"US President George W. Bush has made the capture of the most wanted man in Iraq, Islamic militant Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, an increasingly important part of his policy as he seeks reelection on November 2."
Before the war, Bush tried to tie Zarqawi to Hussein, but that was Bushian bullshit: as John Kerry has pointed out, Zarqawi operated in the North, in Kurd-controlled terrirtory, an area where Hussein exercised no real power. Zarqawi was in Iraq, but had no ties to Hussein.
And Kerry - making an excellent point that has largely been ignored by the news media - points out that Bush had the opportunity to capture Zarqawi BEFORE the invasion of Iraq - and didn't bother.
"Before the war, the administration claimed Zarqawi's presence in Iraq was proof of an Al Qaeda-Saddam connection. That was wrong," Kerry said. Kerry said that Zarqawi, who Sunday pledged alliegance to Osama bin Laden and is believed to be behind the beheadings of western hostages in Iraq, had been operating in Kurdish areas in northeastern Iraq. 'He and his terrorist allies were reportedly producing Ricin, a horrific biological weapon. We could have but did not take them out. That was a terrible mistake this administration has never explained."
Here is what Kerry was referring to:
March 2, 2004
"But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.
"The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.
“Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn’t do it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution.
Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe.
The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it. By then the administration had set its course for war with Iraq."
In other words, if what we wanted was Zarqawi, we could have gotten him without starting a war.
We didn't go to war to get Zarqawi, we IGNORED Zarqawi so we could go to war.
The Bush Administration shows a very consistent pattern in its was on terrorism: when we have our hands on REAL terrorists, we let them go.