In his Aug. 30 speech overwhelmingly focusing on his World War II analogy, Bush did let slip this one telling line at North Island Naval Air Station:
“If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks; they’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions; they could recruit more terrorists by claiming an historic victory over the United States and our coalition.” (White House transcript.)
Ah yes, the oil. We always suspected it had a little to do with the oil. And not (as we have repeatedly emphasized) merely with oil company profits, still less with access to cheap oil for US consumers—but with strategic control of oil, and preventing it from falling into hands hostile to Washington. Bush followed up:
“Our goal is clear, as well. We will defeat the terrorists. We’ll build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary.”
Of course this is the ultimate perversity: it was Bush’s very invasion and destabilization of Iraq that has made the country a “sanctuary” for jihadis—who Saddam Hussein had been successfully repressing. Life’s little ironies.