Not Saussure

August 29, 2006

G W Bush on Iraq and the causes of terrorism

Filed under: Iran, Iraq, Politics, usa — notsaussure @ 12:05 pm

Bloggerheads (UK) – A conveniently-timed and carefully-framed admission
George W. Bush Press Conference – August 21, 2006

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I’ve heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of “we’re going to stir up the hornet’s nest” theory. It just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

Q What did Iraq have to do with that?

THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?

Q The attack on the World Trade Center?

THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it’s part of — and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case.

Quite apart from his belated confirmation that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 — not quite what we were told in the run-up to the invasion, as I recall — I’m not sure what to make of the observation that ‘resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders‘. I thought that, according to Downing Street

Al-Qaida starting killing innocent civilians in the 90s. It killed Muslim civilians even before 9/11, and the attacks on New York and Washington killed over 3,000 people before Iraq. To imply al-Qaida is driven by an honest disagreement over foreign policy is a mistake.

Unless it’s contended that some folk in the Middle East aren’t blaming — doubtless unfairly, but there you are — American foreign policy and Mr Blair’s slavish adherence to it for the circumstances in which they find themselves and which cause them to feel no small amount of resentment and lack of hope, I don’t see how both statements can be true.

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