Iraq as the center of the War on Terror…

Last night was the first of three Presidential debates in this electoral cycle. For my non-US readers, these are rather big deals in politics here, and have in the past changed the flow of the election. I watched it, and I agree heartily with the polls and focus groups that Kerry pretty much dominated the debate. But as I slept, various points ruminated in my mind, and early this morning I think I had an insight as to Bush’s mad campaign against terrorism. This is a transcript of the debate, so you can fact check my quotes if you like. First, I think a Freudian slip showed how obsessed George Bush really was with Saddam Hussein:

Bush: Of course we’re after Saddam Hussein — I mean bin Laden.

But aside from that, this is the exchange that really stuck in my mind. In the middle of an answer to one of Mr. Lehrer’s questions, Bush said:

Bush: And, of course, Iraq is a central part in the war on terror. That’s why Zarqawi and his people are trying to fight us. Their hope is that we grow weary and we leave…
After that answer, Kerry: The president just talked about Iraq as a center of the war on terror. Iraq was not even close to the center of the war on terror before the president invaded it…

My insight was this. Now, maybe I’m giving the Bush administration too much credit, but I think making Iraq the main battleground was a main goal of the invasion. He’s said time and again that we need to confront terrorists on their turf, not ours, to keep America safe. I agree with this, as does every security official, politician, etc. That’s why we invaded Afghanistan, to destroy a valuable free base of operations. We have deprived them of an entire country in which to run wild. But with forcing them out of Afghanistan pushes them into other countries and possibly even back into attacks on the US mainland.

What I feel the Bush administration did was purposely foul up the invasion of Iraq to give the terrorists a place to focus on rather than letting them come to the US mainland. He sacrificed Iraq and it’s 25 million citizens for the safety of the US and it’s citizens. He baited them to Iraq with the overthrow of Saddam (something he wanted from the first day of his administration) and an insufficient force to secure the entire country, with Iran to the east, Syria to the west, and tens of thousands of square miles of open territory and lawless cities. It’s honey to the bear. The terrorist organizations pour funds and manpower into Iraq to bring havoc across the country where they can fight American soldiers in the streets, and with all of those terrorists running amok in Iraq, there’s a significant shortage of insane suicidal maniacs and illegal funding to be sent to America. Pre-9/11 Al Quaida was funneling money to 20 men to go to flight school, live cover-lives, etc. Now they’re spending all those respources in Iraq. Sure, it makes life hell for Iraqis, but hey, Americans are safe and sound. He decided 25 million Iraqi lives were worth less than American lives. When I realized this, I was sickened. And I pray to god I’m just giving them too much credit.

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