The subject is Iraq, but it's all about 9/11 again

Think Progress posts what it says is the House majority leader's plan for the Iraq debate.


Tim Grieve
June 14, 2006 9:05PM (UTC)

Asked this morning about polls showing that Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake, George W. Bush said that he "fully understands" that people may have forgotten "the lessons of September 11th." Given the president's track record, it was actually a pretty constrained conflating of Iraq and 9/11: He mentioned the attacks only twice during his hourlong press conference today.

Don't expect such restraint from his supporters on Capitol Hill.

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The House of Representatives will take up debate on Iraq this week, and Think Progress has come across what it says is a confidential message memo from House Majority Leader John Boehner. If the memo is authentic, the message Boehner wants delivered is clear: Tout the progress in forming an Iraqi government and the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then pound away at an Iraq-9/11 link.

As Think Progress notes, the two-page memo mentions 9/11 seven times. The Iraq debate will allow House Republicans to discuss "national security in a post-9/11 world"; to "re-examine the conditions that required the United States to take military action in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001"; to remind Americans that we can "no longer allow despots like the Taliban and Saddam Hussein to ignore international sanctions" in the "post-9/11 world"; to argue that, in a "post-9/11 world," we can't just "abandon our efforts against these threats in the hopes they will just fade away on their own"; and to make it clear that Democrats are embracing "troubling policies ... in a post-9/11 world" when they're not busy "sheepishly dismiss[ing] the challenges America faces in a post-9/11 world."

And then there's our favorite bit of 9/11 circularity: "The attacks we witnessed that day serve as a reminder of the dangers we face as a nation in a post-9/11 world."

We're not sure how something that happened one day can be a "reminder" of what came later. But before the week is out, we don't have any doubt that Boehner and his colleagues will tell us.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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9/11 Iraq War John Boehner, R-ohio War Room

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