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al Qaeda supporting Bush in '04


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I thought I'd add this in for humor value. Obviously I don't take into consideration whether nutcases like those running North Korea - or terrorist organzations like al Qaeda think. But it is funny.



Purported al Qaeda letter calls truce in Spain

Wed 17 March, 2004 21:59

By Opheera McDoom

CAIRO (Reuters) - A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda says it is calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new Madrid government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper says.

In a statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations.

"Because of this decision, the leadership has decided to stop all operations within the Spanish territories... until we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq," the statement said.

"And we repeat this to all the brigades present in European lands: Stop all operations."

Scepticism has greeted previous claims of responsibility by the group for attacks in Turkey and Iraq. U.S. officials say its links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network are unclear.

An unrelated videotape of a man describing himself as al Qaeda's European military spokesman also claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombing, saying it was in retaliation for outgoing Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's domestically-unpopular support for the U.S.-led Iraq war.

In a shock election result three days after the Madrid bombs, Spain voted in the Socialist party, which has since said it will probably withdraw its troops from Iraq.

"The Spanish people... chose peace by choosing the party that was against the alliance with America," the statement said.


The statement said it supported U.S. President George W. Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."

In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:

"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilisation."

"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."

The group said its cells were ready for another attack and time was running out for allies of the United States.

"Whose turn is it next? Will it be Japan or America, or Italy, Britain or Oslo or Australia?" the statement said, adding Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were also targets.

The group is named after Muhammed Atef, also known as Abu Hafs, a close bin Laden aide killed in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

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Are the lives of innocent people worth less than $4 billion? What is the Blue Book value of US security these days? How much money should we spend to keep our enemies away from performing another act that will cost the lives of thousands of people, who simply "happened" to be at the wrong place, the wrong time? This goes beyond partisan lines. The Clinton administration tried hard, by taking the higher road, but it didn't lead anywhere. They admitted to failure, even though that was the right thing to do before launching attacks on countries that support and harbor terrorists. The long-term safety of this country is priceless... unless we are willing to close our borders and focus ONLY on America. But then we'll be called racists, xenophobic and prejudice.

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If Bush was interested only on being re-elected, he could have used the $4 billion for other things that could "buy" him votes. During his 2nd term he could have gone full speed ahead with his "personal" agenda. I am not sure I subscribe to the theory of spending all that money for capturing Bin Landen and eliminating Al-Qaeda, thus boosting Bush's image. It just doesn't make any sense at all. Seriously. If I were the president, I would have done the same thing, anyway. That is not to say that we shouldn't be spending more time, money and energy in improving our economy, but the safety of the population comes first. That is priceless... Of course, some people stand to benefit from national security related expenses, but that is the case no matter what is your focus. EVERYONE wants a big slice of the pie. This will continue to happen during future administrations.

Now, whether the $4 billion will change things... that is not something we can evaluate today. It takes years to build a strong defense system, and sometimes it is already too late. I view the United States as a patient that has been diagnosed with cancer. There are cases when cancer can be successfully treated, but still the patient must be monitored often. That takes money, time, effort and lots of energy. If I was in that situation, I would have spent all my money and get into more debt if I had to, just to make sure I don't lose the battle. I would not have been concerned about lots of things I enjoy today. Things I had taken for granted before would have moved to higher priority level. National security is no different than that. We took our safety for granted and thought we were invisible. We did not invest on national security over a long period of time and now we are paying the price. Quite frankly, we all must sacrifice and become as efficient as possible in our lives. We have to close our security "holes" and then focus on how to improve our economy and standards of living.

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Raleigh-NC, you act as if Bush really cares about innocent lives over his agenda.

There is video of basically the same people running things today shaking Saddam's hand in 1983, when we sold Iraq weapons to kill people.


I'm surprised anyone still thinks Bush and his "team" care about Iraqi citizens just because they say so.

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To portray Bush as a savage who doesn't care about human lives isn't constructive. Politicians, by nature, make decisions that send many people to their grave, and George Bush is not immune to this, neither is ANYONE else who falls under the definition of "politician". That said, the liberation of the Iraqi people serves us as well as Iraq and every other Islamic nation that envisions a peaceful cooperation with the rest of the non-Muslim countries. Bush did not go directly to free the Iraqi people; a little over a year ago he made a decision that could: 1) endanger the lives of US soldiers and innocent people, 2) hurt his career as a politician and minimize (if not eliminate) his chances for re-election, and 3) arm his opponents with ammunition to criticize him, no matter how right his decision was.

