Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mixed Signals

Below is a release found on whitehouse.gov describing how the war in Iraq is supporting the War on Terror. The release is interrupted by discussion of each point.

1. With the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraq is no longer a state sponsor of terror. According to State Department reports on terrorism, before the removal of Saddam's regime, Iraq was one of seven state sponsors of terror.

That very State Department report says that Iraq was providing aid to only two types of terrorist organizations. One type attacked Iran (which we supported for over a decade) and the other provided money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Saudi Arabia and several other nations were also implicated in this. Suspiciously absent from the list was Afghanistan. They have not been on State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism at any point since 1993.

2. Saddam Hussein's regime posed a threat to the security of the United States and the world.
Iraq did not have any weapons capable of reaching the United States. This fact has never been disputed.

3. Saddam Hussein would not uphold his international commitments, and now that he is no longer in power, the world is safe from this tyrant. The old Iraqi regime defied the international community and seventeen UN resolutions for twelve years and gave every indication that it would never disarm and never comply with the just demands of the world.
George W. Bush has not upheld his international commitments. We have backed out of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, the antiballistic missle ban, and have refused to participate in the International Criminal Court.

4. A senior al Qaida terrorist, now detained, who had been responsible for al Qaida training camps in Afghanistan, reports that al Qaida was intent on obtaining WMD assistance from Iraq. According to a credible, high-level al Qaida source, Usama Bin Laden and deceased al Qaida leader Muhammad Atif did not believe that al Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable of manufacturing chemical and biological weapons, so they turned to Iraq for assistance. Iraq agreed to provide chemical and biological weapons training for two al Qaida associates starting in December 2000.
This could be a valid concern, although no biological weapons labs were found operating in Iraq. So it's a moot point. It's the same as saying that al Qaida is seeking death rays from alines.

5. Senior al Qaida associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi came to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment along with approximately two dozen al Qaida terrorist associates. This group stayed in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq and plotted terrorist attacks around the world.
Zarqawi became involved with al Qaida after the US invasion in Iraq. But I will concede that apprehending him is a step in the right direction.

6 A safe haven in Iraq belonging to Ansar al-Islam -- a terrorist group closely associated with Zarqawi and al Qaida -- was destroyed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In March 2003, during a raid on the compound controlled by the terrorists in northeastern Iraq, a cache of documents was discovered, including computer discs and foreign passports belonging to fighters from various Middle East nationalities.
Most evidence points to large numbers of terrorists moving to Iraq since our invasion, so we have actually mulitplied whatever problems previously existed.

7. The al Qaida affiliate Ansar al-Islam is known to still be present in Iraq. Such terrorist groups are now plotting against U.S. forces in Iraq.
I don't see how the existence of a terrorist organization is a bonus for us. If we had wiped one out or captured one maybe, but allowing it to remain is not worth a point.

8. Law enforcement and intelligence operations have disrupted al Qaida associate Abu Musab Zarqawi's poison plotting in France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Russia. The facilities in Northern Iraq, set up by Zarqawi and Ansar al-Islam were, before the war, an al Qaida's poisons/toxins laboratory.
This contradicts the State Department report that terrorists from Iraq were only attcking Iran and Israel. But we have definitely introduced never before seen levels of terrorist activity within Iraq.

9. Abu Musa Zarqawi, the al Qaida associate with direct links to Iraq, oversaw those responsible for the assassination of USAID officer Laurence Foley in Amman, Jordan last October.
Had we caught Zarqawi, I would count this as a valid point, but since we haven't, and our efforts have actually increased the size and activitiy of his organization, no points.

10. Saddam Hussein's Iraq provided material assistance to Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, HAMAS, and the Palestine Islamic Jihad, according to a State Department report. This included paying the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, according to testimonials from Palestinians and cancelled checks. Also, according to State Department reports, terrorist groups the Iranian Mujahedin-e-Khalq and the Abu Nidal organization were protected by the Iraqi regime protected by the Iraqi regime.
Mentioned about three times by now. This makes America safer how? And which has helped Israel more, the withdrawl from Gaza or the Iraq war?

So, basically, Bush gets one point. The rest of his points are saying that Iraq was continuing the policies we endorsed in the 1980s, and Zaqarwi came there for medical treatment. While those may be reasons to want to start a war, they are not points of how we are achieving victory.

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