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December 1, 2005

Who Made Iraq Into a Threat?


by Paul Sperry

Before he invaded Iraq, President Bush warned us that the terrorists were using Iraq as a base to attack America. After the invasion, we found out that was nonsense on stilts.

Now Bush warns us the terrorists really are using Iraq as a base to attack America, and we have to stay there to defeat them. The terrorists are a "direct threat to the American people," he asserted yesterday.

Here we go again. At least this time he's a little closer to the truth: There are in fact terrorists in Iraq today, and they are killing American soldiers there. But we can thank our president for that – he made the "Iraqi threat" a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At yesterday's Annapolis pep rally, Bush tried to scare the American people into staying the course in Iraq by once again tying it to the war on terrorism and their own personal safety. Now is not the time to cut and run, he insisted; Iraq is no less than the "central front" in the war on terror.

But was Iraq the "central front" before Bush invaded? No, the central front was the Afghan-Pakistani border, al-Qaeda's home base (and it still is, thanks to Bush shifting the military resources needed to finish the job there to his wag-the-dog war in Iraq).

It's high time the White House press corps put down their stenographer's notepads, stopped dictating the president's doublespeak, and started forcing him to own up to the terrible reality he created in Iraq. If there is a threat from Iraq now, he and he alone created it by invading. It's self-evident from the litany of problems he cited in his speech. Just ask him if they existed before he started his unprovoked war:

Of course not. None of these threats existed before Bush invaded Iraq and made it the most violent place on Earth. Thanks to him, America is now a threat to itself.

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Sperry, formerly Washington bureau chief of Investors Business Daily, is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003).

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