The pen is blue, the pen is blue, the goddamn pen is blue!

Office of the Press Secretary June 28, 2005 – Bush as recently as 2005 was still tying Iraq to 9-11. Why did Bush continue to do that after it was made official by the 9-11 Commission that there were no operational ties between al Qaeda and 9-11. Just today on another blog a Bush supporter was morphing Iraq into “the war on terror” and it is likely the Right will cling to that myth forever like a boat load of rats to a block of moldy cheese. Since it does not serve the facts of why we’re in Iraq the continued insistence on linking Saddam to al-Qaeda and thus to 9-11 must serve some political purpose a la Pravda. It has gone from being a lie to being pure propaganda.

Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, in Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. -G.W. Bush

Bush- Office of the Press Secretary, December 12, 2005

Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity, so we must recognize Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.

If Iraq is the central front then someone needs to tell the terrorists associated with al-Qaeda, Is there any truth to ‘the enemy would follow us here?’

Foreign-born jihadists are present in Iraq, but they’re believed to number only between 4 percent and 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgent fighters – 1,200 to 3,000 terrorists – according to the Defense Intelligence Agency and a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a center-right research center.

“Attacks by terrorist groups account for only a fraction of insurgent violence,” said a February DIA report.

Credit where its due a conservative from the extreme Right Heritage Foundation,

“The president is using a primitive, inarticulate argument that leaves him open to criticism and caricature,” said James Jay Carafano, a homeland security and counter terrorism expert for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy organization. “It’s a poor choice of words that doesn’t convey the essence of the problem – that walking away from a problem doesn’t solve anything.”

U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic experts in Bush’s own government say the violence in Iraq is primarily a struggle for power between Shiite and Sunni Muslim Iraqis seeking to dominate their society, not a crusade by radical Sunni jihadists bent on carrying the battle to the United States.

“They” or “them” just keep popping up from under the bed. There is no they or them – there are terrorist associated with the jihadists that attacked us on 9-11 and then there are the people that want us out of the country that Bush conned America into. By making Iraq the front in this all encompassing war we dilute our military strength, waste lives and tax dollars in an unfocused and obvious to most of us by now, an unproductive fight against actual terrorism. In How to Get Out of Iraq Professor Juan Cole writes,

Both houses of Congress have now backed a timeline for withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq in 2008, which George W. Bush has vowed to veto. He gives two major rationales for rejecting withdrawal. At times he has warned that Iraq could become an Al Qaeda stronghold, at others that “a contagion of violence could spill out across the country–and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.” These are bogeymen with which Bush has attempted to frighten the public. Regarding the first, Turkey, Jordan and Iran are not going to put up with an Al Qaeda stronghold on their borders; nor would Shiite and Kurdish Iraqis. Most Sunni Iraqis are relatively secular, and there are only an estimated 1,000 foreign jihadis in Iraq, who would be forced to return home if the Americans left.

Professor Cole does not suggest that we pick up leave tomorrow only that Bush, after five years develop a policy rather then a petulant frat boy attitude that passes for foreign policy by the Right. This childish insistence, despite all evidence to the contrary that Iraq is somehow the lynch pin on which America’s security rests is like believing the doctor that tells you the best cure for your eye infection is an appendectomy. While many Republicans have deserted Bush and the neocons with their grandiose ideas about making over the middle-east there are still many that clinge to the Bush bandwagon. Not because it is what is right for America or Iraq, but because of childish false pride. They have killed more people and gotten more people killed in the last six years then any terrorist threat. To come around to that epiphany takes a tremendous amount of maturity – a deep reassessment of one’s self as a person and of one’s political allegiances. Unfortunately those kind of pivotal truth facing moments have not been hallmarks of the Right since the fifties and certainly since Nixon. There is no end in sight of U.S. involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan. Even though Democratic plan for Iraq will bring many troops home in 2008, many will be redeployed as an emergency response force ( this is my understanding as of today). So far, (pdf)

With enactment of FY2007 appropriations, Congress has approved a total of about $510 billion for militaryoperations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) covering Afghanistan and other counter terror operations, Operation Noble Eagle (ONE)providingenhanced security at military bases, and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Iraq.

snip

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that additional war costs for the next ten years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by2010 or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding for Iraq and the GWOT could reach from about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.

BushCo threw a temper tantrum over Speaker Pelosi and her Republican colleagues visit to Syria. As Newshog points out it only figures that Bush supporters would focus in on the Speaker – its just another page out of the right-wing play book deflect from Bush’s failures by accusing people of undermining Bush’s policies, you know those policies that are costing us two lives a day in Iraq. Leave it to the ever so civil right-wing Glenn Reynolds to reduce the trip to a potential cat fight – yea if those uppity women would just stay at home the men folk could have this whole quagmire cleaned up.

Remember the Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar. If Bush had to stop lying for 48 hours he’d be lying black and blue on the bathroom floor from the self inflicted carnage – Bush: Democrats Jeopardizing Service Members’ Safety

President Bush used his Easter weekend radio address to suggest that while Americans are “blessed” to have so many brave, volunteer military service members, congressional Democrats are jeopardizing their safety by delaying passage of a $100 billion war funding bill.

“I recognize that Democrats are trying to show their current opposition to the war in Iraq,” Bush said this morning. “They see the emergency war spending bill as a chance to make that statement. Yet for our men and women in uniform, this emergency war spending bill is not a political statement, it is a source of critical funding that has a direct impact on their daily lives.”

The House and Senate have approved the $100 billion Bush wants for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, today, Bush restated his vow to veto Senate and House versions of a spending bill that would set a deadline for U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq, where more 3,200 Americans–and tens of thousands of Iraqis–have been killed over the past four years. Bush wants a bill that does not have a deadline for troop withdrawals.

In response, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called on Bush and congressional Republicans to “stop trying to bully their way through this and work with Democrats to end the war.”

“It’s time for the president to show respect to the American people, who voted overwhelmingly to leave Iraq,” Dean said in the Democrats’ weekly radio address.

A clear majority of Americans oppose the war, which has cost more than $300 billion so far. But Bush said the Democrats’ delay in passing a bill with no troop pullout deadline will soon deprive U.S. military personnel of the equipment and training they need to do their jobs.

Bush lied. Democrats gave him the money he wanted they just didn’t polish the silver tray it was served on. Why did Bush lie. The same reason most of us get up and put one foot in front of the other, its Bush’s first instinct and last. You cannot have an honest debate with a pathological liar or his supporters.

“Fletcher: The pen is blue, the pen is blue, the goddamn pen is blue!”
from Liar Liar (1997)