Did George W. Bush End Up Giving Osama bin Ladin Almost Exactly What He Wanted?

bushI’m sure this might ruffle a few feathers, but I’m sitting here in 2014 and I just can’t shake this feeling that what we’re seeing right now might have been what Osama bin Ladin was hoping for all along.

Going back to September 11, 2001, the horrors we all felt that day seemed insurmountable.  But as bad as those attacks were, they weren’t going to bring us down.  They were horrifying and monstrous, but they were never going to “defeat” us.

Osama bin Ladin had to have known this.  In fact, he had to have known that by orchestrating these attacks, it would undoubtedly pull us into war.  And that’s exactly what it did.

But ultimately it’s a war we could never win – because you can never really “beat” terrorism.  In fact, a war against terrorism typically only breeds more terrorists.

Now I don’t think Osama figured Bush would end up starting a war in Iraq (though I actually predicted he would find some reason to do it soon after he was elected), but I do wonder if his initial goal was to lure the United States into a war that he knew we could never win.

If you can’t directly defeat the United States, wouldn’t it make sense to try to make the United States defeat itself?

And isn’t that what we ultimately almost ended up doing?  We:

  • Spent trillions fighting two wars that ultimately have accomplished very little.
  • Are more divided politically than at any other time since the Civil War.
  • Lost more American lives fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq than we did on September 11, 2001.
  • Are more hated internationally than possibly at any other time in our history.
  • Passed the Patriot Act which has caused millions of Americans to lose all trust in our own government.
  • Doubled our national debt.
  • Crashed our economy.
  • Ruined relationships with some of our allies.
  • Devastated the lives of thousands of veterans who came back from our wars with permanent disabilities.

Honestly, the list could just keep going.  Basically since September 11, 2001 this country has been in disarray.

Now, am I saying we shouldn’t have responded after the attack?  Absolutely not.  Though I go back and forth with it because I knew then that we were never going to “win” the war.  This wasn’t World War II.  There was no defined enemy leadership to conquer.  At the same time, we couldn’t just do nothing.  But even after the killing of Osama bin Ladin, are we really “safer”?  Did we really “win” anything outside of a feeling of finally bringing to justice the mastermind behind the horrific attacks on September 11, 2001?

His death was symbolic, sure.  But it didn’t signal “winning the war” like the defeat of Adolf Hitler did during World War II. Bin Ladin was one man, there are plenty more waiting to take his place.

But going back, looking at how George W. Bush handled everything post-9/11, I just can’t help but think to myself, “Did Bush end up giving Osama bin Ladin almost exactly what he wanted?”

The war in Afghanistan really had no structure.  We went over there with a “goal” of getting Osama bin Ladin.  Great.  But say we had gotten him early on, then what?  We killed him in 2011, did that suddenly stop terrorism from existing around the world?  Did the war come to a screeching halt?

Of course not, because he was just one man.

Then Bush took us into Iraq, using the 9/11 attacks as fuel to drive our fears following such a heinous terrorist attack.  Again, am I saying bin Ladin assumed this would happen?  No.  But it happened nonetheless.

And to not mince words, the war in Iraq has been nothing but a massive disaster.  We removed Saddam from power – then what?

That seemed to be the only “plan” the Bush administration had, “Get Saddam!”  But once he was gone, they had no clue what the heck to do.  Which is why we spent nearly an entire decade following his removal from power at war.

A war that fatigued our military, drained our resources, ran up our deficits, divided our nation, killed thousands of Americans and ultimately destabilized Iraq to such an extent that Islamic radicals who are described as more radical than al Qaeda are now on the verge of taking the nation over.

And while the Bush administration claimed Iraq was a breeding ground for terrorism back in 2003, it damn sure is now.

So, for over a decade, this nation has been pushed to its limits both internationally by war and domestically as we fight amongst ourselves over what’s transpired since the 9/11 attacks.

And while I don’t know if Osama bin Ladin had some “master plan” to cause the aftermath we’ve seen in this country following the September 11 attacks, it seems Bush, through his incompetence, managed to play into exactly what bin Laden wanted done.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • thesquire1

    FACT – Bin Laden achieved everything he set out to do – except stay alive.
    4500 dead service personnel, 2 Trillion + $’s, a sense of insecurity leading to a security ‘State’, 2 Wars and constant confrontation with the Islamic world.
    What else ‘could ‘ he have achieved ?
    He stated quite clearly that he was less interested in killing people than create the phobia he has via Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld.
    You have to admit in his case ‘Mission REALLY WAS accomplished’ !

    • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

      FINANCIAL ( see: haliburton et al) mission accomplished
      ===============================================
      VOTE TEA PRTY and bring 9 21st century) jeeeeeeesus into our country and the founding fathers ( or at least sarah palin and mike huck(ster) abee and michelle bachman want!!

      • Stephen Barlow

        There’s a sick threesome I never wanna see a video of!!!

      • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

        palin has sex appeal,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Bachmann/coulter/parino/Ingraham/Kelly / michelle ” hates her boobs and life” malkin all soooo flatchested that they are easy 2 spot why they are so pissed off!!

      • Stephen Barlow

        She is MILFy. But I’d need a couple rolls of duct tape to tolerate doing her.

      • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

        nahhhhh,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sumpin’ tells me she would be OVERTLY appreciative of a REAL good intimate time with an energetic man

    • Stephen Barlow

      But you MISSED Bin Laden’s BIGGEST victory!!! He changed Western life permanently. Stripping to board a plane? FISA courts, warrantless searches, indefinite detention without charges or council.

      The Sovietization of America is as complete as it needs to be. The voters will NEVER AGAIN have a say in Government. Democracy is functionally destroyed and rendered moot. It is Corporate dictatorship from now on… Unless we have national strikes and walkouts.But as long as piss tests are required of “at will, right to work for less” employees and corporations get to use Government subsidies like PPACA and TANF to supplement employee minimum wages…
      YOU are helpless to complain, let alone take action.

      If Corporations were legally bound to share profits with employees… who benefit directly with increased production and revenue/profit margins… and executives were paid no more than they are in the rest of the civilized world… (15-20 times the lowest wage in the business).. THEN AMerica might be able to call itself a Capitalist Democracy again.

      But not as long as money is free speech and bullets are not.

  • Devil_Dinosaur

    Clifton, seriously, you have to stop with the sarcasti-quotes. It makes you seem like a snotty amateur rather than a writer to be taken seriously, and there is not one instance where we wouldn’t get your meaning if you removed them entirely. Otherwise – excellent points!

  • paintitblue

    If you really think bin Laden and not Darth Cheney that was the master mind behind 9/11. Bin Laden was not the one who took the authority to scramble jet fighters away from Pentagon and give it to the Whitehouse. There’s no way any of those planes should have reached their targets, especially the second WTC. Why did building seven collapse?

  • Erica Bowman

    9/11 was a false flag operation from the get go…just like pearl harbor.

  • Sal Paradise .

    Shortly after 9-11 the Bin Laden website was still up. Or something claiming to be . Then it quickly vanished. The web site said exactly what you are saying; It said that they were using the attacks to lure the U.S. in and to use the U.S. as the great satan to unify all the disparate jihad or terrorist/ fundamentalist groups into a wide regional war. Looking at Bush’s “plan” for a moment – it was clearly to exploit the patriotism after 911 to invade in order to grab huge oil contracts and to create a type of capitalist “democracy” in the middle east. Bush’s vision was a democratic and oil producing client state while Biin Laden’s vision was a caliphate.

    Now 13 years later – ask yourself -Who got their way? Who’s plan worked and who’s plan failed? Who wrecked their own economy and threw a generation into debt?

    Furthermore, the very fact that we have the largest and most expensive military in the world is itself a type of strategic weakness, in that the military industrial complex knows that it must generate domestic support for the vast expense. This skews the decision making process towards military intervention. This is widely known, except amongst the U.S. population. Therefore outside groups already know that this domestic support for military must be fed- and that the stage is already set for these types of actions.That makes the U.S. actions simplistic and predictable and they can and did exploit this.

  • sherry06053

    You need to give Cheney more credit…I think HE was the one running the country (and ruining it). Bush doesn’t have the brains. Both should be in prison.

    • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

      to quote that corpulent regressive crybaby GLENN BECK:
      ” im wondering,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,” why bush and cheney were NOT invited to the 2012 GOP ‘festival’

  • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

    the man who wrote this is obviously a communist martian socialist Kenyan who hates white people and is furthering a war on CHRISTMAS!!! we all know that GW bush was a GREAT president,,,,after all: he is a republican and FOX “news” knows that republican policies are what is good 4 America,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, so VOTE TEA PARTY white trash regressive in November!!! lets get all of these socialist secular Kenyan loving democrats OUT and bring JEEEEEEEEESUS into our country and our hearts

  • Robert

    We had Bin Laden in our sights at Torah Bora and at that point, we should have dropped a nuke on him and then gone home. Nobody and I mean nobody would have fucked with us after that. People might not have liked it but after 9/11, we had the ability to do it and not suffer world condemnation. We have squandered all of our goodwill since and now, we have the same clowns who squandered it, leading the charge to take us back into war. Unbelievable.

