CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Al-Qaida's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, threatened more destruction in London, saying in a videotape broadcast Thursday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair would be to blame.
Al-Zawahri also threatened the United States with tens of thousands of military dead if it does not withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately.
In Crawford, Texas, President Bush dismissed the threat, saying, "We will stay on the offense against these people. They're terrorists and they're killers and they will kill innocent people ... so they can impose their dark vision on the world."—My Way News August 4, 2005
Recently rumors have spread throughout the media that Bush and his group want to withdraw a major number of troops from Iraq next year. The question about these rumors is how much they are PR feelers, and how much they are true desires. In the best of all possible scenarios, the American people would like to see Iraqis govern themselves in a democratic system, and all American troops come home and out of harm’s way. Is this what Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld are aiming for?
A senior non-U.S. diplomat, who has spoken to all the key figures in Iraq over the past two years, tells me that for months leaders of the insurgency have been putting out feelers that they would like to talk with the United States about a settlement. (U.S. and Iraqi civilian and military officials have confirmed various aspects of this story.) So far the United States has refused to go down this path. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's description of contacts between Army officers and local insurgents is accurate, but these contacts have been few and far between and, more important, neither side has any authority to negotiate anything.[emphasis added]—Zakaria, Newsweek August 8, 2005
Zakaria’s picture is of a two-pronged insurgency—one side Baathist Nationalists and the other, foreign terrorist troublemakers. His commentary concludes that US doing business with the Baathists would invalidate the others. Again the assumption is that US leaders eventually want to leave Iraq.
President Bush suggested in June that “sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are in fact working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level,” he said, “our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders." As I recall, the sober judgment of many of those military leaders was that we shouldn't go into
Iraq in the first place. Their advice was not only unheeded, it was
derided.—Dickey, Newsweek, August 4, 2005
In his 100th “Shadowland” commentary, Newsweek Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East authority Chris Dickey summarizes the history of the Iraq incursion, and the Bush administration lack of planning, information, and direction. If we assume that all along the plan was not to fight terrorism, but to establish a beachhead in Iraq to control the flow of mid-east oil, then in fact their plan and goal have been accomplished. The only missing puzzle piece is how to make sure the Orwellian dictums coming out of Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush, keep the Americans from boiling over in protest that they have been misled, and lied to, all along.
Bush explained in his inimitable broad-stroke cowboy style why the Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri’s threats of murder and mayhem in London and the US leave us no choice but to leave US troops at present numbers in Iraq:
"...Part of their goal is to drive us out of the broader Middle East: precisely what this Zawahiri said. He's threatening. They have come up against a nation that, one, will defend itself," Bush said.
"We will stay the course. We will complete the job in Iraq," he added.—CNN August 4, 2005
Bush’s presidency can only last, unless he’s impeached, until his term is up. But he and his family are an oil dynasty, which will always reap the benefits of easy access to huge supplies of crude. Why would he want to give up property he worked so hard to annex, and lose that capacity for enriching kith and kin, just for the sake of peace?