Topic: Bush Administraiton
W. got into his time machine yesterday and took us back to his glory days of 9/11. David Sanger writes in the NYT that a senior White House official said Bush's "major" speech on terrorism was designed to remind Americans about the threat of Al-Qaeda after "a lot of distractions" over the past few months. Distractions? I think what this speech was all about was distracting us from those pesky indictments, charges of cronyism, corruption and FEMA's bungling of the Katrina aftermath. 'Look over here, there's a guy with a turban on!'
W. repeated the same old boilerplate about the "global struggle" and the danger of the terrorists taking over Iraq. Also included in the presentation was a hastily put together hand-out listing potential attacks thwarted by the government---you see, we really are doing something----along with the highly dubious contention that Jose Padilla was stopped from setting off a dirty bomb. Gosh, I feel safer all ready, don't you? If Katrina showed us nothing else, it showed us that W. is on the job.
W. said the US couldn't leave Iraq because we couldn't afford that country becoming a training ground for terrorists. What planet is this guy living on? Iraq has become the Harvard of terrorist universities: where else do they get such an excellent opportunity to learn how to defeat our tactics and kill a lot of our guys? Of course, they wouldn't be able to do this if certain countries weren't giving them aid and support, like Syria and Iran who are, "authoritarian regimes, allies of convenience...that share the goal of hurting America and moderate Muslim governments." Which moderate Muslim governments is he talking about: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait?
Syria might be an authoritarian government, but so is Jordan. King Adbullah II is just as much of a dictator as Bashar Assad, both of whom are Jeffersonian democrats compared to the Saudis. It gets kind of complicated out there in the real world, its not all black and white, but don't tell that to W., he's playing war president. And seriously, do Syria and Iran really want to hurt the US, are they just as much of a threat as OBL? (Where is OBL these days W.?) I think, they are probably feeling real nervous about having a huge foreign army camped out right next door and are reacting pretty much like any country would if they had a massive super power on a crusade saying they're in the cross hairs.
W. says "Islamo-Fascism" like "the ideology of communism contains inherent contradictions that doom it to failure." So, why are we spending so much of our blood and treasure on something that's eventually going to collapse under its own weight? The whole communism analogy is nonsense anyway; communism wasn't monolithic and neither is Al-Qaeda. [The Vietnamese hated the Chinese, they would have never allowed the Chinese to run the show, but despite the obvious staring McNamara and Johnson right in the face they went into Vietnam to stop the spread of Chinese communism.]
A letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that surfaced this week pretty much blows away the notion that these guys are one the same page and working together. Al-Zuwahiri tells al-Zarqawi to focus on killing Americas and knock off the killing of civilians and beheadings of hostages. Zawahiri says his grand plan is to expel the Americans from Iraq and then set up a militant Islamic caliphate before moving on to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, ending in the destruction of Israel. (Naturally, no Islamo-maniacle plan would be complete without the destruction of Israel.)
Strangely, this sort of sounds like the Project for the New American Century's (PNAC) grand scheme for the Middle East, except for the part about destroying Israel. In any case, these people are just insane; their plans have no chance of ever succeeding. They're obviously very, very dangerous, but we're helping them out by presenting them with the perfect training ground and a source for recruitment and fund raising. We need to stop playing right into their hands and see them for what they are.
There is no indication in this letter that al-Zarqawi actually takes orders from al-Zawahiri, or what the relationship between al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia is, but al-Zawahiri asked Zarqawi for some money for al-Qaeda operations, which struck me as kind of funny: "Here's what you should be doing, I'm in charge here and, by the way, can you send some cash?'
Boy, if this scheme of distracting us with the threat of terrorism doesn't work, I don't know what W. is going to do, it's pretty much the only arrow he's got left in the quill. It's looking more and more likely an indictment is coming down for Karl Rove, so W.'s brain is going to be a little busy trying to stay out of jail. What's plan B?