    • coldspring22 .

      Ok, then Russia niukes some terrorists when it feels like it. Then China does same thing. Next France. Then India throws some nukces when it’s upset. Then Pakistan, then Israel, then etc etc. Suddenly everyone’s blowing up nukes to kill some “terrorists”. Japan now gets Nukes to do the same thing! Lets not forget Iran and North Korea! What a wonderful world!!

  • Laura

    They left out some major things though….the war in Iraq and the start of the wealthy getting hugely wealthier…Oil companies, the military industrial complex…it was the start of the huge wealth gap. Another thing is, they say here the crash of the economy…nah…that was bankers greed on sub par mortgages…The war(s) were an all around excuse for the wealthy to exploit the situation in their favor tremendously and they did…they forgot to mention and should have added here how many rights we lost in “The Patriot Act” as part of the list of destruction.unto ourselves though, but still a good article…it was the start of the fall.

  • Matthew Reece

    If only Congress had used Ron Paul’s plan of a letter of marque and reprisal instead of the AUMF.

  • FD Brian

    Evil will never be defeated, once it’s eliminated from one place it will rise in another. Lets just call terrorism what it really is, EVIL.

  • Stephen Barlow

    If you really add up the evidence, lay it all out on one table top… There is only one conclusion that makes the most sense.

    Bush and his drinking buddy Bin Laden were in on it together. The Bushes and Bin Ladens have been family friends and business partners for generations. When some intelligence came in about a potential strike on American Soil, don’t you think a phone call would be the minimum the President could manage to his childhood friend?

    Even with Bin Laden’s involvement in the 1995 WTC bombing… you gotta KNOW that oil barrons ALL keep each other on the Ramadan Card List!!! Why do you think that even thought 11 of 13 9/11 murderers were Saudis, the Iraqi’s were the victims of the Bush Administration hoax of WMD.

    SPeaking of hoaxes… ALl that “Terrorist under every Bush” thing… there have never been more than 10,000 names on the terrorist watch list. And while 2000-3000 may be dead or in one of many Guantanamo’s in 70 different allied nations… ALL THE EXPANDED INTELLIGENCE, Homeland Security, NSA surveillance, TSA strip searching and Xrays, 2 million troops in uniform @ $1Million per man/woman…

    All that to catch less people than live in Delta, Colorado?

    Ask yourself this: “Does one preventable attack on American soil justify ALL that has been done under the excuse of potential terrorism?”

    More Domestic Terror was perpetrated by the Bush Government ad Republican candidates and PACs via fearmongering than all of the Taliban and Al Quaida have generated on the entire earth.

    And suckers that we are, we let the Koch Brothers and Roger Ailes sell it to us through RED Media and FOX News. Fools that you are! YOU deserve what you get.

    I saw the scam in the beginning. Hitler Stalin and Mao all played the same game on their dupes, their citizens. Bush is and was no different. I had hoped Obama was, but he failed to follow through. He could have ended this nonsense, but he chose not to.

    There will always be bullies, and like the bad guys on cop shows, the will continue to win for 35 minutes between commercials, and the good guys will win for 5 minutes at the end, with nothing to show for it but bruises and credits no one reads.

  • Maria DelCoco

    Wonderful piece, Allen. I agree 100%.

  • BettyBenson

    That’s right, blame Osama Bin Laden for everything wrong with America today. Why can’t Americans face the fact that we brought it all on our own heads. I will always believe, as millions of other Americans believe, that 9/11 was planned and executed by our own government in collusion with Zionist Israel to get Americans enraged enough to invade Muslim countries and kill them all. There are too many unexplained circumstances surrounding every action we have taken since 9/11. The main one is why are we “defending” Shia Muslims who are the arch enemies of our best friend in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia who are Sunni Muslims. Why did we support Al Qaeda and ISIS, all Sunni Muslims, and then turn them loose and now we are “fighting” them? Osama Bin Laden was “buried at sea” with no witnesses? Imperialistic Nations will take extraordinary measures to get what they want and will resort to all kinds of elaborate subterfuges, including covert operations to make things appear to be what they are not. Our CIA and Mossad are experts at doing just that.