Saturday, March 03, 2007

More on Cheney's Poor Judgment and al Qaida

The other day, I pointed out that the Bush Administration had al Qaida on the ropes and failed to finish the job in late 2001 and 2002; Cheney's posturing comments against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi avoid the obvious: that Cheney's incompetent policies have done much to enable al Qaida to come back. Truthout has a long article by Robert Parry of Consortium News that explains in much detail why the vice president is so wrong:
Vice President Dick Cheney says he stands by his accusation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq would "validate the al-Qaeda strategy." And he apparently thinks he got the better of this latest war of words.

However, if Pelosi ever goes beyond complaining that Cheney is impugning her "patriotism" – while Cheney counters that he is only questioning her "judgment" – she might point out that it is the Bush administration that has "validated" al-Qaeda's 9/11 strategy over the past five years.

Captured al-Qaeda documents reveal that Osama bin Laden's principal goal in the 9/11attacks was to lure the United States into a clumsy counterattack in the Middle East that would alienate Muslims, help al-Qaeda recruit more jihadists and bog down the American military in a no-win war.

Though bin Laden was mistaken in believing that Afghanistan would become the central front, he was right in pretty much every other part of his plan. At the time of 9/11, al-Qaeda was a fringe player in the Muslim world, with its leaders driven into exile and holed up in the mountains of Afghanistan.

I don't agree with everything that Parry says but he adds a number of useful details. There should be no doubt at this late stage of the war that Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld are responsible for the fiasco in Iraq, the failure to deal fully with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan by rushing off to Iraq, and subsequently the resurgence of al Qaida.

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