On the other hand, Bush's war in Iraq could provide the following benefits: 1) stability in a very unstable region (not immediately, of course), 2) capture of major players in the "industry" of terrorism by forcing them to make fast and careless moves, 3) enforce cooperation between the West and former unwilling players (e.g. Moammar Gadhafi), and last, but not least, 4) the prevention of further murders by a horrible dictator; there is no argument against the number of innocent people who died under Saddam's regime. That number could have jumped to a much higher level if we had not removed Saddam from power. Even with all the people lost during the war in Iraq, the sacrifice was worth it. For the US, the long-term stability in that region and the isolation of Al-Qaeda's actions to a few countries are major priorities for the sake of our national security.

As far as the people shaking hands with Saddam, please don't get me started... I know how the "brains" of our country brought this dangerous man to power, although they never meant for him to get out of control. They made HUGE mistakes, for which tens of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of US and ally soldiers paid with their lives. European politicians helped a lot, too, so we can't possibly put the blame entirely on US. Saddam was a madman that the West thought they could influence and "control". However, things didn't go their way; while most European leaders closed both their eyes and sealed their ears, accepting the status quo, the US reacted and took action... For that we are blamed. If you were a Kurd, would you say the same thing? Doesn't their voice count? The result is what counts for them and every time people protest the war in Iraq, they insult the Kurdish people, and we are not talking about 100,000 people... Whether most people, including politicians, care about Iraqi people's freedom, or not, it doesn't matter to me. American blood was spilled on foreign soil and Iraqis got their freedom; that's the outcome and this is what matters to me.

Personally, I like to have ALL the US troops back in the US, patrolling our borders and international airports, like they do in other "democratic" countries around the world... you know, those countries that accuse us of isolating ourselves from the rest of the world, while they keep a very good count of who goes in and out of their borders. Of course, the next time someone oppresses his country, the US will be called to support the "international effort" for peace, but that's when the United States will be the "peace-keeper" the world wants to see. Give me a break, please... it is time the US looks after US interests and ignore the hypocrites that surround us. We did not become a major power because we wanted to oppress others; we earned our right to be proud and fight for our interests, even if that costs lives. I like to be humanitarian, but this world hasn't left me with many options. My interests, as an American, come first.

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Raleigh, what kind of point are you trying to prove? You just typed out four long paragraphs that I really don't think you needed to explain with. Don't take offense to my asking that...

I don't personally think Bush is a savage. I think he's an elitist corporate twit who will do anything to protect elitist interests. I don't just think this way for any reason, I think this way because all the evidence supports my views. Whether Iraqi people get freedom is beside the point.

I've done my best to show that the current people in power had no problem in the past with helping Saddam kill his own people. That is enough of an argument in and of itself. You either take it or leave it for what it is - but the facts are the facts.

But don't you think its a bit naive to believe that rebuilding Iraq is the answer to all of the middle east's problems? We created the modern day Iraq after WWII. Iraq has nothing to do with the hotbed of terrorism in the middle east.

So how is rebuilding Iraq going to help overall? Maybe this time will be the charm and Iraq really will become a democracy with people that value democratic principle. But even if it does become a beacon for this region - it hasn't begun to solve the TERRORIST threat!

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heckles, I don't really believe that we disagree on the big picture. Even if we do, feel free to ask me the same question again and again, if you don't mind doing so. For as long as we maintain a civilized level of conversation, I have no problem expanding my arguments further and deeper. However, between this thread and a few others, where we both expressed our opinions already, I thought I didn't have to explain everything, but I will do my best... once more.

* Bush is an elitist corporate twit... and so is EVERY other politician. Why just going against Bush? Will you do the same if Kerry wins, or will you believe that Kerry is independent of elitist corporate interests?

* Well, nobody can claim that a free Iraq is an answer to the problem of terrorism. Anyone claiming such thing would risk his reputation and sound crazy, at best. But, to say that Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism related to Middle-Eastern issues can be easily debunked. Saddam's Iraq had constantly encouraged terrorist attacks against Israel, and even provided rewards. Remember the first attack on the twins (1993)? That was Iraq's work... proven, not alleged. Remember Teri Nichols? Well, his contacts with Iraqi agents during his trips to Phillipines were well documented. I mentioned about this some time ago, through this forum and SSP, but Clarke did so in his book too (from what I've read, at least). The information came during the investigation on the Oklahoma bombings, but was obscured by the fanaticism against McVey. The list could go on and on, if I had the time to gather all the facts in one thread, during my limited time.

* Al-Qaeda and Iraq - Well, they were never close friends, but they were always allies. Saddam and Osama fought for leading the anti-West movement within the Islamic world, but they never had conflicting interests. There is little evidence to support that Saddam's Iraq and Al-Qaeda never worked together. In contrary, the first attack in the twins provided a test, the results of which Al-Qaeda used to orchestrate the second and final attack. Saddam's Iraq always had slightly different interests (overall) than the Palestinian organizations, but they worked together in many cases (the 1993 attack being one of them). Today's activity of Al-Qaeda within Iraq proves beyond doubt that the former was, and still remains present in that country, way past Saddam's control. Iraq was the passage from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the heart of Middle East. Without Afghanistan's and Pakistan's support, and with Iraq no longer an easy passage for Al-Qaeda, I would definitely say that hitting Iraq was of strategic importance, although there were more reasons doing so than that.

