Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Talking points dispatch for 9/12

The president turned a national day of quiet mourning into a Fear-Fest to justify his terrible decision to invade Iraq. Complete with a door from a destroyed fire engine as a prop. Potential recruits to Islamic radicalism will see the mighty United States unnerved by this band of outlaws, and will be even more pumped up to join. A ragtag bunch of jihadists immediately vault to equal footing with the mighty German army and the Soviet divisions. In their caves they must have been glued to the TV set eating popcorn and feeling pretty good about themselves.

Al Qaeda is a criminal organization with a political agenda that appeals to frustrated, downtrodden people. They should be treated with no more respect than that. For Bush to compare them to the great ideological contests between capitalist democracy, Nazism, and communism is to grant them a prestige that no amount of Al Jazeera advertising could have bought.

"If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden," Bush said, "our enemies will be emboldened, they will gain a new safe haven, and they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement. We will not allow this to happen."

Once again the Backward Reality Machine. Our counterproductive stay in Iraq DOES embolden our enemies. Their safe haven is Pakistan and, now, Afghanistan.

We defeated the German army in 4 years. Why couldn't we defeat a bunch of ragged-ass barefoot criminals in 5? The Nazis had scientists, submarines, and crack fighter pilots. Al Qaeda's only secret weapon is George Bush.

Straw Man Watch: "Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They would not leave us alone." BUT WHO thinks this, Mr. President? Name me one person who "thinks" the terrorists would leave us alone if we pulled out of Iraq. Introduce him to me. I'll talk to him and tell him different. The war on terror isn't over when we pull out of Iraq; it's just beginning to be won.

"The safety of the American people depends on the outcome of the battle in Baghdad." And if you believe that, I've got some nice land in Florida I want to sell you.

Cut-and-paste a couple random comments from Eshaton's unusually canny readers to round it off:

"Just to remind everyone that al Qaeda was unwelcome in Iraq while that awful Saddam was in charge. Ya know, it occurs to me that old Saddam might have been a pretty good ally in the fight against radical jihadism."
fourlegsgood, irritated | Homepage | 09.12.06 - 1:38 pm | #

"Amazing... what al-Qaeda could not ever do on its own with Saddam in power, the Bush Administration will do for them, at its own expense: Install a Shiite Theocracy in Iraq. It's all ironical an' shit."
watertiger | Homepage | 09.12.06 - 1:38 pm | #

GOOD STUFF: A letter by one Roger Goulet in today's Boston Globe, on Dick Cheney's argument that because of the war in Iraq "there has not been another attack on the United States." There is a Latin name for this ancient logical fallacy, "post hoc ergo propter hoc," or "false cause." The writer found it in an old college textbook. I remember this one! Irving Copi's "Introduction to Logic." Professor Copi gives the example of "the savage's claim that beating his drums is the cause of the sun's reappearing after an eclipse."


"Afghan role changing, quarry still elusive" by Charles Sennott, The Boston Globe 9/12/2006

"In a tiny hamlet here, a story is told and retold of the suffering of a local baker, Shah Mohammed, who was imprisoned in Guantanamo. He has become part of the local lore that shapes the image of America as a brutal empire and fuels the hatred that inspires militants..."This is not the same Shah Mohammed that he was before. People are angry. Why did they do this to an innocent man?""


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