President Bush made the remarks before the Philadelphia World Affairs Council. He began, he began his remarks by characterizing the war in Iraq as a "war on terror. And that war started on September the 11th, 2001..." He went on to say:
Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity.
So we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.
Although there were assertions that Iraq was a centerpiece in fostering global terrorism as part of the rhetoric leading up to the invasion, subsequent analysis shows that intelligence was flawed. The 9-11 Commission report pointed out that that Iran had more ties to Al-Qaida than Iraq.
The President's claims that the US is safer in a world without Saddam Hussien flies in the face of the 9-11 Commission's final discourse report, issued last Monday. In that report, former Commission gave the federal government mediocre and failing grades on its steps to implement Commission recommendations.
Critics contend that the war in Iraq has distracted the US from a more fundamental approach to terrorism and from domestic security measures.
According to the Associated Press:
The U.S. government's Arabic-language television service, Alhurra, carried Bush's remarks live, but it was not shown on Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabiya or any of the Iraqi television stations. Most Iraqis disapprove of the presence of U.S. forces in their country, yet they are optimistic about Iraq's future and their own personal lives, according to a new poll.
More than two-thirds of those surveyed oppose the presence of troops from the United States and its coalition partners and less than half, 44 percent, say their country is better off now than it was before the war, according to an ABC News poll conducted with Time magazine and other media partners.
This was the third in a series of four speeches planned to highlight parlimentary elections in Iraq.