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Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president. Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks. A New York Times/CBS poll this week shows that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was "personally involved" in Sept. 11, about the same figure as a month ago.
Polling data show that right after Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans were asked open-ended questions about who was behind the attacks, only 3 percent mentioned Iraq or Hussein. But by January of this year, attitudes had been transformed. In a Knight Ridder poll, 44 percent of Americans reported that either "most" or "some" of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. The answer is zero.
In Selma, Ala., firefighter Thomas Wilson supports going to war with Iraq, and brings up Sept. 11 himself, saying we don't know who's already here in the US waiting to attack. When asked what that has to do with Iraq, he replies: "They're all in it together - all of them hate this country." The reason: "prosperity."
Hussein, a secularist, and bin Laden, a Muslim fundamentalist, are known to despise each other.
Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI's "most wanted list" as the World's foremost terrorist.
While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America's war in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the FBI --operating as a US based Police Force- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some respects independently of the CIA which has --since the Soviet-Afghan war-- supported international terrorism through its covert operations.
In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad --featured by the Bush Adminstration as "a threat to America"-- is blamed for the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
The United States also supplied Afghan freedom fighters in the 1980s with money and arms for their struggle against occupying Soviet troops. One of the best customers for the CIA back then was Saudi millionaire Osama Bin Laden. Two decades later, US commandos are hunting for the world’s most notorious terrorist and his Taliban helpers. Military and civilian aircraft flying over Afghanistan are still forced to make evasive maneuvers to avoid Stinger missiles fired at them which were originally supplied by the United States to fight the Communists.
During the anti-Soviet jihad Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA.