Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Defense in Dense

Update: Now the Administration and its more shameless apologists are implying that growing terrorist activity in Iraq was part of their brilliant strategy all along. Apparently, the idea is to create a "fly trap" for terrorists in Iraq. Bush in his latest address declared Iraq the central front in combating terror. Boy, I bet the Iraqi's will be happy to be of service.

Seriously, this has to be the stupidist piece of spin I've heard out of this Administration yet. Do they seriously expect the public to believe that by stimulating terrorist activity, we are combating it? Will anyone actually buy the idea that terrorists are like mindless automatons who will strike exactly where we want them too? If we inspire yet more radicalism and terror, it WILL end up happening here with greater frequency too, not just where we decide to take a stand.

There is not some fixed amount of terrorism in the world. We cannot make one target so ripe that all the terror in the world will flock to it leaving the rest of the world safe. There is exactly as much terrorism in the world as there is extremely desperate and well-indoctrinated people reacting to injustice and violence upon their own people in a violent and counter-productive manner. Iraq has seen an uptick in terrorism because we have made more terrorists.

Iraq is an attractive terrorism target to be sure; American military and civilian assets thick on the ground, conspicuous and isolated from the populace. Perfect conditions for terrorist attacks on politically significant targets. Give it a year and soldiers will start treating every patrol as a combat mission, if they aren't already. Every time a soldier steps out of a US controlled compound they will be in mortal danger. This won't reduce terrorism elsewhere. Just the opposite, in fact. The frequency with which attacks on American targets succeed in Iraq, and they will suceed as often as they fail, will embolden more terrorists to try attacks on American soil and civilians once again.

We could perhaps take a spin as disconnected from reality as this as a good sign. Only someone suffering serious rope-a-dope would try to sell to this angle; the knockout can't be far away. Perhaps the next spin will involve a secret space alien invasion occuring in Iraq that we are secretly there to combat. I won't speculate any further, I don't want to give GOP hacks any talking points.

Andrew Sullivan, who at least in my own mind, has lost his, actually suggest in his latest London Times scrawl that Bush's "bring it on" comment was the not the product of a synaptically challenged Commander bumbling into a buzzsaw of public opinion, but the shrewd taunt of a master strategist drawing our terrorist enemies to their destruction like moths to a bonfire. This must be a great time to be a stand-up comic. So much material, you can pluck it right out of the Times.

The worst crime of all is that this new spin assures that even more resources will be diverted from protecting our homeland and our people from terror and shoved into the pockets of "contractors" like Haliburton and Bechtel. If Bush gets the 87 billion dollars he wants to throw away, one wonders what other domestic priorities will be sacrificed to this Administration's hubris and pollyanna worldview. Keep in mind that 87 billion is far larger than the annual budget of the Education Department. If Bush ever calls himself the education President again, may he spontaeously combust from all the hot air he's generating.

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