Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)says, "The president's frequent references to the terrorist attacks of September 11 show the weakness of his arguments. He is willing to exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq."
Nancy Pelosi seems to think that Bin Laden is the only terrorist with designs against America and the only terrorist involved in attacks on America. That makes it conveniently easy to overlook equal danger from not only Iraq but the Sudan, Iran, Egypt, Arabia and other viper nests. But let's look at the history.
Attacks by the Muslim terrorist community on Americans and the American military began in 1979:
Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Kh! obar Towers Military complex 1996;
Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
(During the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).
The plans for war with Iraq were in place BEFORE George W. Bush was elected President. Bill Clinton began planning war with Iraq in 1998.IN EARLY 1998, the Clinton administration, following this same logic, prepared for war against Iraq. On February 17, President Clinton spoke on the steps of the Pentagon to explain to the American people why war was necessary. The speech is worth excerpting at length, because it was then and remains today the fundamental case for the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.
President Clinton declared that the great threat confronting the United States and its allies was a lethal and 'unholy axis' of international terrorists and outlaw states. 'They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them.'"
Sabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992. He worked at what he describes as a highly secret terrorist training camp at Salman Pak, an area south of Baghdad. In an interview conducted in October, 2001 (one month after 9/11) he was asked, "After your service in the army, you worked for a secret part of the Iraqi government?" His reply: "Some of it is not very secretive. But there's another part, which has a lot to do with international terrorism and this kind of operation -- this is very secretive."
Interviewer:"What kind of training went on, and who was being trained?
"Training is majorly on terrorism. They would be trained on assassinations, kidnapping, hijacking of airplanes, hijacking of buses, public buses, hijacking of trains and all other kinds of operations related to terrorism."
AND, according to Iraq's own admissions, there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before we invaded.
Here is what was known by 1998 based on Iraq's own admissions:
* That in the years immediately prior to the first Gulf War, Iraq produced at least 3.9 tons of VX, a deadly nerve gas, and acquired 805 tons of precursor ingredients for the production of more VX.
* That Iraq had produced or imported some 4,000 tons of ingredients to produce other types of poison gas.
* That Iraq had produced 8,500 liters of anthrax.
* That Iraq had produced 500 bombs fitted with parachutes for the purpose of delivering poison gas or germ payloads.
* That Iraq had produced 550 artillery shells filled with mustard gas.
* That Iraq had produced or imported 107,500 casings for chemical weapons.
* That Iraq had produced at least 157 aerial bombs filled with germ agents.
* That Iraq had produced 25 missile warheads containing germ agents (anthrax, aflatoxin, and botulinum).
Again, this list of weapons of mass destruction is not what the Iraqi government was suspected of producing. (That would be a longer list, including an Iraqi nuclear program that the German intelligence service had concluded in 2001 might produce a bomb within three years.) It was what the Iraqis admitted producing. And it is this list of weapons--not any CIA analysis under either the Clinton or Bush administrations--that has been at the heart of the Iraq crisis.
Contrary to Pelosi's obvious belief in Bin Laden as the only threat to America, the danger is far broader and much more widespread. Our war is not a war against Bin Laden, but a war against ALL of those who would attack us and our way of life. President Bush began his defense (and the best defense, as any football fan knows, is a good offense) in Afghanistan and continued it in Iraq.
In another criticism of the President's speech last night, Democrats complained that the President did not offer more specifics about how to achieve success in Iraq. HEL--LO! We are fighting a war here, folks. We don't tell the enemy what we plan to do. During WWII there was a saying, "Loose lips sink ships." Announcing a pull out from Iraq before the insurgents quit fighting would be a primo example of "loose lips."
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said it's because of the lessons of the Sept. 11 attacks that he opposes Bush's approach to keeping the troops in Iraq without any timetable for withdrawal. "The U.S. military presence in Iraq has become a powerful recruiting tool for terrorists, and Iraq is now the premier training ground and networking venue for the next generation of jihadists," Feingold said.
Mr. Feingold is either lying or he doesn't know what our troops are doing in Iraq. Our soldiers have become construction workers and community builders, not only building the roads, bridges, homes, shops and businesses but the total infrastructure needed for a free society. Read the military blogs and listen to what our troops say when they come home. We are doing FAR more than fighting in Iraq. As a young West Pointer said yesterday, "We are builders, not destroyers."
As for our presence being a recruiting tool -- it is their hatred of the "infidel" (us) that is the recruiting tool. Our presence in Iraq just keeps them fighting over there instead of here.
If President Bush had done all the things the Democrats wanted: Not referred to 9/11 at all, alerted the terrorists to how we plan to continue that fight and promised to bring the troops home in six months Pelosi, Feingold and their ilk would be howling criticisms about not being realistic about 9/11, about endangering our troops and about not getting out fast enough. You just can't please some people at all. So why listen to them in the first place?
And by the way, all we heard from the Democrats was carping. No suggestions for alternatives, no plans. Just carping.