The London attacks are proof that one of the chief lines the Bush administration has taken on Iraq--that we are fighting them over there so we won't have to face them here at home--is nonsense. And the officials couldn't really believe it. The position was illogical on its face. Even if we are fighting thousands of terrorists in Iraq all terrorists are not in Iraq. Presumably some are living in this country. And as we saw with 9-11, it doesn't take an army of terrorists to launch a major attack. 19 can do the trick.
So did the Bush administration really buy the argument it was making? Probably not. But they settled on a simple easy to understand argument that the public could grasp. The price of this rhetorical legerdemain is that public opinion is now unprepared to digest the news of the attack on London properly. London presumably was safer too because of Iraq. And yet London was hit. President Bush can mno longer make the argument he has been making--that Iraq makes us safer. This means he will have to sell the war on yet another new basis.
He is running out of arguments.
If only he levelled with the American people he wouldn't be in this situation. But he can't speak the truth apparently without admitting some dark secrets--either about the real cause for the war (whatever the real cause is; I don't know) or the nature of the threat we face from terrorists (do they really hate us because they hate our way of life or because we are in their face, occupying their lands, backing dictators, and giving support to Israel's occupation policies).
He has been the miseducator-in-chief. The chickens are coming home to roost.
And I come back again to what I have been saying for several years: Leaving a Christian army in the Muslim Middle East can come to no good in the end.
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Nathaniel Brian Bates - 7/22/2005
In spite of the fact that you are not a "Doctor", I have a great deal of respect for your mind. Your History books were refreshing reading for me during my twenties. It was my pleasure to work under you as an Intern in 2004.
I believe that a very real occupation, one that is not "sexy" like the Arab cause, could benefit from your expertise. Haiti is now under UN occupation. The Americans, the Canadians, and the French all engineered a coup against the democracy of Aristide and toward the Tyranny of Latorure. The "Election" there is to be as fixed as the Election of 2004 in America, if it even happens. Today, the UN is literally butchering people in Haitian cities, openly, in coordination with the Haitian police.
Will someone speak out for them? Will the Left make this front page news, how Neocons and Paleocons conspired with the Canadians, the French, the Brazilians, and the Chinese to occupy Haiti? Please expose this publicly.
Nathaniel Brian Bates - 7/21/2005
"International Law" is a matter of definition. China, US, and Russia are not "occupying" Tibet, Puerto Rico, and Chechnya because they make the rules. It is more of a joke than reality.
"International Law" is a farce. If you want to say that it is a border dispute, then fine. However, "occupation" is a matter of perspective. Is California "occupied" Mexico? Yes. But to the Americans it is a natural part of the United States.
Judea is an ancient part of Israel. Whether it should or should not be a modern part of Israel, is another matter. Yet, there is an organic connection that cannot be denied, either way. It is stronger than the connection between Tibet and China, Puerto Rico and the United States, and Chechnya with Russia.
All the best,
HNN - 7/14/2005
One correction: I am Mr. Shenkman, having dropped out of Harvard graduate school many decades ago when the job market for historians seemed quite tight.
As for Israel: There can't be any doubt that Israel is an occupying force under international law. That it was justified in resisting armed aggression in 1967 is beyond dispute. That it had a right at the outset to hold the territories for a time until its security could be assured is also, it seems to me, beyond dispute. But a generatioon has passed since the war and it can no longer be denied that Israel has been an occupying force.
Nathaniel Brian Bates - 7/13/2005
Israel's "occupation policies" are not equivalent to our support for dictators. In the former case, the issue is disputed territory. Whereas in the latter case, the sovereign Jurisdiction of the United States is not in question, rather the particular policies in Nations with already admitted sovereign boundaries. Disputed territory is not the same as support for dicators.
The very dictators you mentioned always use the "Israel" issue when it is convenient. Since Israel was founded as a socialist nation, these dictators often had the support of key Right-wing elements in the US. I sort'a wonder about Prescott and George Sr. in this regard, along with James Baker. President Bush (XXXXIII) seems to be following in their footsteps during his second term. The notion that he is pro-Israel has proven a thin assertion.
In addition, these terrorists were trained by factions within our own government. Calling them "representative" is a little like calling Pinochet "representative". That means that (at least) they were (,at one time, if not now,) allies of key factions within our government tied to oil corporations and vested interests. Casting them in the role of defenders of the voiceless is problematic in light of the fact that they were instrumental in destroying the democratic left in the Arab world and "Palestine".
The Left has fallen for simplistic ways of addressing this issue. On the one hand, Hitchens has joined the Neocon camp because of his hatred of G-d and religion, believing that the Arab campaign is a victory for secularism. On the other hand, the Anti-War camp has embraced the arguments of Neo-Nazis and Paleo-conservatives, as well as Establishment "Realists", about a Jewish plot to control America. Both of them have abandoned the Utopian premises that once made the Left at least interesting if naive and misled.