Aid and Comfort: The New Bush-bin Laden Alliance

Bin Laden Gets a Pass from Pakistan (ABC)
Pakistan signs pact with pro-Taliban militants (New Zealand Herald)

Is anyone really surprised at this? Bush has never had the slightest intention of catching Osama bin Laden. He needs bin Laden like he needs air or water. Without bin Laden, he is nothing. Without bin Laden, he wouldn't be a "War President" wielding dictatorial powers over a cowed, confused nation. Without bin Laden -- whom Bush has now taken to quoting as an expert on world affairs -- the Potomac pipsqueak would be just another failed, one-term president named George Bush, a national joke, a trivia quiz answer, a half-forgotten goober ridiculed for a feckless reign that made Jimmy Carter look like Bismarck. Without bin Laden, Bush never would have had the chance to seal his prejudices and inadequacies in the blood of tens of thousands of innocent people. How could he ever give up bin Laden, who gave him his truest self? Bush is bin Laden, bin Laden is Bush: they gaze at each other lovingly across the smoldering ruins of cities and the festering pits of mass graves, and whisper tenderly one to the other: "You complete me."

These truces have freed up al Qaeda and Taliban forces now sheltering in North and South Waziristan to kill Americans, Bri
ts, Canadians -- and scores of Afghans. Yet the Bush Administration fully backs these measures -- indeed, they're kicking in untold millions of dollars to the bribes Musharaff is paying to the extremists to keep them sweet. And certainly, no one should -- or could -- believe the "assurances" that the Waziristan warlords will no longer give haven to their brethren. In any case, if the Pakistani military pulls back, how will anybody know who is being sheltered where? What's more, the Pakistanis say that foreign fighters -- including bin Laden specifically -- are welcome to stay in the region if they are being "peaceful citizens."  The assurances are a face-saving sham.

What we have here, unambiguously is this: the Bush Administration has cut a deal with al Qaeda and its allies. If they play ball with Bush's pet military dictator, Musharaff -- whose throne is growing shakier by the day (I'll be writing more on this soon) -- why then, they're free to rampage in Afghanistan and build jihadi brownie points by killing Americans and other assorted infidels. This is as plain as day. Bush has kowtowed to the very people he says attacked America on 9/11 -- and not only kowtowed, but collaborated with them in killing more Americans.

In a land ruled by law and reason, a land where morality had any purchase at all, Bush would be sitting in a jail cell tonight, awaiting trial for high treason, terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder.

Instead, he'll be prancing around the country, taking out his little bin Laden rag doll and shaking at it the crowds to give them a big scare. But you know that when he goes to bed tonight, he'll give that little doll a kiss and a hug and snuggle up with it under the covers.