President Bush today answered point blank a question about the ties between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. He indicated that Iraq had “nothing” to do with the attacks.
Some people are now saying that Bush lied.
I would ask you or anyone else to find a new source that quotes the administration official as saying there was any link between Iraq and 9/11. It has never been said – not Bush or Cheney or Powell or Rice or Rumsfeld or any other administration official.
No. This is how the story worked.
1) Terrorists trained in Afghanistan planned and carried out attacks on September 11, 2001.
2) They were able to train and plan because the Taliban government permitted them to do so. In fact, there is widespread belief that the Taliban and al Queda had very close times.
3) In response, the United States started Operation Enduring Freedom to topple the Taliban and install a democratic government in Afghanistan.
3) Looking around the world, President Bush and others recognized that permitting governments to have close ties to terrorist organizations opens the door for future attacks. Iraq, Iran, North Korea – the so-called Axis of Evil – are governments that support or are believed to terroist activities.
4) It is only a matter of time before terrorists operating in and/or funded by those governments will attack the United States.
5) Therefore, attacking Iraq was not because of September 11, 2001. It was to prevent a similar attack from occuring in the future.
6) Moreover, Iraq supposedly possessed weapons of mass destruction. If the Taliban had these, 9/11 might have been far worse than we could imagine. While this was proven untrue, Iraq did have them in the past and had used them in the 1990s; it is not beyond belief that Saddam Hussein would try to get them again after kicking the inspectors out — he just hadn’t had time before the US invaded.
So, based on this same theory, why haven’t we attacked Iran? It is well known that Iran funds groups like Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad. These groups routinely conduct terrorist activities, mostly in Israel. However, it is possible they could attack the United States, either at home or abroad. So why not attack Iran to prevent this?
The answer for that involves a number of critical issues.
First, the United States is spread fairly thin. The number of forces needed to invade Iran is probably larger than the number needed for Iraq and Afghanistan. That would probably mean a reinstatement of the draft, because there are not enough forces, even including reserves and guard units.
Second, while Iraq can produce large amounts of oil, most of it’s production was not on the open market. Thus, attacking Iraq did not have a large disruption in the oil markets. Iran, on the other hand, is a significant supplier of oil to other nations. Attacking Iran would have a tremendous effect on oil prices, probably reaching $120 to $150 per barrell.
Third, Iran may fund terror organizations, but these organizations generally do not operate in Iran. Hezbollah, for example, is based in Lebanon and receives help from Syria.
Finally, it is possible that Iran could quickly have nuclear weapons. While they won’t be able to launch an ICBM, the use of tactical nuclear weapons on American forces could have a significant impact.
August 31st is the big day for Iran – when they have to respond to the U.N. offer. It appears that they will reject the offer and continue with their nuclear program.
The cease fire in Lebanon is barely holding; but it’s holding. If it falters, things could change for the worse again.
North Korea has been fairly quiet since the July 4th missle tests; however, Kim Jong Il does not like to be out of the limelight for long. A return to the six-party talks is not on near horizon.
The Democrats may like to focus on Iraq, but the bigger picture is still fairly serious… and it could have ramifications in this year’s elections.