* Democracy in Middle East - People in the West tend to take freedom for granted. Things are much different in the Middle East (or at least in most of its territories). People can be taken advantage of very easily, mainly due to their illiteracy. Excuses for fanaticism can be found in anything, especially when God is used as an excuse (gee, this works among educated people, too). All a political leader has to do is say that God wants the non-Muslims dead, and the mayhem will begin. A truly democratic society could create the desire for peace among its neighboring nations. Lebanon was prospering right before the "bombings" begun, but that was an act of envy towards a weaker nation that wasn't ready to defend its freedom. Iraq, on the other hand, will have to be ready to repel any "barbarian hordes", be that another nation, or Al-Qaeda itself. Moammar Gadhafi's gesture is a proof that even the most anti-American leader can finally open up to the West. In fact, his comments towards the United States and Brittain were rather down to Earth and optimistic. Saddam could (and should) have taken a similar stance, turning himself into a true leader; that doesn't mean he should have been forgiven for his previous actions. Educated people in Middle East want peace and democracy, but the rest of their people drag them down and postpone any such change. Now, if you study even the surface of terrorism, you will discover that eliminating iliteracy and restoring democracy aren't by themselves enough to eliminate terrorism. Alas, this phenomenon will never cease to exist, but we can certainly contain it, before it becomes a larger threat. To eliminate the motivation for a terrorist attack will not bear fruits within 5-10, I am afraid, but we need to start somewhere. Clinton's administration tried in the most civilized and democratic way to prevent the spread of terrorism. It didn't have anything of the 9-11 magnitude to work on, so it fell into the trap of thinking that the US was almost untouchable within our own territory. It was only under pressure (and war) that countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan decided to help us blow some major stikes against terrorism. Had we not demonstrated military superiority, the terrorists would have hit us again and again. Hitting the Pentagon was an act of war against the US, which gave us the right to hit EVERY single ally of Al-Qaeda, including its smallest supporters. We cannot enforce democracy in any region, but we do reserve the right to hit back when provoked. A democratic Middle East could have prevented its population from joining the ranks of the manipulative Al-Qaeda and its "subsidiaries". Not to prevent terrorism, but avoid major blows towards civilian targets.

As an answer to your last sentence, it would be naive to think that the terrorist threat can be solved. We won't find the cure, but we are determined to find a therapy. A democratic and free Middle East will [most likely] limit the terrorist attacks to their minimum. It is clear to me, but I don't expect everyone to agree. Being part of the whole Homeland Security infrastructure has helped me see things from a different angle, so you may still think I am biased. You can't say I didn't try to make my views clear :)

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I have to get in bed, so I can't really read your entire comments - as usual you typed out a good bit.

You made one point I clearly want to refute now, though.

You say all politicians are elitist corporate twits.

Well that is not true. Howard Dean, for example, ran primarily against the old machines as a vision of true change. But you see what happened...

As far as Kerry vs Bush is concerned - yea, there is truth to that.

One major thing though - Kerry may have corporate friends and do a little dealing on the side - and if you read my comments at SSP you saw me bash Kerry quite harshly before I put my support behind him. But, even with that fact, Kerry has a voting record that shows he's willing to side with the lower classes more often then Bush by far - and he represents interests that help people who aren't elitist.

That is a big difference, and to deny the difference just to say they are all beholden to the same interests is just flat out wrong.

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Heckles, good point... Howard Dean might have been less of a corporate puppet, but if he was ever elected, he would have become one, for sure. Not to mention that in my book he is insane :) As far as Kerry's voting record, I must say that being a president is an entirely different ballgame. You may control the way you vote, but not the rest of the politicians, even if they side by you. So, Kerry's [good] voting record (although it may be successfully debated) says something, but doesn't make him less dependent on the corporate might, which is what I meant when I said there are no differences between the two "hopefuls". Not much difference with Bush, at least as seen from the standpoint of a little guy, like me.

monsoon, I agree with what you said about the Middle-Eastern allies of the US, but none of them stands out as a democratic society, anyway. I will not accept that their regimes are anywhere as brutal as others in that region, even though they are not where they should have been. Iraq may have a chance to emerge as a model more than any of its neighboring countries. Not to mention that those countries have made tremendous progress in the way they treat their citizens, anyway. You have to keep in mind that the countries you mentioned used to be VERY harsh and every year they get better and better... overall. So, let's be fair to these nations by saying that their record is nowhere near Iraq's, Afghanistan's or even Iran's when it comes to human rights. Besides, I have several friends who have visited these countries more than a couple of times, spending anywhere between a few days to a few weeks, and they would strongly disagree with your statement. While they are not there, the progress made is tremendous.

