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October Fears and Realities

Posted by Bob · October 4th, 2004 · 2 Comments

[Editor’s Note: If you think you already read this, you might not have. A few hours after the original article went up, the author re-worked it. This version is new and was posted about 10:30 p.m. today.]

There is more than a little speculation going around that Osama bin Laden will be “captured” right before the election giving W the boost he needs to win a second term.

The thought that the country’s attention can be manipulated in such a transparent way is a disturbing thought. Karl Rove may work on a slippery ethical slope (on his good days), but that sleight of hand would be over the top, even for him.

Yet the thought of having bin Laden, dead or alive, is just too tempting for some Americans. They would gladly look past the “coincidental timing” in exchange for the capture of the mastermind of 9/11.

As disturbing as those thoughts are, there are people out there who think that capturing bin Laden would actually make a difference.

Now that’s scary.

We pursued Al Qaeda wherever Al Qaeda tries to hide. Seventy-five percent of known Al Qaeda leaders have been brought to justice. The rest of them know we’re after them.

George W. Bush – September 30th, 2004

Bush is trying to convince voters that America is safer with him in office than Kerry. The previous quote is supposed to give America a sense of security. George W is “taking the fight to the enemy,” “keeping on the offensive.” Not so fast, George.

Let me explain.

Even with “seventy-five percent of known Al Qaeda leaders” brought to justice, has the world been really been more secure?

Do you remember the terrorist attack in Spain that killed scores of people and effected a national election? Do you recall the terrorist attack in Chechnya that killed innocent school children in their own gymnasium? How about the two Russian airliners that crashed within minutes? And that’s just the major activity outside Iraq. American soldiers and Iraqis continue to die on a daily basis inside Iraq. Every morning the headlines keep score for those of us watching at home.

Is all this the work of twenty-five percent of known Al Qaeda leaders? Probably not.

Does it seem to you like Al Qaeda is slowing down? Probably not.

The terrorists are hiring and there is no apparent shortage of applicants. Bombs continue to blow up in Israel, Baghdad and Russia. In fact, it could be said that the war in Iraq has made recruiting even easier. Nothing unites a people like a common enemy and America has invaded two Islamic countries.

And where do they train? Why in Iraq, of course. Where else can you find battle hardened terrorists to act as mentors? Where else can you fight the American Satan and his supporters? Where else can you sneak so easily over the border and back home again? (Ironically, one of the reasons given for invading Iraq was that there were training bases for Al Qaeda there. Now its true.)

Most of these terrorists are from someplace other than Iraq, most likely to return home to spread their special kind of influence on democracy, theocracy or the monarchy. In short, the Iraq War is providing the manpower, materials and training to keep the Middle East and the rest of the world unstable for the next fifty years.

And who is responsible for the instability in Iraq? The current and future instability of the Middle East? The waves of terrorists-in-training? The vacillating price of oil in the West? The fragility of Western economies?

George W. Bush.

We won’t relive the reasons we were given as to why we needed to invade Iraq. Let’s just say despite the weak continuing support some Cabinet members show for the “facts,” I’m still not convinced . . . and move on.

We also won’t mention the policy crafted three years before George W became president by Cheney, Rumsfeld et al that W is following to the letter like a good little schoolboy.

We also won’t consider the thought that if we never invaded Iraq, all this American military manpower would be available to hunt for the known criminal, bin Laden, instead of chasing the unknown weapons of mass destruction. And, in my opinion, the costs would have been lower.

Nope, we’ll just think about how finding bin Laden could actually help W keep office. (Yeah, like we need that.)

How ironic; how sad.

So instead of leaving these depressing thoughts just hanging here, I thought I would provide my opinion on how to really attack terrorism, whether bin Laden appears on schedule or not.

