Sunday, May 27, 2007

No Surprise: Republican Front-Runners Lying about Terrorism

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an article that appeared in the Boston Globe on Sunday, May 27, 2007 and which can be read at www.boston.com. The thrust of the article is that Republican front-runners for the 2008 Republican nomination are lying about links between the war in Iraq and terrorists, especially Al Qaeda. This is not surprising since the Bush Administration used language to suggest such a link in the run-up to this war.

Now, why were the Bushies able to get away with it? Well, boys and girls, it was because the news media, and especially TV network news, never called them on it. They allowed the President, the Vice-President, and the then National Security Advisor to imply to the American people that such links existed.

An example is this quote from the Globe article about Bush linking Hussein to terrorism:

Bush, for instance, repeatedly spoke of Hussein's support for terrorism -- which many Americans apparently took to mean that Hussein supported Al Qaeda in its jihad against the United States. The administration, however, sourced that claim to Hussein's backing of Palestinian terrorist groups targeting Israel.

Do you ever remember any mainstream media, especially television reporters, every calling Bush on this kind of claim? We don't and we imagine that most of our readers don't either.

It was also effective as this quote, also from the Globe article, shows:

The belief that there is a clear connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks has been a key determinant of support for the war. A Harris poll taken two weeks before the 2004 presidential election found that a majority of Bush's supporters believed that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks -- a claim that Bush has never made. Eighty-four percent believed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had "strong links" with Al Qaeda, a claim that intelligence officials have long disputed.

So, they are doing it because it works and because they have nothing else. They can't talk about the economy since America is bleeding jobs at an ever increasing rate. They can't talk about effective management of government because of Hurricane Katrina. They can't talk about success in Iraq because it has been, and will continue to be, a hole in the sand in which we are pouring lives and treasure. They can talk about cutting taxes, but that only benefits a relative few number of voters. What do they have left? Fear and loathing. The two standbys in the Republican political operatives playbooks when all else fails. Get ready for one long venomous political year.

2 comments:

Mark said...

I am not really a fan of this war and I can tell you that this line about Saddam having "no links" to al Qaeda is nonsense.

There's been HUNDREDS of members of his regime have been caught working for al Qaeda in Iraq and many admitted the cooperation began prior to invasion. It's a shame this information doesn't get more play. Not that it justifies the invasion but it's something the public deserves to know.

Team Member said...

But your comments overlook the fact that prior to the invasion of Iraq by the United States there is no credible evidence that the Hussein government was co-operating with al-Qaeda to target the United States.

Now, after it was clear that the invasion was going to take place it is possible that members of Hussein government's and members of al-Qaeda started co-operating since they were about to have a common enemy and it is certainly true that forces allied with Hussein's old government are now co-operating with al-Qaeda, but that is since the invasion.

The bottom line, though, is that prior to 2002, when the Bush Administration sought the authorization for use of military force, there is no credible evidence that Hussein was an ally of bin Laden's group.

Futhermore, since bin Laden is motivated by a radical form of Islam and since Hussein was a person who believed in secular control of Iraq, there is no reason for them to have been allies and every reason for them to have been opponents.