Tuesday, July 24, 2007

There’s a good reason they are called Al Qaida in Iraq

This morning, Bush was thrilled – maybe a little too thrilled – to be going on a little field trip.

In the company of a wax replica of Lindsey Graham, Bush visited Charleston Air Force Base and toured the cargo loading operations or, as he put it, “Nice big airplanes carrying a lot of cargo.”

He gave a speech devoted to playing up the role of Al Qaida in Iraq and to denying “that the organization called al Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi phenomenon, that it’s independent of Osama bin Laden and that it’s not interested in attacking America.” “That would be news to Osama bin Laden,” he said. So that’s one guy totally out of touch with reality defending his delusions by quoting another guy totally out of touch with reality.

And, of course, there’s the Oath. “It’s hard to argue that al Qaida in Iraq is separate from bin Laden’s al Qaida, when the leader of al Qaida in Iraq [Zarqawi] took an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden.” And you took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States, but that didn’t turn out to mean very much, now did it?

Last week, the Pentagon was claiming that the Iraqi head of AQI, Umar al Baghdadi, never existed. Today, Bush said Baghdadi is “only an actor.” Possibly Fred Thompson.

Bush’s logic is impeccable: “They know they’re al Qaida. The Iraqi people know they are al Qaida. People across the Muslim world know they are al Qaida. And there’s a good reason they are called al Qaida in Iraq: They are al Qaida ... in ... Iraq.” Also, there’s a good reason it’s called Alice in Wonderland. Just saying.

More of his diamond-cutter logic: “Yet despite all the evidence, some will tell you that al Qaida in Iraq is not really al Qaida -- and not really a threat to America. Well, that’s like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun, and saying he’s probably just there to cash a check.” Er, how is it like that?

So to summarize, the war in Iraq is not a distraction from the fight against terrorism: “We are fighting bin Laden’s al Qaida in Iraq.”

As Bush is now portraying the war, Iraq itself is more or less irrelevant to the war taking place in it, as are the Iraqi people, so it doesn’t matter if they never get their shit together, achieve a single benchmark, or if the Iraqi parliament ever comes back from its August recess.

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