Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bush's Latest Iraq War Lies

With his earlier war rationales shattered, George W. Bush now says the Iraq War must be continued indefinitely because of the presence of foreign Islamic fighters – even though they are estimated to represent only a tiny fraction of the Iraqi insurgency and might well quit the struggle if U.S. troops were to leave Iraq.

In an Oct. 6 speech aimed at rallying U.S. public support for the Iraq War, Bush painted a harrowing picture of the consequences that would follow an American withdrawal. Bush warned of “a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia” and the strategic isolation of the United States.

Bush’s alarmist vision, however, clashes with both recent intelligence assessments on the significance of foreign fighters to the Iraq War and fears expressed in an intercepted letter purportedly written by al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri to al-Qaeda’s chief in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi.

The “Zawahiri letter” cautions that an American withdrawal might prompt the “mujahedeen” in Iraq to “lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal.” To avert this military collapse, the letter calls for selling these foreign fighters on a broader vision of an Islamic “caliphate” in the Middle East, although nothing nearly as expansive as the global empire that Bush depicted.

Yet, a close reading of the “Zawihiri letter” – as posted at the Web site of the U.S. director of national intelligence John Negroponte – reveals al-Qaeda to be a movement struggling with financial crises and lacking even a reliable means to get its messages out. [See’s “‘Al-Qaeda Letter’ Belies Bush’s Iraq Claims.”]

Viewed from the perspective of this al-Qaeda weakness – and from the evidence that the Iraq War is overwhelmingly an indigenous struggle – Bush’s new arguments look like they may be just the latest in a long string of Iraq lies and distortions.

By Robert Parry
October 16, 2005

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'


At 9:00 AM, Blogger Tilo Reber said...

"even though they are estimated to represent only a tiny fraction of the Iraqi insurgency and might well quit the struggle if U.S. troops were to leave Iraq."

This has got to be the dumbest statement ever. Any and every Islamist will tell you that getting America out of Iraq is only the first step. And the reason that it is so important to them is that they feel like they can take over the country once the US is gone. Zawahiris comment is not an expression of an expectation that the insurgents will lay down their arms, but rather a reiteration of something that every Islamist knows - that democracy must be defeated because it will be the death of the Islamic state.

How can you be so ignorant as to think that the American prescense is the problem when the insugents are attacking Iraqi civilians every day? Two female suicide bombers were stopped trying to attack the voters yesterday. One was from Saudi Arabia and the other from Jordan. How are they getting rid of Americans by blowing up Iraqi Muslim voters? Obviously they are following their greater motivation, which is to stop the progress of democracy. Tell me, when America was trying to kick the British out, did the Americans blow up groups of other Americans?


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