Now, don't confuse Saddam's desire to lead the Islamic "revolution" with suppressing Islamic extremism. The very fact that his religious affiliation was not with the majority in Iraq (hence most of all that civil unrest in Iraq, today), he couldn't push religion to its extremes. His goals were not to send just a couple of kids to blow up an Israeli cafe... his aspirations were far higher. Saddam was too smart to allow Iraqi soil to become the breeding grounds for terrorism, especially with all the heat he was getting from the international community. He tried before the first attack in the twins and didn't work for him. So, let's not go in circles, repeating the same old "utopian" theory about Saddam not being linked to terrorism. It is proven beyond any doubt, outside lack of knowledge, that Saddam initiated terrorist activities on US soil. Some of them were successful, some of them not; the latter will most likely remain unknown for many more years, unless one does a little research. Saddam DID help Al-Qaeda to succeed where he failed, but didn't participate in the 9-11. Remember, Saddam had long-term plans, he was not a kamikaze, like most of those terrorists. The fact that the [dead] terrorists involved at 9-11 were not of Iraqi decent means nothing. Al-Qaeda is a network of organizations, and Iraqis could have VERY easily been involved without getting visibility. So, to say that Saddam's Iraq had no connection to Al-Qaeda isn't something we can accept until the whole network is captured. For the moment we just need to remain neutral and open minded on the possibility... until proven otherwise.

As far as your last paragraph goes, I will still disagree, and that's where I will leave this. If everything we talked about was excuses, then I'd like to know what were the true reasons. Not theories, put solid, concrete explanation of "Why" we went into Iraq. And please, do not mention oil... that is a laughable argument that has already been analyzed by people who actually pay attention to facts. I have even gotten tired of reading articles and hearing opinions on both sides. With the money we spent on this war we could have gotten great deals around the world, bribe politicians, pay some debts, take a long vacation and still have money left. My opinion is that the war in Iraq was part of a greater plan that involves the removal of Al-Qaeda, once and for all. WMDs is still a pending issue, even though the Bush administration wants to get Iraq moving forward before we actually find all the details concerning the existence, or non-existence, of these weapons. Remember, "not found" does not equal "non existent".

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It is a shame that countries only appear to be interested in liberating people when it suits them. It is more of a sugarcoating argument and the more it is used as justification the more it suggests the official reasoning they gave for war doesn't hold up and they must hide behind it. But that is a credibility and consistency issue.

Even with a democratic Iraq you'd still have islamic terrorist groups that would do us harm. I don't think any other country in the same position would act much better but that's just the way it is.

As long as oil transactions are primarily conducted in US dollars, countries worldwide need to have US dollars in reserves to invest in US assets which also plays a role in helping to pay US debts. Saddam must have sealed his fate when he switched to the Euro, and they probably felt they had to go in to prevent that switch becoming a trend to protect US dollar hemogany. Maybe they wish to castrate OPEC's decision making power by flooding the oil market with Iraqi crude, and prevent them from making the decision to make an ultimate switch to another currency like that.

As for the reason of protecting the jewish state well they may not have been in much danger in the first place. And the nightmare scenario of 400 Iraqi tanks showing up at the Jordan River could still occur.

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You can disagree Raleigh, but if you want to ignore the differences between what backs Bush and Kerry - so be it. You "don't buy it" when I tell you there are differences, but what are you basing your opinion on?

Look at the top donors lists. You see a huge difference. I don't have a direct link for you, but if you spend any time searching, you'll eventually run across lists that show who is donating to who.

Just pull up google and start looking for voting records and donations. And try to look at more objective sites when possible.

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They're still taking a hell of a risk though, had a long war caused a spike in oil prices, Japan's fragile economy could have collapsed which is a country that has massive US Dollar reserves and quite hypersensitive to oil prices.

There's also the possibility of economic retribution against a superpower that's believed to be dangerous and unstoppable by pulling out of the US Dollar in as many ways possible. They may in the long run cause the very thing they were trying to prevent. Less of the world would be paying the US mounting debt, and the US wouldn't monopolize world trade. Looks like they're petrified of the Euro, particularly to go to these great lengths. Should be interesting to see what happens if Britain and the enlarged EU were to join the new currency that would have a GDP comparible to the US perhaps greater. Especially since Europe does more trade with the middle east anyway. There could be alot more switching from the dollar to come.

Instead of this unilateral pursuit of it's own interests at the expense of whoever maybe there could be a multilateral effort to trade in both currencies at parity so everyone wins.

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That takes it up to 600 in total.

As the draft dodging chicken hawks were so desperate to send them out there in the first place. Even the first George Bush dreaded sending his own people off to fight, especially knowing what it's like himself. Some even fanatical about going to war like the Vice President. He still rambles his out to lunch claims on stage.

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