It's amusing to me how many different reasons the administration has had for invading Iraq. First it was Weapons of Mass Destruction. Then it was Freeing Iraq from Tyranny. Then it was Building A Stronger America By Making Allies Abroad (that one made me snicker.) Not once did the administration give us the real reason for the war... until today.
President Bush on Tuesday answered growing anti-war protests with a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields that he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.
Instead of the control of American extremists, right?
More below the belt.
The president, standing against a backdrop of the imposing USS Ronald Reagan, the newest aircraft carrier in the Navy's fleet, said terrorists would be denied their goal of making Iraq a base from which to recruit followers, train them and finance new attacks.
"We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. "We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary."
And all the other countries that aid terrorists and give them sanctuary? Well, I think we can figure that one out. NO OIL.
At the naval base, Bush declared, "We will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure" from al-Qaida and its forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."
Which is another funny statement. Many of the more mundane weapons in Iraq have disappeared because of a lack of security around munition dumps and military supply dumps in the early days of the invasion. Those weapons are now being used against American troops.
And what about this recruitment business? If anything, Bush and his cronies are helping Al-Queda's cause by continuing to bring the war to Iraq. The more dissatisfied citizens they create, the more candidates for membership in Al-Queda. If they truly want to hurt Al-Queda, stop shooting the Iraqi people and start giving them food.
And stop taking their oil.