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Calling Iraq the center of the War on Terrorism does not make it so
June 5, 2004
By kentuck

The Bush regime never hesitates to compare the War on Terrorism to other great struggles in our lifetimes, such as World War II and the Cold War. It is important that the War on Terrorism be seen as something huge in our lives. It is a struggle for our very liberty and freedom. They want to kill all Americans, we are told.

There is no doubt that we were attacked on September 11th, 2001. It would have been terrible, even if the WTC had not collapsed. There were many casualties in the planes and the Pentagon also. There was little doubt that there had to be retribution for the acts. The question is, how much retribution should we seek for the dastardly act of 9/11?

We were told that it was perpetrated by Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorists. So, in cooperation with Pakistan to permit flyover of their territory, we hit Osama and the Taliban hard in Afghanistan. At one time, we were told that we had Osama encircled within a 12 mile circle. Somehow he managed to escape. We thought he was in the caves near Tora Bora and we made gravel out of most of that area with our bombs.

We were making progress on the War on Terrorism. But, in the middle of the War on Terrorism, we invaded Iraq. Why? It seems that there were individuals within the Administration, and Bush himself, that had planned on getting Saddam Hussein before they ever came into office.

In a matter of days, we had marched into Baghdad and turned over the statues of Saddam and met slight resistance in the process. Many in the Iraqi Army simply disappeared into the night. Bush flew on board an aircraft carrier and pronounced "Mission Accomplished". However, the War in Iraq had just begun.

The political strategists around Bush, Karl Rove and others, recommended that this "War" should be the primary issue in the campaign of 2002. And the Republicans were quite successful with that strategy. They were talking about getting a veto-proof majority in the Senate and increasing their numbers in the House.

However, matters started to deteriorate with the War in Iraq. Casualties mounted and the resistance grew more intense. Bush and the Republicans began saying that the War in Iraq was the center of the War on Terrorism. It was beat into the conscience of America. The worse things got in Iraq, the bigger the War on Terrorism became as a political issue.

But, the sad truth is that, the War in Iraq never really had anything to do with the War on Terrorism. We were making great progress with the war on terrorism - even if we had not yet captured Osama bin Laden. We kept a small contingent in Afghanistan but they were mostly forgotten as we carried on the new War in Iraq.

The bottom line is that if Bush and the Repubs are not permitted to tie the invasion of Iraq with the War on Terrorism, they will have a difficult political row to hoe. But, if they are successful in tying Saddam Hussein to terrorism and the American people accept their premise, then they believe they will win the next election and keep power in this country. Democrats must continue to point out that simply calling Iraq the center of the War on Terrorism does not make it so.

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