"Many of the spectacular car bombings and killings you see are as a result of al Qaeda -- the very same folks that attacked us on September the 11th. A major enemy in Iraq is the same enemy that dared attack the United States on that fateful day."
--President George W. Bush, address to the West Virginia Air National Guard, July 4, 2007
"The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is the crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children, many of whom are Muslims, trying to stop the advance of a system based upon liberty."
--President Bush, speech in Cleveland, July 10, 2007
Twice within one week, the President of the United States, perpetuated, and the press largely left unquestioned, the falsehood foisted on the American public to justify the disastrous war on Iraq from the beginning: namely, that the "enemy" in Iraq and the people who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001 are one and the same.
Think Progress cites Jonathan Landay's summary the two central truths that counter the presidential misinformation:
1) Prior To The War, Al Qaeda Was Not Operating In Iraq. “Al Qaida in Iraq didn’t emerge until 2004. While it is inspired by Osama bin Laden’s violent ideology, there’s no evidence that the Iraq organization is under the control of the terrorist leader or his top aides, who are believed to be hiding in tribal regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan.”
2) Even Now, Al Qaeda Is Not The Main Source Of Instability. “While U.S. intelligence and military officials view al Qaida in Iraq as a serious threat, they say the main source of violence and instability is an ongoing contest for power between majority Shiites and Sunnis, who dominated Saddam Hussein’s regime.”
"Bush's al Qaeda Problem," by Khody Akhavi of the IPS News Agency gives perceptive analysis of the president's truth-trashing rhetoric:
The U.S. counter-insurgency strategy appears set on exaggerating al Qaeda's role and bolstering its identity as an archetypal menace and convenient label to describe the most sensational and gruesome suicide attacks in Iraq, even though the group's number of operations are often dwarfed by those claimed by other factions, according to recent Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report documenting the use of media by Sunni insurgents in Iraq....