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August 2, 2005

A Curiosity

-- by Dave Johnson

I have a question.

President Bush has repeatedly insisted that our invasion of Iraq was not in response to the 9/11 attack. Here are a couple of examples:

“We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th.” September 17, 2003

“This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda.” June 17, 2004

He HAS said that we invaded Iraq because they were preparing to attack us, and members of his administration went so far as to say Iraq was preparing to attack us with nuclear weapons. (He has also said that we attacked Iraq "to bring freedom to the Iraqi people.")

My question: Why does the right-wing blogosphere and much of the media continue to repeat that we are in Iraq "because we were attacked" and link the invasion to 9/11 even though the President insists that is not the reason? Why are so many supposedly loyal right-wingers going against the President on that?

What I am getting at is, shouldn't we take advantage of opportunities to remind them (comments at RW blogs, letters to editors, talk-show call-ins, etc.) that the President has insisted that the invastion was not because of 9/11?

Update - Doesn't matter, they're brown. That's the whole point. Fighting "them" there so we don't have to fight "them" over here means brown. Iraq? Iran? Doesn't matter. Brown matters.

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 2, 2005 10:20 AM

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Comments

The people who parrot the 'we were attacked' line as the justification for invading Iraq are not persuadable on the question of whether it was right to invade Iraq. No facts, no explanation, no argument will move them.

It is not a homogenous crowd, there are several component groups.

The members of the Cult of W will vigorously support and repeat anything that Bush and the Republicans put out there. If Bush were to declare the Iraq invasion a mistake, they would all say the same thing within twelve hours.

There are some people who support war, and more specifically the use of American military force, as an expression of their nationalist urges, their existential angst or their need for affirmation that "We're No. 1." For them the attacks of 9/11 were a grievous wound, one requiring violent acts of vengeance. These people are the leaders of the pitchforks and torches crowd who label any opposition to the war as an act of treason. You cannot talk to them about the Iraq war. You cannot talk to them about anything.

Then there are those who have no understanding of the world, who regard any Muslim, any Arab and anyone even vaguely Muslim or Arab as "them." And this particular "them" has been labeled "the terrorists." In this respect, killing an Iraqi, even an eight year old Iraqi girl, is a way of striking back against the Saudi adult males who did the 9/11 attacks. Any attempt to educate these people as to the distinctions between peoples and conduct will be met with resistance. In this group you will find those people who might ordinarily have voted for John Kerry or any other Democrat, but in the atmosphere of rampant fear resulting from 9/11, and fanned into flames by Bush and the corporate press/media, these people feel 'safer' with a president who attacks because it seems like he is doing something rather than nothing.

Posted by: James E. Powell [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2005 12:01 PM

Re: reminding them that the President says Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

It won't help. I've done this. Here's what happens: they react like you're telling them something obvious and irrelevant. Of course, the President said that. And it's totally true, they'll freely agree as soon as you convince them that you might suspect they don't believe it. Doesn't change the narrative one single bit.

I don't understand why this should be so difficult to understand. The wingnuts know full well that Iraq wasn't involved in the 9/11 attacks— but it doesn't stop them from placing the blame for the attacks on Iraq. The reason? It's very simple in their minds— and this is why they're so unreasonable about it— Iraq was the enemy and you send soldiers to fight the enemy when you're attacked. Any more qualification and conditionality beyond that, and you've completely lost them. If you keep banging the drum, they stop listening entirely and focus instead on how entertaining it is to see someone so outraged about something so inconsequential in their minds.

Posted by: s9 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2005 2:36 PM

'Doesn't matter. Brown matters.' Too true, Dave!
Vacillating between depression and outrage ..

Posted by: belga [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 3, 2005 3:21 PM

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