Bush's cynical ploy

Published May 25, 2004 1:41AM (EDT)

President Bush continued a cynical ploy tonight -- one that seeks to take advantage of post-9/11 patriotism and fear and banks on public ignorance of the facts on the false foundations of the Iraq war. He tied the war in Iraq with 9/11, even though everyone should know by now that Saddam Hussein was not involved in the 2001 attacks against the United States, nor did he have enough weapons of mass destruction to threaten our security.

Here's Bush's terror timeline, from 9/11 to Iraq, as he laid it out tonight: "In the last 32 months, history has placed great demands on our country and events have come quickly. Americans have seen the flames of September 11th, followed battles in the mountains of Afghanistan and learned new terms like orange alert and ricin and dirty bomb. We've seen killers at work on trains in Madrid, in a bank in Istanbul, in a synagogue in Tunis and at a nightclub in Bali. And now the families of our soldiers and civilian workers pray for their sons and daughters in Mosul, in Karbala, in Baghdad. We did not seek this war on terror, but this is the world as we find it. We must keep our focus. We must do our duty."

Despite the administration's original bogus justifications for the war in Iraq, we now know better. And since the war in Iraq was an elective one, Bush can't now claim the anti-U.S. insurgency in Iraq is some inevitable fight against terrorists we couldn't have avoided -- especially when a major terrorist at large in Iraq is someone the administration failed to eliminate because officials feared getting rid of him would weaken the case for war. President Bush shouldn't continue to get away with this misrepresentation of the facts to bolster flagging support for his failed war.

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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