Monday, September 11, 2006

Ob911+5 post: Losing the War on Terror by Fighting it

This isn't the Ob911 I thought I was going to write: I thought it would be about where I was when it happened, and all that blah. That I will write, for the record: but not today.

Today, Bob Cesca writes at the Huffington Post that Dick Cheney justifies the war in Iraq by saying that there hasn't been another attack in the past five years. Last year, four; next year, six. He means "on US soil", of course.

I think there's an alternative interpretation of the facts and recent history: in the years since the tragedy of 9/11, we have not been attacked again by Al Quaeda because there's no need to: we were just given a push in the right direction, and we're doing the rest to ourselves.

Rather than follow through on the police action to bring Usama bin Laden to justice, we are told we need to commit to an open-ended war in a country that had nothing to do with the tragedy, because Dick, Don, Wolfie and other PNAC ( clubmembers had been making warplans for Iraq since 1998.

This misguided war and the botched planning have taken a repressive secular state and turned it into a sectarian bloodbath, a recruiting ground and a massive terrorist training camp. I doubt there's much "improvised" about the IEDs these days. On the international stage, we are known to use torture in secret prisons, ignore the Geneva Conventions, and refuse to acknowledge the International Court at the Hague.

At home, the Federal Government has taken a record surplus and turned it into a record deficit, is dismantling the Bill of Rights (unless you want a semiautomatic weapon for home use, of course), while the White House has assumed monarchical powers and routinely acts outside the law.

We must remember that the United States is founded on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution which gives it its structure, as well as the values that were enshrined in these documents. When we abandon these universal, inalienable rights, and the universal rule of law, we lose the very nation that was founded in those years. We are in danger now, as at no time before, of losing the democratic republic, and the abandonment of the great experiment as we destroy it from within.

And this outcome is just where bin Laden wants us to be. If we continue in our current direction, then I fear that he will succeed in his goal.

(earlier version also at the Huffington Post).

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