Friday, August 11, 2006


Looks like I’m in full rant mode.


Let me see if I have this straight. A terrorist group known as Al Queda and led by Osama Bin Ladin from Saudi Arabia, orchestrated the plane crashes in 2001 using mainly Saudi operatives. We went after Afghanistan because they were harboring at least some of the members of this group and Bin Ladin was not only known to have allies in the Taliban government, but reported to be living in the country. We succeeded in partly overthrowing the Taliban dominated government, but didn’t catch Bin Ladin. And considering the rumors that he and his followers who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan received at least part of their training from the CIA  I’m not sure our government wants to find him. At least not in any condition testify or make public statements. Al Queda denies American ties from that period but the rumors keep surfacing. See this entry in Wikpedia


Even though almost all the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis belonging to a group led by a Saudi millionaire, we turned our attention to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A secular dictator despised by the Islamic fundamentalists, a ruler who was a son of a bitch, but used to be “our” son of a bitch (at least part of the time.) Our army overthrew his government, removing the only regional counter weight to Iran. An Iran overflowing with oil money from the west and China. Every time one excuse for the invasion was proved to false, another was brought into play. But, hey the excuses worked. At lease half of the Americans asked in the latest poll still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Bush’s weapons of mass distraction are still working just fine.


Yo, Shrub boy. Looks to me like you just did part of Bin Ladin’s work for him. He didn’t support Hussein, he despised him. Iraq is out of the game as any kind of a regional influence. Granted Iraq was pretty much out of the game before, but the threat was there. Iranians who remembered the costs of the last war with Iraq weren’t really looking for another one anytime soon. Until we did their work for them. The Shiites in Iraq are free to hook up with their fellows in Iran. And our continuing dependence on foreign oil gives them the money to finance their ambitions. And by only appearing before orchestrated audiences you can be sure no one is going to ask any embarassing questions.


What opponents of this administration and the Republicans in Congress need to hammer home is this. The diversion in Iraq pulled attention away from Bin Ladin and Al Queda. We’ve wasted the sympathy of the world we gained after 9/11 and tied down the bulk of our ground forces beyond the foreseeable future. I’ll bet Bin Ladin has bend over backwards to keep from laughing himself silly every time he makes a new tape. Heck, he should put Bush on the payroll.


We’ve strengthened the terrorists not weakened them. We’ve destabilized the Middle East more than it already was. We’ve pulled the rugs out from under the moderates. Any sympathetic Muslim politicians are going to keep their heads down or risk getting the homegrown version of Karl Rove style attacks on their patriotism. Hey, it worked on American politicians. No reason why it can’t work someplace else. At least we’re still at the name calling stage. We haven’t started shooting, bombing or kidnapping the local politicians when we don’t agree with them.


And just for chuckles, go read your US history. Especially the parts about Boston before the revolution. Pay special attention to what happened to tax officials and customs collectors. Read up on Thomas Hutchinson and what happened to his mansion. Check out the little civil war in the southern colonies between the patriots and crown supporters concentrated in the hill country. Those folks on both sides could have given lessons in terror tactics. At the grad school level.


I highly recommend a PBS series called Liberty. It’s available on DVD. Check out your local library, it’s pricy. I must have gotten my copy on sale or before it got so scarce. Amazon only had two copies so maybe it’s out of print. Bowen’s biography of John Adams also has an excellent section on the politics in Boston before the revolution. I wonder what we’d call the Muslin equivalent of the Committees of Correspondence? Or check out the run up to our Civil War. Kansas Territory didn’t pick up the adjective, bleeding, because the settlers were more accident prone than normal. Makes you stop and think doesn’t it?


Why do we keep running into “terrorists?” Because, the tactics work often enough to keep the next generation hoping it will work for them. I guess the only difference between labeling someone a terrorist or a freedom fighter is in the eye of the beholder.


krobbie67 said...

Wow! Are you on a roll, or what?!? Are you trying to fill the vacuum left by Lisa's lapse in blogging?

"Heck, he should put Bush on the payroll."

I've begun to seriously wonder if that isn't actually quite viable.

Some of the things rumbling through my head:  War is one of the strongest supports of government and taxation. Most governments are run by the rich and powerful, whether individuals or corporations. It's job security. If Bin Laden was unhappy with our involvement in the affairs of Saudi Arabia and like places, why would he not be trying to overthrow those governments? War and unrest in the Middle East keeps the price of oil nice and high and governments strong.

hestiahomeschool said...

<<Check out the little civil war in the southern colonies between the patriots and crown supporters concentrated in the hill country. Those folks on both sides could have given lessons in terror tactics. At the grad school level. >>

I am Appalachian, and let me tell you, the echoes of that are still ringing through our lovely green hills.

This was an incredible entry.

tenyearnap said...

Jackie--This is the best summary of the past few years in "American History" that I have ever read! Great job. May I send this out as a link to others?