Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Here's one perspective on how far we've come, or haven't come, in the past two years. Some of the Oxford Group's other papers have PDF links, but the one mentioned in that article doesn't seem to have one (as of yet). Hopefully one will show up, as I'd be interested to get a look at the study.

Again, this is more linking to support my opinion. However, I don't think anyone can deny that we haven't made any quantum leaps in TWAT (The War Against Terror). Does anyone out there really believe that we're any safer now than we were before? Yeah, actually, I'll bet lots of people do, and they'll continue to feel that way as long as we remain lucky and don't get attacked.

I can't be the only one, though, who thinks we're less safe in a lot of ways. All along, I've worried that this war in Iraq was just going to make things worse. And how could it not? There are plenty of people in Iraq and all over the world who may not have hated us all that much before, but now they do. That's to say nothing of the people who hated us to begin with. With all of the guerilla attacks we're facing day in and day out over in Iraq, I think it's pretty clear we've struck a nerve with those people. Iraq was not a serious threat before the war; now it is. This on top of the fact that groups like al Qaeda are still up and running, and managing to continually raise the body count despite the fact that we've "dismantled" a good deal of their operations. And of course, I'm not even mentioning all the shit that's going on here at home.

Obviously, one of the major issues is the Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz Doctrine of spreading fear of America through military action to bring everyone in line with our interests. The problem with this, as any idiot who's read history knows, is that fear and conquest just tend to lead to more and bigger problems. The arrogance of the Bush Administration really shows when placed under this light; they are convinced that they are so clever, so smart, and so powerful that they can defy history and human nature. I know Wolfie, Rummy, and the rest are educated men and women (except Bush - don't give me any Yale shit), but somewhere along the way that got buried in megalomania.

Another huge problem is we don't understand the people who we're dealing with. We didn't two years ago, and we don't now. Think about one of the main reasons why Osama was pissed at us: because we had troops stationed in the Holy Land during Gulf War I. To most people, they would never imagine that as an egregious enough offense to bring down the Twin Towers or to set the Pentagon ablaze. Most people wouldn't view it as an offense at all. The problem is, none of what we think matters: what matters is what the terrorists think, and what is going to motivate them. Who knows what all we're doing now that are capital offenses, but I guarantee you someone is keeping a list.

Am I saying that America and all other nations should just start pussyfooting around the globe, not satisfied until the impossible goal of pleasing everyone has been met? No, of course not. But unless we want to continue fearing the mail or watching buildings crumble, we had better fucking wise up.

Iraq is a war that did not need to be fought to protect American national security. You can easily argue that it was a good idea to remove Saddam for the sake of the Iraqi people, but you and I know that the Administration could care less about liberating a bunch of people who aren't white. The enemy is indeed "nebulous" in struggles with terrorism, and it's hard for people to wrap their minds around that. Hard because there's no coherent enemy who is neatly defined by national borders, and as such, no clear way to define progress or victories. Iraq was perfect: wanted for regime change by PNAC and other Administration hawks, and a clearly defined nation vilified for years in the eyes of American citizens. A few ultra-weak links to September 11th, and suddenly it's the front line in TWAT, even though all it seems to be doing is creating more terrorists.

For like the 80th time, I know that it's all said and done, and we can't go back and stop the war from happening. I bring this up time and time again, though, to try and drive forth the necessity of getting Bush out of office. Mistake or not, Iraq will not be the last unnecessary war the Bush Administration gets us involved in if they have their way.

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