I've been busy these past couple of weeks and haven't been able to dig as deeply into the news as I'd like to, so I want to solicit some analysis here (but hopefully not start a thread that a moderator will have to close). I heard a story that Colin Powell was citing the recent Bin Laden audio as evidence of an Iraq / Al Quaeda connection, and is using this in his latest arguments for removing Saddam Hussein. I'm having trouble seeing how this works. The brief story I read on the Bin Laden audio gave me the impression that Bin Laden made some address to the Iraqi people (or elements thereof), but labelled Hussein an 'infidel,' and made it clear that there was nothing but animosity between Bin Laden and Hussein. If my understanding is correct, then I can see the possibility that Bin Laden has some audience/loyalty somewhere within the Iraqi public, and okay, we have a problem with that. However, the only thing Bin Laden and Hussein have in common, apparently, is hatred for the U.S. At the very, very worst, it seems to me, Hussein may be turning a blind eye to a few Al Quaeda types operating within Iraq, simply because they have a common enemy. This is extremely troubling to me, because there seems to be no Hussein / Al Quaeda link - really quite the opposite, and the flawed logic (again, this assumes my understanding is correct) of arguing otherwise is so transparent as to be disturbing (the Emperor's New War Justification???). If evidence of ANY Bin Laden / Al Quaeda activity, divorced from a Hussein connection, is justification for us to go to war, then I suppose logic would dictate that we ought to invite ourselves into Pakistan and go clean house along the Afghan border, then probably move on to the Madrasses. I'm not suggesting we should do that, of course, merely trying to illustrate what naturally follows from the logic Powell seems to be using. So, TBer's - help me refine my thinking on this. What, if anything, have I failed to consider? If there's not something I'm missing, then it would tend to call into question (umm, make that further question) much of the administration's other sales pitches for war. My feelings about the administration and the war should be obvious - I'm not trying to change anyone else's mind but to clarify my own thinking - I'm hoping for some intellegent insight on this, not hoping for a new war/anti-war flamefest. Thanks.