Once again this week, the administration trotted out its "fighting-them-there-so-we-don't-have-to-fight-them-here" fable.
It is a fable, because it once again equates and links the trainwreck that is Iraq with terrorists, 9-11, and the overall effort to ferret out terrorism around the world.
Let's start with the lie that those we are fighting in Iraq are anything more than native Iraqis fighting for power and turf. The rhetoric out of the administration this week in successive speeches at the American Legion convention by Rumsfeld, Rice and Bush would lead one to believe that the enemies we are facing in Iraq are equivalent to those who attacked us on 9-11.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Read on for proof...
By U.S. military intelligence estimates, foreign fighters make up approximately 4-6% of the insurgent forces in Iraq. In fact, in major sweeps in Ramadi, Fallujah and throughout Anbar province that resulted in the rounding up or killing of thousands
of suspected insurgents, not a single captured or killed insurgent was a foreign fighter. Every single insurgent killed or captured was Iraqi.
Here are just a few reports that underline and support this fact:
Among Insurgents in Iraq, Few Foreigners Are Found (Washington Post)
The 'myth' of Iraq's foreign fighters (The Christain Science Monitor)
US Army admits Iraqis outnumber foreign fighters as its main enemy (Telegraph-UK)
The current sweep of Baghdad is revealing the same pattern: prisoners and killed insurgents are Iraqis, not foreign fighters.
So let's follow administration logic (an oxymoron, I know)...
Here is the verbal sleight-of-hand Karl Rove piped into George Bush's ear this week in Salt Lake City. Follow the bouncing connections:
General John Abizaid, our top commander in the Middle East region, recently put it this way: "If we leave, they will follow us." And he is right. The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq. So the United States of America will not leave until victory is achieved.
"They will follow us?" Iraqis will follow our departing troops back to our shores? Really? How many Iraqis were involved in the 9-11 attacks?
Zero. Yes, that's right. And how many Iraqis have been involved in terror attacks, worldwide?
Anyone care to hazard a guess? As best I can determine... Zero.
The next sentence, though, is the real meat-and-potatoes of The New Big Fib©:
The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq.
Yes, there are actually terrorists in the world who would like to harm us and are likely plotting to harm us as I write this. But that is not who we are fighting in Iraq, no matter how many times George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice conflate the two.
Most of the terrorists who struck us on 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia. Now, would Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and their neocon friends advise that we invade the home country of the majority of our attackers?
Silly question. Those are their friends!
Instead, they send our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters to fight... to fight... to fight what, exactly?
Republicans (and the leaders of our military) should be angry with the administration and the neocons for NOT going after the terrorists -- the very terrorists who struck us on 9-11 -- when they had the chance.
Instead, our troops were sent on a distraction, an obsession, really. Iraq has been a neocon obsession since George H.W. Bush opted not to chase Saddam and his forces all the way back to Baghdad in 1991.
So here we are today, listening to the New Big Fib© that leaving Iraq means losing to the terrorists.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
But the truth has never gotten in the way of the actions of this crew. Honesty would have required George Bush to state in his January 2001 inaugural address that his administration planned to invade Iraq sometime in the next four years.
That would have been honest.
Because continuing to tie the disaster in Iraq to terrorism is a lie.
Meanwhile, our soldiers continue to die for the perverse dreams of a few twisted souls.
May Richard Perle rot in hell.