THE ENEMY AND KNOW YOURSELF
you have trusted in your chariots and in the multitude of
your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall arise among
your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed..."
you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the
result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not
the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a
defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will
succumb in every battle."
Sun Tzu on the Art of War
Bush administration never saw it coming. Golden Girl Sovietologist
Condoleeza Rice, "veteran" Cold Warriors Dick Cheney,
Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Armitage, Paul Wolfowitz, even bonafide
Desert Storm hero Colin Powell, failed utterly to anticipate
the terrorists' "asymmetrical response."
Reese, Joseph Sobran saw it coming, a mile away. So did
we at Antiwar.com and numerous other libertarian and anti-interventionist
"expert team of seasoned foreign policy veterans"
never saw it coming because they didn't know the enemy. They
didn't know the enemy because they refused to understand the
enemy. They refused to understand the enemy because they were
attached to their own narcissistic, self-serving, sophomoric
answer to the rhetorical question, "Why do they hate
answer, in case you went to the refrigerator during Dubya's
speech before Congress is, "They hate our freedoms."
real answer, as libertarians know, is the Islamic world hates
us because our government has been waging undeclared war against
them, directly or indirectly, ever since the end of World
War II and the establishment of the Israeli state.
Bush administration never saw it coming because they reduced
the enemy to a "nameless, faceless evil," to "Nintendo
villains" to be dealt with from 15,000 feet using F-117
Nighthawk stealth fighters and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers,
or Donald "Darth" Rumsfeld's trillion dollar TMD/NMD
"Star Wars" Death Star.
"expert team of seasoned foreign policy veterans"
never saw it coming because as much as they might despise
the enemy, he was nevertheless an intelligent human being,
eminently capable of highly creative "lateral thinking"
in his relentless search for ways around the American Empire's
overwhelming superiority in military hardware.
MEET OSAMA. YOU HAVE A LOT IN COMMON
have met the enemy, and he is us."
Pogo the Possum, by Walt Kelly
the World Trade Center tragedy Americans can no longer evade
the knowledge that Osama bin Laden is America. Today's America,
that is. Not the vital American republic of our visionary
Founding Father George Washington, but the decadent American
Empire of George W. Bush, the latest in a tiresome secession
of myopic buffoons to occupy the Oval Office.
bin Laden is none other than Tyler Durden, the dangerously
unpredictable, violence-prone anarchist so deftly portrayed
by Brad Pitt in the slyly subversive, mind-bending black comedy
Club (1999, directed by David Fincher and written
by Chuck Palahniuk and Jim Uhls). (Click
for a film review by James Berardinelli.)
Americans are none other than "Ikea Boy," the materialistic,
conformist Nerd without a Name played to perfection by Edward
Norton, who belatedly awakens to the fact that he suffers
from schizophrenia or "multiple personality disorder,"
and that Tyler Durden, the charismatic terrorist blowing up
office towers in the city's financial district is in fact
bin Laden is us, in every conceivable sense. We supplied him
with training, we supplied him with weapons, we supplied him
with funds, we supplied him with media coverage, we even supplied
him with an enemy to hate ourselves. And on one fateful
Tuesday in September, we supplied our Victor
Frankenstein monster with everything he needed, from jet
airliners to towering skyscrapers, to wreak vengeance upon
LESSON OF HISTORY IS... NOBODY EVER LEARNS A DAMNED THING
offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels... I dare not
hope they will make the strong and lasting impression... or
prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto
marked the destiny of nations... that they may now and then
recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against
the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures
of pretended patriotism"
George Washington's Farewell Address,
September 19, 1796
self-appointed World Policemen now have two choices.
can insist that "We" have a Manifest Destiny to
rid the world of "Them." They can denounce fellow
Americans who reject war hysteria as "unpatriotic."
They can bomb the "camel jockeys" and "ragheads"
back into the stone age as if they weren't there already.
They can replicate the Russians' mistakes in Afghanistan and
Chechnya, and make new ones in the Taiwan Straits and the
South China Sea.
they can admit that the post-Cold War world contains exactly
zero strategic threats to the World's Only Remaining Superpower.
They can admit their "bipartisan" policy of making
endless enemies abroad has now cost thousands of fellow Americans
their precious lives. And they can "Come home, America."
Good Ol' Boys George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld,
Richard Armitage and Paul Wolfowitz, Good Ol' Boy wannabe
Condoleeza Rice and Odd Man Out Colin Powell understand the
only way we can destroy the Osama bin Ladens of the world,
is to stop creating them in the first place?
desperately hope so.
like George Washington, can libertarians, the intellectual
heirs of our Founding Fathers, be blamed for entertaining
LETTER TO THE ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE
following is a letter sent to the Arab American Institute
following the WTC attack, slightly edited for style and emphasis.
Arab American Institute
From: Bevin Chu
a first generation naturalized Chinese American, permit me
to express my heartfelt sympathy for the plight of Arab Americans
at this moment in time. I hope you believe me when I declare
"I feel your pain."
decades Hollywood thrillers such as "True Lies"
lazily and callously stereotyped Arabs as terrorists and nothing
else. More recently the collapse of the former Soviet Union
has prompted a search for a new Evil Empire. The leading candidates
for this unwelcome typecasting have been the Arab world and
mainland China. Neo-Cold War thrillers such as Tom Clancy's
"The Bear and the Dragon" now depict China and the
Chinese as an implacable "Yellow Peril."
powerful Taiwan lobby, parenthetically, wields the same degree
of influence over our media opinion makers and government
policy makers as the powerful Israeli Lobby.
recent EP-3 spyplane crisis in the South China Sea prompted
numerous radio talk show hosts and a notorious National Review
columnist, who is not even a American citizen, but an Englishman,
to demand the herding of American citizens of Chinese descent
into World War II Manzanar style concentration camps, without
prior evidence of criminal wrongdoing, purely on the basis
of their ethnic origin.
that Arab Americans be subjected to similar treatment were
chillingly depicted in the controversial Ed Zwick political
thriller, "The Siege."
America stands for anything at all, it stands for respect
for the individual, for individual rights, individual freedom,
individual liberty. America's philosophy of individualism
means that assignment of both merit and blame must be made
on an individual, not collective basis. A person is guilty
only if he commits an evil act. A person is not guilty merely
because he resembles another person who committed an evil
of all ethnic backgrounds must flatly reject the indiscriminate
lumping of human beings, both fellow Americans and foreigners
into crude categories, and tarring them with the same broad
brush of unearned collective guilt. To do so is the diametric
opposite of everything that made America a great nation.
must not in our rush to "Defend American values!"
trample roughshod over the most hallowed American value of
all a deep and abiding respect for the Rights of the Sovereign