Iraq Bush's Creation
By Bill Gallagher
-- -- DETROIT -- President George W. Bush's political
capital is about as low as it can go, with only dead-end
Bushists clinging to his failed regime. The erosion of
support, however, can actually make the madman even more
isolated from reality, arrogant and impetuous.
The final 18 months of his presidency will be an
increasingly dangerous time for the world. Bush is wrapping
himself in his messianic blanket, still bound to convince
the infidels at home and abroad that he is a gifted
visionary who can reshape the Middle East.
Vice President Dick Cheney makes Dr. Strangelove seem like
Gandhi. Cheney operates above the Congress, the
Constitution, the law and human decency -- at times, above
the presidency. He does as he pleases and is answerable to
Bush is not nearly clever enough to sort through or keep up
with Cheney's Machiavellian machinations. The president is
so lazy and incurious, he's more than willing to let Cheney
do his dirty work. Whether it is approving torture, illegal
wiretapping, concentration camps and kidnappings, or
coddling corporate polluters, Cheney is ready to nod OK.
The poll numbers are encouraging, as Americans see through
the lies and conclude -- tragically, too late -- what a mess
we are in. The percentage of Americans who believe the war
in Iraq was a mistake is at an all-time high, as is the
percentage of those who say continued U.S. military action
there is not morally justified.
A CBS/New York Times poll shows 23 percent of Americans
believe the war is going well, 76 percent say the war is
going "badly." The critical question politicians carefully
watch: "Do you believe the country is heading in the right
direction?" The nation is on the wrong track, according to
72 percent of respondents. That's the highest number since
the poll started asking that question in 1983.
The numbers show people are generally gaining a better
understanding of the disastrous course our nation is on and
the serial failures of the Bush administration. There are
exceptions, which seem baffling at first but find
explanation in the administration's talking points --
invariably lies and distortions -- dutifully echoed in the
A "Newsweek" magazine poll conducted by Princeton Survey
Research Associates International posed the question, "Do
you think Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was directly
involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001?"
A staggering 41 percent answered yes. That's actually a 5
percentage point increase over the same question asked in
2004. It's hard to image that 4 out of 10 Americans could be
that uninformed or flat-out stupid. Another poll shows 3 out
of 10 Americans still approve of Bush's job performance and
his handling of the war in Iraq.
The growth in the number of sorry souls buying the
Saddam-Sept. 11 lie may be the result of the word games the
White House and Pentagon use to sell the failed surge and
the futile occupation of Iraq.
When people hear "al-Qaeda," it's natural that they think of
Osama bin Laden and the Sept. 11 attacks. The insurgency,
sectarian violence and opposition to the U.S. occupation in
Iraq are not about fighting al-Qaeda, but that's how Bush's
fiasco there is being branded.
McClatchy Newspapers' Baghdad correspondent Mike Drummond
exposed the sinister rhetorical shift, noting in a recent
report, "U.S. forces continue to battle Shiite militia in
the south, as well as Shiite militia and Sunni insurgents in
Baghdad. Yet America's most wanted enemy at the moment is
Sunni al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Bush administration's recent
shift toward calling the enemy in Iraq 'al-Qaeda' rather
than an insurgency may reflect the difficulty in maintaining
support for the war at home more than it does the nature of
the enemy in Iraq."
In a major speech at the National War College last week,
Bush mentioned al-Qaeda 27 times. McClatchy's Jonathan
Landley reports, "Bush called al-Qaeda in Iraq the
perpetrator of the worst violence racking that country and
said it was the same group that carried out the 9/11
Pure crap. Al-Qaeda has become a generic name, in many cases
a self-proclaimed label for foes of the U.S. invasion. Since
some of the Iraqi Sunnis started calling themselves
"al-Qaeda in Iraq" or "al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia," the Bush
propaganda ministry saw an opportunity to conflate the
invasion of Iraq with the Sept. 11 attacks.
Bush went on to claim, "Al-Qaeda is the main enemy for Shia,
Sunni and Kurds alike. Al-Qaeda is responsible for the most
sensational killings in Iraq. They're responsible for the
sensational killings on U.S. soil." Those are demonstrable
lies. Bush hardly mentioned sectarian violence. U.S.
military intelligence even disputes Bush's wild claims. All
of this is intentional and meant to deceive and distort.
The Iraq Study Group and intelligence estimates placed the
number of Iraqi insurgent forces at approximately 20,000
combatants. At most, 5 percent of that number are foreigners
fighting in Iraq, nearly all going there in response to the
U.S. invasion. Some are Iranians supporting Shiites; others
Sunnis from Syria and Saudi Arabia supporting Iraqi Sunnis.
Nearly all come from nations with strategic interests in the
region and want to help their ethnic or religious comrades.
The lightning rod for these expeditionary forces is the
presence of U.S. forces in the heart of Islam. Bin Laden,
hiding in the mountains of northern Pakistan, just sits back
and relaxes, enjoying the bloody spectacle and the gift to
radical Islam Bush brought him.
The true ties involving Iraq, deadly chemical weapons and
the United States rarely get a mention. Saddam's allies in
killings tens of thousands of Kurds included Ronald Reagan,
George H.W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates and others.
Reagan as president, Bush as vice president, Rumsfeld as
special envoy to the Middle East and Gates as a senior CIA
officer all provided help and support for Saddam's murderous
assaults on his own people.
The Iraqi Special Tribunal has sentenced Saddam's cousin Ali
Hassan al-Majid to death. Known as "Chemical Ali," he was
the point-man in using chemical weapons first on Iranian
troops during the Iraq-Iran war, and then later on Iraqi
Kurds supporting the Iranians.
On the Smirking Chimp Web site, Barry Lando described how,
when Ali's sentence was read on June 24, "all the key
players in the media were there to capture the dramatic
courtroom scene. What none of the reporters mentioned,
however, was that when Saddam and Chemical Ali and the rest
of the Saddam killers were doing their worst, the U.S.
governments of Ronald Reagan and later George Bush Senior
were their de facto allies, providing them with vital
satellite intelligence, weapons and financing, while
shielding them from U.N. investigations or efforts by the
U.S. Congress to impose trade sanctions for their
Robert Parry, who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for
AP, wrote, "Hussein's silence was golden for the
international arms dealers who supplied his regime and the
foreign officials who facilitated the shipments." So when
the "brutal dictator" -- as George W. liked to call him --
was sent to the gallows, Bush the Elder, Rumsfeld and Gates
"were among those who could breathe a little easier after
the hangman's noose had choked the life out of Hussein,"
Bin Laden never had any kind of relationship with Saddam,
but many intimates of our president did. So far, they have
been able to choke the life out of that truth.
Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara
Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News.
His e-mail address is
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