President Bush boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, AP Photo/Caleb Jones
President Bush, desperate to make the case that that Americans face an ongoing threat from terrorists, disclosed today that Osama bin Laden was working in 2005 to set up a unit inside Iraq to hit U.S. targets.
"Osama bin Laden calls the struggle in Iraq a 'war of destiny.' He proclaimed 'the war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever,'" Bush told reporters. "We are determined to stop the world's most dangerous men from striking America with the world's most dangerous weapons."
Of course, this revelation involves a purported plot that occurred two years after the United States invaded Iraq, deposed Saddam Hussein, and destroyed the infrastructure of the Iraqi government. This is akin to laying off garbage collectors, allowing trash to pile up, and then pointing to the requisite members of the species Rattus rattus as "proof" of a pre-exisiting rodent problem.
Sorry, Mr. President. The presence of al Qaeda in Iraq is a direct result of your failed policies, and any radicals in Iraq who associate themselves with the loose al Qaeda network merely took advantage of the post-invasion chaos to entrench themselves.
The fact is that Iraq was a stable, though dictator-headed, nation when the United States invaded in 2003, and the result of that invasion has been an unqualified disaster. There have been nearly 3,500 U.S. troops killed during this conflict, tens of thousands of wounded military personnel, and perhaps as many as 600,000 Iraqi civilians killed in war-related deaths.
There is something almost pathetic about the decision by President Bush to trudge out the tired old specter of Osama bin Laden for consideration. Mr. Bush seems so dispirited, so bleak, so miserable; we are reduced to watching this President's ineffectual efforts to summon a ploy that has long since worn out its punch.