Friday, November 21, 2003

I told ya so

Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey--Wasn't one of the principal reasons not to invade Iraq that doing so would spread the terrorists' attacks throughout the world? Shocking, says Bush. What's shocking is that he's allowed to feign shock while taking delight in the effect these attacks are having on his control over the American unwashed. So long as terr'r attacks are unabated, he can manipulate them and remain in power.

I say again--as frustrating as it is to admit it--Bush has created a no-lose political situation: If terror abates, he claims victory. If it continues, he claims a need to stay in power.

And here's the scary part. The terrorists adore Bush. He's their best ally. So long as he keeps bombing, they keep bombing. He keeps them in power just as they keep him in power. The madmen on both sides are feeding on each other.

Only our side can break this insane spiral of violence. How? By adopting a truly equitable and beneficent foreign (and for that matter, domestic) policy, in which we share our economic largesse with the rest of the world, treat other nations as partners on the planet and reach out even-handedly to address the injustices and inequities that now plague the peoples to the south and east of us. In short, by sharing our wealth and wisdom with the rest of the world instead of hoarding it to feed our greed.

Bush and the neocons are the true evildoers on this planet. Only when they are removed from power is there any hope the US will change the face and the reality that it presents to the world--and only then is there a chance the violence will cease.

This American-language Greek newspaper commentary on the Istanbul bombings takes a more balanced position than I do, but its final three paragraphs, to me, present a founded solution as well as I've seen it laid out.

"For the counterterrorism campaign to be effective, it must be coupled with initiatives that seek to remedy the ideological and political factors that incubate Islamic fundamentalism. Otherwise, the relentless extremists will be seen as heroes in the eyes of angry Muslims, while ideas about the clash of religions and civilizations will increasingly resonate with these populations.

"For hundreds of millions of Muslims, the US is Satan and Bin Laden a hero. The combination of rampant poverty and of the widespread conviction that the Americans are giving Israel support while they seek to humiliate Islam is fueling anti-American sentiment and blind vengeance. The Istanbul explosions may well be the first in a long chain of similar attacks in other European nations whose governments have fallen behind Washington’s policies.

"Much of the responsibility lies with US President George W. Bush. For his war on terrorism to be effective, it must not be used as a pretext for settling broader geopolitical scores. The occupation of Iraq has allowed the US to assert control over the oil fields of the region and to gain a foothold in the heart of the Middle East, but it has done nothing to undermine Islamic terrorism. It has played right into its hands, providing terrorists, if not with political legitimacy, then at least with a new scope of activity."

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