George Bush got it partially right yesterday (Thursday, September 22) when he said that mistakes made by three of his predecessors, including the Reagan administration, had emboldened terrorists and helped set the stage for the Sept. 11 attacks. Unfortunately he ignored the role his own actions have played in making terrorism worse and pushing the Middle East to the brink of a new war. Instead, the President blindly insisted that he is taking America on the right path in Iraq to confront the threat of terrorism. On that point he is wrong; dead wrong.
Why is he wrong? The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is doing the exact opposite of what Bush says U.S. policy was supposed to achieve:
- Instead of reducing terrorism, Islamic terrorism is spreading dramatically.
- Instead of winning new supporters for democracy, the war in Iraq is spurring the recruitment and training radical jihadists.
- Instead of creating a “City on the Hill” that other nations in the Middle East will emulate, Iraq is fissuring and setting the stage for a regional ethnic and religious civil war.