Bush 9/11 speech is on Iraq

President George W. Bush began his speech marking the five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by saying the 19 hijackers had assaulted America “with a barbarity unequaled in our history.”

That didn’t stop him from comparing them to other attacks in American history.

Bush was tossing wartime historical references left and right, including a pitch of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Iwo Jima and D-Day. Bush also cast Harry Truman and the Berlin Wall into the speech’s limelight.

He referred to World War II numerous times, beginning with his mention of Osama Bin Laden’s labeling the War on Terror the “Third World War.”

After exhausting history for chances to link this war and the ones before, Bush went on to hail “the talent and creativity of their people” as the Iraqis’ greatest resource, more precious than their oil.

Sounds great, but it’s too bad he didn’t mean it.

The U.K. Guardian Unlimited reported that in April 2003 American troops did nothing to stop looters from stealing the historical artifacts located in the country’s museum. The article says “No fewer than 170,000 items had, it was universally reported, been stolen or destroyed, representing a large proportion of Iraq’s tangible culture.”

Later on, reporters discovered that it may not have been quite so bad, as most of the valuable items had been secured before the war began, and the items stolen only accounted for, as Bush said, “a small percentage.”

Nevertheless, where were the troops? The Guardian continues: “some US troops stood by and watched, and others had guarded the oil ministry.”

So, if the creativity and talent of the Iraqis are their greatest resources, why didn’t Bush safeguard the museum, which housed the quintessence of the Iraqi culture’s creativity and talent?

Why did he protect the oil instead?

Because, as that old phrase (kind of) goes, inaction speaks louder than words.

Bush’s words last night were as true as his words about Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Iraq will need money to rebuild, and it has only one real potential cash cow: In order for the cash to flow, so must the oil.

The main big reason the world cares about that region is the oil. If the region wasn’t rolling in black gold, our tanks would never have been rolling into Baghdad.

The oil will give Iraq the money it needs to rebuild. Then Iraq can begin harness the creativity and talent of its people.

But, until the Iraqis have the infrastructure and natural resources to establish their country, their so called “greatest” human resources will be wasted.