May 27, 2004
George Bush was Right: Iraq Finally Poses a Threat
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
George Bush was right. Iraq does indeed present an imminent and deadly threat to America. Unfortunately, when he first made this statement, he was off by about two years. But he did what was necessary to make his statement come true: he invaded Iraq.
If you recall, nearly two years ago, he and other members of his administration went on at some length about how Iraq posed a looming and malevolent threat, capable of doing grievous harm to Americans. On any and all occasions available, Bush and company told us repeatedly and with apparent sincerity that they believed the Iraqis would lend assistance to other terrorist groups. Together, they would kill Americans.
And they have. So far they have killed over 700 Americans, a number that rises by as many as 12 a day. With the aid of conventional weapons, like mortars and machine guns, along with the ever deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Iraqis have been quite effective in dispatching us permanently from this life or, at least, separating us from our limbs.
In this endeavor, they are alleged to have had the assistance of other terrorist groups. According to a recent report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), the U.S. occupation of Iraq brought al Qaeda recruits from across many Islamic nations. "Up to 1,000 foreign Islamic fighters have infiltrated Iraqi territory, where they are cooperating with Iraqi insurgents."
Admittedly, we had to go to an extraordinary expense to make all this come true: the occupation is costing Americans an estimated 2-3 billion dollars a month, depending on who you are listening to. To effectively combat the Iraqi "threat," we had to transport and then deploy an army of over 134,000 troops and over 15,000 American contractors. Most of these contractors, including truck drivers and laborers, earn over $80,000 a year; some contractors, primarily security specialists, make as much as $1,000 a day.
In addition to foreign troops, foreign contractors acting as troops have also joined the fight. Unfortunately, some of the latter "troops" have rather questionable pedigrees: quite a few fought in Chile under Pinochet or in South Africa during the days of Apartheid. Regardless, they and the Americans, both military and civilians, have all come to Iraq.
This situation, however, runs counter to Bushís scenario of Iraqis and other terrorists coming here and attacking us on American soil -- which they will probably do, according to the study. But we had to go there first before they came here -- at least in the number that may have already arrived here. Also contrary to Bushís scenario, it would seem that the Iraqis never really had the capacity to attack us had we remained here, except possibly to ship across the Atlantic various materials for dirty bombs or other explosives.
Unfortunately, this threat remains, largely because we have done very little to counter it. Money that was supposed to fund better protection of Americaís shores instead found its way into the hands of those who needed it most -- the richest 1% of Americans. Because of the revenues "diverted" by tax cuts and the welfare that the Bush administration has tirelessly and unstintingly lavished on large corporations, in the form of tax breaks and subsides, we are still not safe. We donít have the funds to inspect more than 3 percent of all the cargo that comes to our shores.
But sending weapons or materials for various bombs from Iraq is no longer necessary. According to the IISS study, hundreds of terrorists are now in America, where they can buy their AK-47s and Cesium-137 from local suppliers, in addition to importing it.
It appears that our invasion and occupation of Iraq worked quite nicely as a recruiting device, inducing many to enlist as terrorists, several of whom have since found their way to our shores. So in a sense, because we went there, they have come here. Consequently, they might now do what Bush wrongly claimed two years ago they could do -- injure and kill Americans at any time.
Therefore, itís true that the Iraqis and other assorted terrorists do indeed constitute an imminent threat to America. But wait a minute. Isnít this where we all came in?
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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