Speech by George W. Bush, September 27, 2004
“Focus on Education with President Bush” Event
Midwest Livestock and Expo Center, Springfield, Ohio
CNN World News, September 8, 2006 Taliban claim deadly Kabul bombing
[A]s a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence. And the people of Afghanistan are now free. (Applause.) In other words when you say something as President you better make it clear so everybody understands what you’re saying, and you better mean what you say. And I meant what I said. (Applause.)
Reuters, September 08, 2006 NATO chiefs study call for more Afghan troops
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN)—The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a massive suicide car bombing that killed at least 18 people—including two U.S. soldiers—near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
“A coalition convoy was the target of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device this morning near the U.S. Embassy here,” according to Master Sgt. Chris Miller. The convoy was comp[o]sed of three armored Humvees.
Journalist Tom Coghlan said the Humvee that bore the brunt of the explosion had its turret blown 30 yards from the site the the attack. The blast spread debris and body parts across the Massoud roundabout, about 50 yards from the embassy. Video from the scene showed a charred, severed foot on the ground as military medics attended to a limp body dressed in military fatigues a short distance away.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, at the scene of the attack, said: “This is a real sign of a resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. It is also a sign that the Taliban are increasingly adopting al-Qaeda-style tactics.”
Christian Science Monitor, September 08, 2006 In border zone, Pakistan backs off from Taliban
WARSAW, Sept 8 (Reuters)—NATO defence chiefs gathered in Warsaw on Friday to discuss raising troop levels in Afghanistan after top alliance officials conceded they had underestimated Taliban resistance and needed reinforcements.
The talks were due to take place after at least 16 people were killed on Friday in the deadliest suicide bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, an attack which witnesses said was aimed at a NATO convoy.
NATO’s top commander of operations, U.S. General James Jones, said on Thursday he would urge national military chiefs at the talks to offer up to 2,500 extra troops on top of the roughly 18,500 which NATO already has there.
Reuters, September 08, 2006 Senate panel finds no prewar Iraq-Qaeda link
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN—On the eve of the five year anniversary of 9/11, Pakistan’s government struck a deal Tuesday with Taliban fighters, handing them what may turn out to be effective control over the tribal border region of North Waziristan.
Their allies will be freed from jail, confiscated weapons will be returned, and the Army will pull back from the check posts it has erected, ending aerial and ground operations. In return, the militants promise to evict foreign fighters and prevent infiltration into Afghanistan. …
In the years since Sept. 11, 2001, Pakistan has displayed a singular dedication to fighting foreign fighters and their local hosts—often at a great price, both real and political. Pouring 80,000 troops and hardware into the tribal zone, the Pakistani military has lost nearly one man for every Al Qaeda operative—totaling several hundred—it has captured or killed. President Pervez Musharraf has nearly lost his life twice in the fight, after Al Qaeda’s suicide bombers trained their sights on him. Few contest this record of sacrificial bravery.
But some say that it has come at a great national price: As the battle against Al Qaeda has mounted, so, too, has the military grown in strength and political influence, becoming in essence the very state it is supposed to serve. That has allowed it to break up Al Qaeda’s network, but also to rupture the political landscape, splintering parties and institutions into fragments that can barely challenge its rule.
Today, analysts and members of the opposition claim, Parliament and civil society barely function in the shadows of the Musharraf government. As a consequence, the pillars of legitimacy needed to effectively address the causes of extremism—national consensus, social and political development, local governance—have been removed, leaving the military to address the problem the only way it knows how: with helicopter gunships and ground assaults. These measures have consistently failed, however, sowing widespread outrage that has compelled the government to backtrack, signing peace accords like the one this week.
If you haven’t had a look at the Iraq War Timeline, you should. It’s a remarkably clear presentation of the events leading up to the war, and then the war itself. What you can see in some of its earliest entries is that long before 9/11, a group of some of Bush’s closest cronies, called The Project for a New Amerian Century, decided that the United States should go to war with Iraq for a bunch of bad and ill-defined reasons. (If you don’t have access to the New Statesman site, you can read the same article here. I highly recommend it.)
WASHINGTON—Saddam Hussein provided no material support for al Qaeda and had no relationship with al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, despite claims by administration officials including President George W. Bush, said a Senate report released on Friday.
The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, drawing on a previously undisclosed 2005 CIA assessment, was released as Americans prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States by al Qaeda. …
The assessment in the CIA report was similar to the conclusion reached by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, which found that there had been no “collaborative relationship” between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
New Yorkers tend to be pretty clear about who attacked us on 9/11. If you aren’t,* allow me to explain that Saddam Hussein had zero to do with it. The Taliban were the ones who backed Osama bin-Laden and al Qaeda, so going to war with Afghanistan actually made sense: they’d attacked us.
And yet, after giving the war in Afghanistan a lick and a promise, George Bush declared it was over, and flounced off to Iraq to have the war he’d been planning all along. Sure, he’d talked about helping to rebuild Afghanistan and create democratic institutions there (which among other things would have given its citizens better things to do than blowing up the building where you work), but at the point that he declared the war in Afghanistan over, it came out that his administration hadn’t budgeted a single penny toward that effort. Afghanistan was a poor country to start with, and after Bush & Co. left it was even poorer. What forces we left behind have mostly stayed hunkered down in Kabul.
Not surprisingly, the Taliban has risen again. Their adherents are using al Qaeda-style techniques. Let me repeat: these are the guys who actually do have a history of attacking the United States. You’re just as vulnerable to them as you were on the day before 9/11.
And one more thing. You know how people who don’t know how to do a particular thing think it’s magic? Like, people who’ve bought their first truck think it’ll do the kind of stunts they’ve seen on car commercials, or people who don’t know the first thing about computers will somehow get the idea that their monitor can see them, or that their software can divine what it is they’re trying to do? You really should go back and look at that article on The Project for a New American Century. It’s fascinating. One way or another they’re pretty much all draft dodgers, with no military experience to speak of.* They think that going to war will have magic effects. They have no idea what they’re doing. Which may account for the way they’ve consistently been wrong about everything.