instructive and not surprising to libertarians
that the one legitimate goal of this war, getting Osama and
wiping out Al Qaeda has been thoroughly botched. Everything
but that has been accomplished: we have overthrown the Taliban,
brought Pakistan and India to the brink of thermonuclear meltdown,
and alienated our oldest allies in the region, the Saudis.
are once again flying in Kabul but where's Osama?
The US government couldn't care less: instead of capturing
or killing this monster (and bringing America's holy crusade
to a premature end) they are much more concerned with widening
the war to include the oil-rich regions of the Middle East.
the huzzahs from the President's amen corner which
now include Democrats as well as Republicans when it comes
to foreign policy as propaganda Bush's speech was remarkably
dull and unconvincing. He started out touting our glorious
victory, celebrating the ignominious defeat of a bunch of
bedraggled half-civilized tribesmen by the mightiest army
on earth: we not only "rallied a great coalition,"
he declared, but also
arrested and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed
Afghanistan's terrorist training camps, saved a people from
starvation and freed a country from brutal oppression."
if the outcome was ever in doubt and the warlords hadn't
shooting at each other. Never has there been so much chest-pounding
bravado and triumphalist hysteria over so little. When Caesar
subdued the Gauls, he didn't make half as much noise about
it. Okay, then, so we won: mission accomplished, over
and out. Ah, but not so fast…
ONLY JUST BEGUN
are told that thousands of terrorists Bush
says as many as 100,000 are roaming the earth,
with but one thought in mind: to target America:
we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending
there, our war against terror is only beginning. Most of the
19 men who hijacked planes on September the 11th were trained
in Afghanistan's camps. And so were tens of thousands of others.
Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of
murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread
throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off
wants a blank check, and, unfortunately, Americans have been
frightened into giving it to him a decision we will
all live to regret. The idea that we discovered all these
secret terrorist plans, just laying around right out in the
open, strains credulity, but then Americans are not inclined
these days to examine the evidence too closely, even if it
were readily available. Given the alleged scale of the danger
we face a horde of 100,000 barbarians, all clamoring
to get into the imperial metropolis how is it that
we've just now started examining all airline luggage? Where
are the checkpoints, the armed guards, the tanks in the streets?
If Bush's numbers are even remotely true, then calling for
a moratorium on all immigration would be the least
he could do. Yet it hasn't happened.
THE MEMORY HOLE
something awfully phony about a "war on terrorism"
where the terrorist-in-chief, Osama bin Laden, is dropped
down the Memory Hole and new hate objects Iraq, Iran,
North Korea, aka The Axis of Evil suddenly loom large.
It's bad enough that the nation with the biggest and deadliest
war arsenal is now inveighing against "weapons of mass
destruction," but to top it off Bush points an accusing
finger at the pitiful and near-collapsing regime of North
Korea, where the half-mad son of the late Great Leader presides
over a nation of bark-eating concentration camp victims. If
Osama is hiding out in Pyongyang, he's going to get plenty
ONE IS SAFE
evidence links Iraq, or Iran for that matter, to the events
of 9/11. To say nothing of North Korea. But anyone who thinks
this war is about 9/11 any longer isn't paying attention.
It's a power grab, pure and simple, a war in which not even
our allies in the region are safe. The other day, Bush's conservative
fan club over at National Review came out in an editorial
conquest of the Saudi oil fields. Complaining that the
Saudis may be asking us to quit our bases their, the editors
of NR opine that this would be such a "stinging
blow to American prestige" and provide the terrorists
with such "vindication," that therefore,
House of Saud will have sided with the militants, and America
will therefore have to do all it can to overthrow it. For
years, the U.S. has maintained a presence in Saudi Arabia
to prevent the massive oil fields there from being taken over
by a hostile power. Too late."
is a stunning feature of post-9/11 irrationalism that such
a statement could be seriously made by the editors of a reputable
periodical, conservative or liberal, without much explication,
and still be considered in the "mainstream." To
define the Saudis as a "hostile power" having "taken
over" their own country is typical of our nutty
neo-imperialist mindset: what's frightening is that, with
this State of the Union speech, the brazen grabbiness of the
War Party has shaped the contours of US foreign policy.
