A Terrible Symbiosis
July 11, 2005
In a speech to the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia, today, the President declared Iraq the "central front" in the war on terror.
The bombs that killed at least 50 commuters in London last week show that his policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world are necessary, the President said, and that we must keep on fighting the war on terror. He also used the tragedy in London to plug the reauthorization of the U.S. Patriot Act.
In a speech that made the most cynical use of mass civilian casualties since the Administration took up flogging 9/11 to justify its war against a country that had nothing to do with the downing of the World Trade Center, Bush jumped on the recent bombings to claim that more of the same policies that stirred up the terrorists in London are now in order. http://www.nytimes.com
And yet the Administration's own intelligence shows that there was no Iraq-Al Queda connection--at least until the U.S. invasion turned that country into a magnet for terrorists-in-training.
The President said today that winning the war in Iraq will help put an end to terrorism because "free societies are peaceful societies." Tell that to the rush-hour commuters of London. Or to the New Yorkers who got on subways this morning with the jittery feeling that the next attack could be at any local station.
It was fortuitous timing for Bush, who, during the G-8 meetings that were interrupted by the London bombings, found himself in the spotlight as the lone hold-out against an international global warming agreement. At the same time, polls showed that his last Iraq speech did nothing to shore up confidence at home, where the public increasingly views the whole war as a bad mistake.
There is a terrible symbiosis between the terrorists who attack civilians in our country and Europe, and the U.S. and its allies' continued occupation of Iraq. Each can point to the other as a justification for further violence, driving us all deeper into an endless, bloody low-intensity war with no borders.
Only a change of leadership and a sincere effort at international reconciliation, the likes of which this Administration shows no ability to muster, can get us out of this awful mess.