all, were we deceived?

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