A Disassociated Press Report, Washington, D.C., January 17, 2006
By Eric Mader
U.S. President George W. Bush apologized to the people of Pakistan today for the deaths caused by a missile strike aimed at a top-ranking al Qaeda figure. The apology was offered during a special radio address from the White House, and was accompanied by a candid explanation of U.S. policy.
"We are deeply sorry for any loss of innocent life in this attack," the president said. "Our hearts go out to the people of Pakistan."
Eighteen Pakistanis lost their lives in a January 13th airstrike on the Pakistani village of Damadola. The missiles, which destroyed at least three homes, were intended for al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, mistakenly believed by the CIA to be in the village. The event has led to widespread protests in Pakistan.
In his address, Bush admitted that such attacks may seem reckless to casual observers, but insisted there was an inherent logic in the U.S.'s renewed desire to get al-Zawahiri.
"This is an election year," he said. "With things in Iraq going so badly, it's important for us to give the American people some good news related to the war on terror. If I can't, if we can't, then it's very possible Democrats might take over Congress in the fall."
Bush explained that "getting the heads" of either bin Laden, al-Zawahiri or al-Zarqawi would do much for his weak approval ratings and would thus improve the chances of Republicans up for office. He was forthright in his explanation of his administration's policy.
"The people of Pakistan must understand that the war on terror is not so much a war aimed at stopping Muslim terrorism as it is a war aimed at diverting the American people from our real policy goals," Bush said. "An attack like this one, where women and children are killed, sure it will only cause more hatred for America and will likely produce more terrorists in the long run. So it may seem counterproductive, but that's only if you don't understand our logic."
The president explained that since the war on terror was useful for increasing his party's grip on power, it really mattered little if his policy created more terrorists.
"People just need to think about it," the president said. "Since we thrive in this environment of terrorism, whether we kill terrorists or create more of them by reckless bombing, it doesn't matter: for us it's pretty much a win-win situation."
"It's too bad we didn't get al-Zawahiri this time," he went on, "but it is by no means bad that more of Pakistan's poor youths are now up in arms against us. We will be well able to use the brown bastards in coming years."
Bush concluded his apology by pleading with his critics to understand and empathize with his position.
"I know it all may seem hard to fathom," he said. "Especially for those who lost family in this recent missile strike. But when they think it through, they should finally realize that it's all not as poorly thought out as it seems, and that the deaths of those women and children may serve a greater purpose in the long run. We may still hold on to Congress in 2007."
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