Organization of former Bush Admin officials launches ad campaign linking 9/11 to Iraq

Story here.

They think they can still get away with linking Iraq to 9/11. The depressing thing is, they may be right.

Freedom’s Watch press release here.

Sourcewatch article on Freedom’s Watch.

You could argue this is still a step forward. After all, in the not-so-distant past the administration didn’t need to buy ads to make the false link between 9/11 and Iraq. Instead, an official (Dick Cheney seemed to be the most fervent of them) would tie the two together and the mainstream media would buy it hook, line and sinker.

How is it a “false link”? Al Qaeda is active in Iraq, the Iraqi insurgents are engaging in terrorism, and unless some sort of stable government is established in Iraq, it’s in all likelyhood going to be a center for terrorism for some time to come.

It’s false in that nobody in pre-invasion Iraq (except for the Kurdish region Hussein did not control) had anything to do with al-Qaeda or 9/11.

But this group isn’t claiming that. They’re claiming that al Qaeda is linked to the Iraqi resistance, and that pulling out of Iraq will mean a victory for terrorism.

9/11 and Iraq? They were both major failures of the Bush administration but I don’t know if you’d call that a link so much as a pattern.

Is “terrorism” an entity, Cap’n? If the Mahdi Army death squads annihilate AlQ in Iraq, is that a victory for “terrorism” as well?

Which is a lie. Every day we stay is a victory for terrorism. Every Coalition soldier in Iraq is, willy-nilly, an al-Qaeda recruiter.

Wait a minute! There are Bush administration officials and ex-officials claiming false links between Iraq and Al Queda??!!

I am shocked, SHOCKED!

Believe what you want. I don’t care anymore.

Tangentially relevant: On Bill Maher, Tim Robbins (rhetorically) bitch-slaps Stephen Hayes.

That’s o.k., the rest of us do.

The point is, this ain’t 2003. It is shocking that they’re still at it.

AFAIK, they’ve never stopped. So what’s new?

And that, in a nutshell, is a big part of the problem.

I heard he was Skeletor’s second cousin.

Freedom’s Watch…hmmm…I’m so relieved there are groups out there that have “happy words” in their names. That way I know they are the good guys.

They are standing guard to protect you and me from any misconceptions that we have about Iraq and 9/11 not being connected. It reminds me of the good old days when President Bush would say, “Freedom is on the march in Iraq.”

Did he ever say that before 9/11? See?

Just give the Iraqi government a little time to get comfortable in their new roles and to train their military and police to take over. You will thank those of us who believe in this mission to bring democracy to the Middle East the day the terrorists of the world all sign an unconditional surrender.

Ok, I’ll try, this argument isn’t going to convince anybody, but I’ll try.

We went into Iraq and destroyed everything…we destroyed their government, their infrastructure, their civil society. A lot of that is probably inevitable when you take over a country, I don’t know. But regardless, it’s been destoryed, and what’s left is chaos…chaos of our making. We have an obligation, now, to fix that. If we don’t, the Iraqis will keep suffering, and ultimately, there’s going to be a victory by extremists who will support terrorism in both the Middle East and the West.

Which is an understandable viewpoint, major portions of which I have shared. And though I ruefully accept a sense of obligation, I am not remotely convinced that such is within our power. And there’s the rub: if our sacrifice of our treasure and our finest is sure to be effective, we can ask for such sacrifice with a straight face and a guileless heart. Before I could accept such a proposition, I would demand proof that our presence is, in fact, helpful.

I regret to believe that such is not the case. I should very much prefer that it was within our power to seize them by the scruff of their scrawny necks and slam them onto their butts, and order them to BEHAVE! like the civilized people they used to be. At gunpoint if need be. Siddown, shut up, and start talking! Gimme that damn gun, I’ve got a gun, so you don’t need one.

We have very nearly the full weight of our military might in play all ready. In the sense that we have our people there, our thermonuclear arsenal doesn’t count for much in this situation. Only boots matter here, and we don’t have enough to do much of anything.

With twice as many soldiers, we might get half-way to our goal. Maybe. But we don’t have them and cannot get them.

I sort of agree, but I’m fairly skeptical that its possible to fix Iraq, even if morally we “should”. In the five years our presence there, their infrastructure seems to be getting worse, their streets are at least as violent, the basic divisions in between ethnic groups more pronounced, etc. And while we have put a gov’t in place, it seems fairly dysfunctional. So thats five years, at the cost of thousands of lives, tens of thousands wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars, and very little measurable progress. How long are we obligated to stick around and fail to get things together? Another five years, ten, twenty?

And even if we really “should” stick it out for another ten years, the fact is right or wrong, the American people aren’t going to support this thing for much longer. Better a measured, planned, slow withdrawl now then a race for the exits later when public opinion finally reaches the point where congress completely pulls the plug.