It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of al Arabiya, the Dubai-based Arabic satellite news network that is al Jazeera’s chief competitor
Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/28/opinion/main646036.shtml

(by the way, this is a fascinating article well worth your time)

In my opinion, the Western world has to appeal to the Islamic faith, the faith of the prophet, not the weapon of radicals, and ask them to condemn the horror. It has to be stated clearly and without doubt, that those who propagate this political course are not acting in the name, or the spirit, of Islam. In other words, the villains need to be vilified by their peers so that recruiting and support becomes more difficult, if not impossible.

Before you scoff at this idea, please consider that this idea could find remarkable support in many Islamic countries where the ruling family realizes that this murderous brand of Islam could kill their way of life. Saudi Arabia has to be extremely concerned. On one hand, the Royal Family has to be perceived as faithful to Islam while still keeping the country under their benevolent control. If bin Laden’s ideology should return to its Saudi roots, it could be the end of the kingdom. The same goes for a handful of more moderate Islamic countries throughout the Middle East and Africa.

This thought may, in fact, have already begun to spread.

“We cannot clear our names,” Rashed admonishes fellow Muslims, “unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.” Rashed rightly places the unspeakable atrocity in Beslan squarely within the larger pattern of similar outrages perpetrated in the name of militant political Islam since 9/11. For it is the exact same ideology of jihad at work in the most recent mass murders in Indonesia, Israel, Iraq, and elsewhere that animated the Beslan child killers — who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is most great) under the banner of the Islambouli Brigades (named for Anwar Sadat’s assassin, not for some local Chechen martyr or grievance).

Another voice of reason, this one in the wilderness of political noise that is American politics, is already struggling to be heard.

I have a better plan for homeland security. I have a better plan to be able to fight the war on terror by strengthening our military, strengthening our intelligence, by going after the financing more authoritatively, by doing what we need to do to rebuild the alliances, by reaching out to the Muslim world, which the president has almost not done, and beginning to isolate the radical Islamic Muslims, not have them isolate the United States of America. (emphasis mine)

John Kerry, September 30, 2004

Just what would motivate the West and Islam to cooperate? Perhaps the most basic and understandable reason in all of the human condition: common survival.

Thanks to Bunny Chafowitz for her comment that started my whole train of thought!

Categories: 2004 Presidential Election


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bob // Oct 5, 2004 at 9:08 am

    What a way to run a war.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday conceded that U.S. intelligence was wrong in its conclusions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    “Why the intelligence proved wrong [on weapons of mass destruction], I’m not in a position to say,” Rumsfeld said in remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “I simply don’t know.”

    When asked about any connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, Rumsfeld said, “To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.”

    But a short time later, Rumsfeld released a statement: “A question I answered today at an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) regarding ties between al Qaeda and Iraq regrettably was misunderstood.

    “I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al Qaeda and Iraq.”

    Source: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/05/bremer.rumsfeld/index.html

  • 2 Bob // Oct 5, 2004 at 10:42 am

    From my buddy Jeff:

    The Middle East is now and always has been an unstable region. The region has been looking for a reason to destablize further, and we have conveniently provided that.

    To lay the blame wholly at the feet of W is not fair.

    If we were never to have invaded, they, the Muslims,would be fighting.

    If Israel didn’t exist, they, the Muslims, would be fighting.

    The blame must be layed precisely where it belongs and that is at the feet of the people indigenous to the region.

    Establishing a relationship with any country in the Middle East is risky at best. We will profit, but the profit will come at a great price.

    If W hadn’t done it, some other poor sap would have had to. If Gore had been elected, the Trade Center would have still come down. The attacks in Spain would have still occured. The school children would have still died. The jet liners would have still fallen out of the sky. The embassy attacks and the night club bombings and kidnappings in Asia would have all occurred. The hatred of the Western world supercedes any one man or administration. We are infidels. We are not human. We are the enemy.

    It is difficult for us to comprehend, that we could be hated simply for our birth-right. Nothing that we can do, no olive branch, no peace offering, or gift will erase the stain of who we are.

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