Al-Qaeda Behind Housing Slowdown

Over the past few weeks, as Republicans have started to abandon the Iraq war in droves, the Bush administration has been going to great lengths to explain to the public how winning the War in Iraq is integral to winning the War on Terror. Despite CIA and National Intelligence Estimate reports to the contrary, administration officials up to and including the President have been giving speeches touting the close links between al-Qaeda in Iraq and the main branch of al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11. In an eloquent metaphor, President Bush himself equated Congressional members who say al-Qaeda in Iraq is not a threat to America to someone “watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and gun and saying he’s probably just there to cash a check.”
Opinion polls, however, are showing this strategy to be as much of a failure as the planning for the aftermath of the war itself. Public approval ratings for the President, and the war in particular, are plumbing new depths seemingly weekly. In a last ditch effort to counter this trend, and bring the public back into line with respect to the Iraq war, the administration has announced its plans to release “incontrovertible” evidence that al-Qaeda in Iraq is behind the recent slowdown in the housing market.
“We are going to show the public that one of the problems most affecting their pocketbook can be mitigated if we just stay in Iraq a bit longer,” said a senior administration official. “Everyone is nervous about this housing market that seems to be spiraling out of control, but what they don’t realize is that the same people who are attacking us over there are behind our troubles here. This evidence has been compiled by the team that helped [then Secretary of State Colin] Powell with his briefing before the United Nations, so you know it’s going to be solid and incontrovertible.”
When questioned as to how such a small organization with limited resources can move something as massive as the US housing market, the official explained that the terrorists were using tactics to cause disruptions disproportionate to their organizational size. “What they are doing is finding key markets and sectors and using leverage to sell properties below market value and intimidate willing buyers from entering the market,” said the official. “In doing so, they are able to create a multiplying effect to reduce prices in much larger areas. These are the same people who jump-started the current civil war in Iraq by bombing the Golden Mosque, so they definitely understand how to create these sort of cascade reactions.”
The official refused to name specific markets where al-Qaeda in Iraq was active, saying the upcoming report would answer all of those questions. He did, however, explain how the President would use the report as ammunition when critics discuss pulling out of Iraq, stating that concerns about the President questioning the patriotism of war critics were unfounded. “The President isn’t going to be confrontational about it. He is simply going to explain that the people who want us to pull out of Iraq don’t care about the welfare of the average American. They would rather see Americans go broke than win a war. I don’t think that’s accusing them of being unpatriotic – it’s just the simple truth.”



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