The reason for the attacks, according to the group’s statement, is “the massacre that Britain has carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan,” and it is tragic to think jihadists are using Iraq as an excuse for this mayhem. They could claim any number of provocations dating back decades, so it is significant they chose these — and one wonders what lame rationalization would have been trotted out without Iraq.
It’s hard to imagine Afghanistan alone would have roused such fatal fervor; the U.S. military presence there reasonably followed an attack by terrorists supported by Afghan rulers. Citing only Afghanistan would mainly have been a reminder that Al Qaeda and the “World Islamic Front” declared war on the United States in February 1998, even if they did so as a response to “crimes and sins committed by the Americans [as] a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims.”
The United States and its allies chose to launch a “preemptive” war in Iraq based on hubris and faked evidence, though, and pretty much the entire world is aware of the fraud. Making matters worse, some of our forces in Iraq have been exposed behaving in the most bestial way.
The London attacks only add urgency to making the Bush administration answer to charges of intelligence cooking and perjury. With the obvious invitation of the Downing Street memos, it is becoming increasingly clear how easy it should be to make the case for impeachment.
Consider just one nugget of supposed intelligence uttered by Vice President Cheney on Aug. 26, 2002, at a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Nashville:
We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Among other sources, we’ve gotten this from first-hand testimony from defectors, including Saddam’s own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam’s direction.
He’s talking about Hussein Kamel, who, it is universally acknowledged, said almost exactly the opposite: that Iraq’s weaponry had been destroyed and remained nonexistent. Furthermore, his intelligence was from 1995.
Cheney’s lie was one among dozens, one among hundreds, and innocent people continue to die for it in Iraq and now London.
It’s time for the United States and its allies to reclaim the moral high ground, put their leaders and their intelligence fraud on trial and do whatever it takes to remove Iraq as a rationalization for continued violent jihad.
Reading James Bamford’s “A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies,” by the way, would provide a fine roadmap for such hearings.