IN THE FREE WORLD
President welcomed "the distinguished interim leader
of a liberated Afghanistan, Chairman Hamid Karzai"
President of the freest country in the world, where even
is legal. This cute touch is no doubt what inspired
Bill Kristol to note that our true enemy "goes beyond
is a war against dangerous tyrannies seeking weapons of mass
destruction... In fact, since 'no nation is exempt' from the
'true and unchanging' principles of liberty and justice, American
foreign policy can be said to be at war with tyranny in general."
he isn't talking about Rwanda. According to the Kristolian
interpretation of the Bush Doctrine, "our task, in this
'decisive decade in the history of liberty,' is to promote
the principles of liberty and justice around the world
including in the Islamic world."
especially in the Islamic world. The conceit that we're going
to create "democracy" at gunpoint in a region of
the world where both history and current events militates
against it is one not meant to be taken seriously. As
Ariel Sharon's generals move to create a "Greater Israel,"
and disenfranchise Israeli Arabs, the depth of the US
commitment to "democracy" and liberalism is measured
by our silence and our subsidies.
hypocritical cant that characterizes this administration was
really brought home in some of the small touches, such as
the appeal to women.
last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters
of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden
from working or going to school. Today women are free, and
are part of Afghanistan's new government. And we welcome the
new minister of women's affairs, Dr. Sima Samar."
luck to Dr. Samar in talking the Afghanis out of customs firmly
rooted in culture and generously nurtured by religion. Meanwhile,
to say that "today women are free" in Afghanistan
is to utter a bald-faced lie. The mothers and daughters of
that ravaged land are still captives in their own homes, imprisoned
by accident of birth and hidden behind their veils. And there
isn't a thing Dr. Simar or President Bush can or should
do about it.
War Party keeps saying that we must never forget 9/11 and
yet their rationale for a wider conflict is by now so attenuated
from that event that they are the ones who seem to
have forgotten. As the pundits weighed in on the question
of whether Bush hit a triple or a home run, and the editor
of National Review contemplated relaunching the Crusades,
Howard Fineman, reporting in Newsweek, noted that certain
aspects of the investigation into 9/11 seem to be stalled:
Cheney was on the line, and it wasn't to chitchat. The vice
president rarely calls the Senate leader a Democrat
he dismisses as an 'obstructionist' so Tom Daschle
knew the topic was important when he hurried into his Capitol
office. What he heard was a plea, and a warning. The Senate
will soon launch hearings on why we weren't prepared for,
and warned about, September 11. The intelligence committee
will study the matter, but mostly behind closed doors. Cheney
was calling to preemptively protest public hearings by other
committees. If the Democrats insisted, Bush administration
officials might say they're too busy running the war on terrorism
to show up. Press the issue, Cheney implied, and you risk
being accused of interfering with the mission."
last thing this administration wants is an investigation into
the circumstances surrounding 9/11 what we knew, what
we didn't know, and who
may have had advance knowledge. After conceding that "people
need to know what happened," Senate Democratic leader
Tom Daschle was reportedly "noncommittal"
meaning that the Democrats have as much interest as the Republicans
in keeping this thing under wraps. After all, the 9/11 attacks
were years in the making, and if anyone is going to receive
the lion's share of the blame, then surely it is the Clinton
raises the question: then why aren't the Republicans
pressing for a fully public investigation? It's mighty odd
passing up a chance to score political points in an election
year unless, of course, this administration has something
needed is a full and completely open congressional investigation
into how Al Qaeda managed to operate right under our noses
for years without anyone knowing it. Billions were spent in
the name of "fighting terrorism"; task forces were
convened, legislation was passed, special programs were set
up all, apparently, to no avail. What's up with that?
Inquiring minds want to know….
but that would interfere with "the mission," says
Cheney. This is true only if "the mission" is an
attempted cover-up of some of the worst criminal incompetence
in the history of intelligence-gathering. Good lord, what
is wrong with the American people? When are they going
to snap out of their TV-induced
stupor and start asking some questions? The smoke had
barely cleared from the air over Pearl Harbor before the Republicans
of 1941 started questioning the Official Story even
if it did take some 50 years to vindicate them. This time
around, both parties have an interest in covering up the truth.
FORGET EXCEPT SOMETIMES
yes, we must never forget 9/11 except we have to forget
about ever knowing why and how it happened. If a national
movement calling on Congress to investigate the events surrounding
9/11 does not rise up and demand a full accounting, then this
country is brain-dead and not worth saving.
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