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3/18/08

AP Rebuff's Cheney's Defense of Iraq Invasion

Cheney again links Iraq invasion to 9/11 attacks as bombing victims are buried

AP's story starts with complaints about bombings and political stalemates in Iraq's government. And then Cheney has the audacity to be "upbeat" about Iraq's progress. Well AP, as you recently reported, the majority of Iraqis say things are getting better. Now for the logical fallacy:

(AP)..."Cheney also defended the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as part of the struggle against terrorism following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.This month, an exhaustive Pentagon-sponsored review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents captured during the 2003 U.S. invasion [still less than a fourth of all captured documents from Saddam, and only 15% of those 600,000 documents were translated into English- hardly "exhaustive."] found no evidence that Saddam's regime had any operational links with the al Qaida terrorist network. But Cheney, who spent the night at a sprawling U.S. base in the northern town of Balad, told soldiers they were defending future generations of Americans from a global terror threat.

First of all, the Pentagon report did not claim there was no link. It exposed a connection between Hussein and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with Al-Qaeda in 1997, and also with the Army of Mohammed, a Kuwaiti affiliate of Al-Qaeda. AP and most other media have lied about this.

Secondly, Cheney wasn't even saying here that Hussein had ties with Al Qaeda. All he said is that terrorism became an issue after 9/11 and America invaded Iraq to stop that terrorism. The Pentagon report actually brings this point home. It reveals that Hussein was in touch with nearly every Islamist terrorist group in the Middle East, including Fatah, Hamas, the Army of Mohammed, and Hezboallah. It isn't astounding that 15% of a quarter of Saddam's documents didn't show an “operational link” with Al Qaeda.

And most Americans agree that the USA should stay in Iraq to combat terrorism. Gallup's most recent poll showed 65% want America to stay until Iraq is secure, vs. only 32% who want to leave. So AP is wrong when they call this an "unpopular war."

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