Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Scare tactics

"Iraq Requires More Sacrifice: Bush" is the headline of an Australian newspaper article describing the President's recent call for more sacrifice in dealing with the war in Iraq. The article then notes this bit of specious argument against the war's detractors:
Mr Bush said arguments calling for a US withdrawal from Iraq were refuted by a simple question: whether America and other nations would be more or less safe if Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden were in control there.
Juan Cole finds this scare tactic to be misleading and downright unconscionable:
Now Bush is menacing us with Usamah Bin Laden taking over Iraq. Note that this scenario would have been utterly laughable in 2002. That is, anyone who heard that Bush thought Usamah Bin Ladin could overthrow Saddam and take over Iraq would have just fallen down laughing. Saddam would have had all the al-Qaeda people just taken out and shot. Twice. It was risible. Now, Bush has screwed up things so royally that he can even say this with a straight face. (It still is fairly ridiculous, since 80 percent of Iraqi is Shiites and Kurds who would kill Usamah on sight, and few Iraqi Sunni Arabs would want a fugitive Saudi terrorist as their leader.) It is George W. Bush's fault if this outcome is at all plausible. His policies have reduced Iraq to violent chaos, and he is the one who let Usamah escape at Tora Bora. And then he made the US military lie about it during the presidential campaign!


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