Monday, October 11, 2004

Bush/Cheney: The Terrorist's Best Friend

Juan Cole has a spot on assessment of the Bush/Cheney reaction to Kerry's recent quotes in the New York Tiimes:

I have to confess that I have never understood what Bush and Cheney mean by the "war on terror," either. It is because they use the term in alarmingly vague and comprehensive ways.

It is clear that they do not mean a war on "terror." They are completely uninterested in "terror" in general. What has the United States done about Basque terrorism in Spain? About Israeli settler terror against Palestinians? Or for that matter about Hamas terror against Israel? As I argued Friday, Bush hasn't even bothered to do anything serious to Ayman al-Zawahiri and al-Jihad al-Islami, which was part of the 9/11 attack and hit Taba.
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The "war on terror" of Bush-Cheney is a smokescreen for naked American imperial aggression. The sad story of how Iraq posed no threat either to the US or to any of its neighbors, despite high-decibel claims to the contrary for two years by Bush, Cheney and their acolytes, will be repeated in the case of Syria and Iran if Bush and Cheney are reelected. They hope that their project of overthrowing governments in the region will go smoothly, but they do not really care, since even an Iran and a Syria in chaos is a net gain from their point of view. Chaos creates "terror" and justifies further US involvement, aggression and control. It is inconvenient for the rest of us, but then they insist, unlike John Kerry, that we live with the nuisances they are creating.

In actual fact, al-Qaeda is just a somewhat more successful version of Baader Meinhoff. It is a small terrorist group that has been created by a particular juncture in history. It is not a reason to abolish the US Bill of Rights, as Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft are doing. It is not a reason to invade three or four countries (precisely the few countries where it does not operate!) It is a nuisance to a free society, and should be curbed.

Bush and Cheney keep shouting that Kerry doesn't understand the war on terror. They mean he doesn't want to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran. As for themselves, if the war on terror is so important to them, why are Bin Laden and Zawahiri at large? Why can al-Qaeda still strike at will? We now have the worst of both worlds, with a quagmire in Iraq and Palestine, and more quagmires planned, while al-Qaeda morphs and grows and continues to form a threat.
The whole post deserves a read.


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