Should Americans Be Ashamed That Bush (Again) Is Choosing Not To Pursue Osama?
"We now know why the Bush administration hasn't made the capture of Osama Bin Laden a paramount goal of the war on terror. Emphasis on Bin Laden doesn't fit with the administration's strategy for combating terrorism. Here's how President Bush explained this Tuesday: "This thing about . . . let's put 100,000 of our special forces stomping through Pakistan in order to find Bin Laden is just simply not the strategy that will work."
I've disagreed with President Bush on many things -- from policy to political tactic to spin control -- but I never thought I'd be ashamed of Bush.
That moment came for me when Bush said, for the umpteenth time, that the U.S. would not dedicate itself to capturing Osama Bin Laden.
It dawned on me that we are fighting a war, with 2,700 dead and 20,000 injured, on the original premise that Saddam might have had ties with Al Qaeda, might have had a relationship Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, might have wanted to pass weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, might have created a safe haven for terrorists. In 2003, Condoleeza Rice said that Saddam might be close to developing a nuclear weapon, and that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
The only actual thing we knew for sure on Saddam and terrorists was that he was sending money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Everything else we knew about Saddam dealt with horrible things he had done against his own people.
But with regard to Al Qaeda, we didn't know much for sure. We just knew what he might do.
But Bin Laden, who actually led the group that actually did hit us on Sept. 11, isn't worth our trouble? Bin Laden, whose group was behind the London, Madrid, Riyadh, Istanbul and other bombings, whose group might have been tied to the plot to blow up of airplanes over the Atlantic, who continues to pose a horrible threat -- if you listen to Bush's own words -- that's the guy we can't be bothered trying to catch?
The fact that Bush is completely out of step with the vast majority of Americans is obvious. Bush's critics haven't asked for 100,000 special forces hunting down Bin Laden. They have said that Al Qaeda should be our nation's top priority in the war on terror, not an afterhought -- not something that the U.S. might deal with.
Conservative ranters say that "if we get hit again" we should blame the ACLU, "activist" judges, "liberal" politicans and the media.
That's empty conservative spin. Bush has had five years to direct our forces -- working with other nations in our U.S.-led "coalition" -- to stop the terrorist group that struck us on Sept. 11, 2001.
As Bush said on Sept. 11: "Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts." That's Al Qaeda.