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article imageBush Misses the Point, Again

By Oliver VanDervoort     May 23, 2007 in Politics
In a speech President Bush gave at a Coast Guard Academy graduation ceremony, he pointed to declassified intelligence that says Osama Bin Laden thought about sending a top lieutenant to Iraq in 2005. But he's missing the point.
Bush said:
There's a reason bin Laden sent one of his most experienced paramilitary leaders to Iraq. He believes that if al Qaeda can drive us out, they can establish Iraq as a new terrorist sanctuary.But there are a few things the President fails to realize:
1. While Bin Laden may have discussed sending this lieutenant to Iraq, there is no evidence to support he followed through with that plan. Exactly how many pieces of intelligence information has the United States compiled on people who thought about doing something, but didn't? And what other time in our country has that been held up as rationale for actions?
2. Bush and the media glossed over the fact Bin Laden discussed sending this lieutenant in 2005 -- two years after the U.S. had invaded Iraq. Would this not also be a shining beacon of proof that Bin Laden's organization was not in Iraq before we invaded? Should that not be pointed out early and often?
And finally:
3. Isn't it possible the chaos we created in Iraq would have made the country a more attractive terrorist breeding ground? And using that logic, wouldn't any attack we receive from terrorists stationed in Iraq be our own fault?The president also made a comparison between Iraq and the Vietnam War, saying, "There are many differences between the two conflicts, but one stands out above all. The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland. ... The enemy in Iraq does."No Mr. Bush, as you already admitted, Bin Laden did not send his lieutenant. He's had no success in setting up an operation that could strike the U.S. from inside Iraq.
Although the White House rejected suggestions the revelations were timed for political purposes, Bush's address coincided with a push by Democrats in Congress to force an end to the U.S. military presence in the region.
Throughout May, 81 U.S. military personnel have died in the Iraq war, bringing the total to 3,432.
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