Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Well, well

It seems that the New York Times and Washington Post have almost reversed roles today. To wit: Inside the WaPo's op-ed pages is a call from the editorial board to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military (surprising considering that the board there is more conservative than years past), Harold Meyerson's column about Mexico (seems Dubya is going along with Vicente's plan to jail a presidential candidate on bogus charges), and David Ignatius' column on how Democrats can take back Congress. All of this found here.

Meanwhile, on the Times' op-ed page, the editorial board attacks Bolton (rightfully so) but Thomas Friedman disappoints big time today, enough so that he deserves a slap in the face (not necessarily literally). Usually I like Friedman, and I think he's a very smart guy, but this column was crap. Key quotes (all bolded words mine):

"Despite all of that, I fear that we may now be entering the most dangerous period since 9/11. Why? Because I've always believed that one of the most important reasons there has been no new terrorist attack in America has to do with the U.S. invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not only that the Bush administration has taken the fight to the enemy, but that the enemy has welcomed that fight...

If the Jihadists can defeat us in the heart of their world, and force us from Iraq, it will have a huge impact on the Arab street and shake every pro-American Arab regime. The Jihadists have always understood that Iraq is the ballgame. Iraq is the big one. Winning there is what really advances their agendas...

In short, the more the Jihadists lose in Iraq, the more likely they are to use their rump forces to try something really crazy in America to make up for it. So let's stay the course in Iraq, but stay extra-vigilant at home."

This was a column attempting to explain why no more terrorist attacks have occurred in the U.S. since 9/11. And it's mainly full of crap. Friedman, who really does know better, pays no attention to a couple of salient facts: bin Laden and crew take breaks between attacks on America/American strategic targets. Disregarding Iraq, because, really, that isn't bin Laden's crew (he's just cheering them on), let's look at that timeline, shall we?

1993: First World Trade Center attack. 1996: U.S. barracks in Saudi Arabia. 1998: U.S. embassies in Africa. 2000: U.S.S. Cole. 2001: 9/11 attacks.

With the exception of the Cole and 9/11, there's a two-three year gap involved. And since we did have Osama running for a while there (before we blew it at Tora Bora), that set back his planning time. Friedman is right to say that we are probably entering a period of danger, but that's because of history, not because of Iraq. Even if we'd avoided Iraq (which, full disclosure here, I supported mainly for non-WMD reasons. I know Iraqi expatriates who hated having to flee and leave their nation to Hussein, and they deserved help, as did the Iraqi people. WMD was just a bonus at the time), it wouldn't have changed anything. The timeline screams that we're in a danger period.

To sit there and say suddenly that Iraq was the reason terrorists were avoiding us is to give Bush credit that you haven't done before, Mr. Friedman. You are buying the spin that the all-great President Bush is the reason that terrorists haven't struck again, because he was so smart to know that terrorists would attack us in Iraq. What was that quote from Dick Cheney again?

"Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."

In that entire interview on "Meet the Press," the only mentions of terrorists were of "terrorists" joining up with Saddamn Hussein, or the terrorists who did 9/11. Not once, not one stupid time, did he mention that terrorists were operating in Iraq. You know why? Because, for the most part, they were not there. They flocked there once we did exactly what they hoped, and the President said, "Bring it on." Hell, he might as well have said, "Hey, come kill us!"

Iraq was the right thing to do, but we did it all wrong going in, we've done it wrong having been there, and only now are we starting to get it right, over 1,500 American and thousands of Iraqi lives later. Once again, I ask myself, how in the hell did this man get reelected? Then I ask, why is Friedman reversing course in such a RWNM manner? Sadly, we'll probably never know either answer.


Blogger jj said...

This a link to what I think is the most informative site on Iraq Informed Comment and this article on the judiciary show the nut are really getting started WAPO

12:15 AM  

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