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President Bush Lets Bin Laden Define America’s Foreign Policy Priorities

By Payson Schwin  

"President Bush Lets Bin Laden Define America’s Foreign Policy Priorities"

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For the past few weeks, members of the Bush administration have argued in speeches and television appearances that because al Qaeda views Iraq as a “central front in the war on terror,” America should too. They are effectively outsourcing our national security strategy to bin Laden. Watch a video compilation:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/Central_front.320.240.flv]

The facts on the ground, not the opinions of terrorists, should guide our military policy. Iraq has become a distraction from the fight against al Qaeda. In fact, the bin Laden trail has gone “stone cold” as our soldiers are caught in the middle of sectarian violence in Iraq. It is time to redeploy our troops out of Iraq to more effectively combat Islamic extremists.

Transcript:

BUSH: Well, first of all, I do think Iraq is a central front in the war on terror and so does Osama bin Laden. [9/6/06]

SNOW: We are in Iraq. It is now seen as the central focal point of the war on terror by the very people who mounted September 11th. [9/12/06]

BUSH: For al Qaeda, Iraq is not a distraction from their war on America – it is the central battlefield where the outcome of this struggle will be decided. [9/5/06]

TOWNSEND: You know, it’s not just the president who has said Iraq is the central front. Zawahiri has said it’s the central battle front in the war on terror, as has bin Laden. [9/5/06]

BUSH: The fighting in Iraq has been difficult and it has been bloody, and some say that Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror. The terrorists disagree. [9/7/06]

SNOW: And the people who initiated the hostilities on September 11th now say that Iraq is the central theater in the war on terror. [9/13/06]

BARTLETT: It doesn’t matter the debate we are having about whether Iraq is part of the war on terror or not. The enemy themselves has said it is. Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri, the number two man of Al Qaida. They have both said the central front is in Iraq. [8/31/06]

BARTLETT: It doesn’t matter what we debate on this topic. Our enemies believe it’s the central front in the war on terror. [8/31/06]

BARTLETT: So, it doesn’t matter what we say. We should be taking the — the words of the enemy seriously. They think it’s the fight of — of the war on terror, so, we must as well. [8/31/06]

‹ Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) Calls Out Cheney For Continuing To Push Faulty Intelligence

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