Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Grown-up talk about terrorism

Amazing how there's actually someone who is talking about the Iraq war and the "global war on terrorism" like an adult instead of insulting our intelligence with brainless propaganda (they'll follow us home if we lose, they hit the Twin Towers because they hate our freedoms, etc.) like certain Presidents who I won't name here.

So, God bless Ron Paul, who torpedoed any chance he had at the Republican nomination for President by discussing the issue like a thoughtful adult instead of the embarassing fear-machine that is our current President, and bought into almost completely by the lapdogs in the mainstream media. Here's a nice sample.

Paul said U.S. foreign policy was a "major contributing factor" to 9/11. "Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attacked us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years."

"We're building an embassy in Iraq that's bigger than the Vatican," plus 14 other permanent bases in the Middle East. "What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us."

Citing Professor Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Paul said:

"Bin Laden attacked us in 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2000. Throughout that period, and again just after 9/11, he stated his motivations: the 'infidel' presence on the Arabian peninsula, the economic sanctions on Iraq that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 1990s and our support for Israeli expansionism."

Paul answered the question if he is suggesting that the United States is responsible for the 9/11 attack.

"I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, 'I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier,'" was Paul's answer.

How about that. Analyzing the behavior of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda as real people with real motives, instead of creating a cartoon character that's useful for whipping up support for a war in Iraq and threatening opponents with the "unpatriotic" cudgel.

So, let's think about it. If we were interested in finding the best way to combat bin Laden and his ilk, we would first try our very best to understand why he was doing what he did, so we could anticipate and counter his moves.

But if, instead, we wanted to create an Orwellian-like climate of fear and use bin Laden as the tool for a broader power-grab, we would create him as a Cobra Commander-like villain, do our best to scare people in the country to death, and use that fear as a lever to claim as much raw power as we could.

Which sounds more like what's happened?

(thanks to Sean Gonsalves of AlterNet (http://www.alternet.org/stories/53804/), whose post I liberally lifted from in the creation of this post)

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