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    War and Terror: Bush's Big Blunder
    Posted on Tuesday, September 16 @ 11:43:20 UTC
    Topic: King Bush
    King Bushby Charley Reese, reese.king-online.com

    On Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by a single organization, al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden.

    We had not been attacked by North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Colombian guerrillas, Philippine guerrillas, the Taliban, Indonesian guerrillas, Muslims in general or anybody else. Just that one organization, al-Qaida, hit us.

    Once that was ascertained, President George Bush should have told the American people that we were going to track down the members of that organization and kill them. I believe that was his original intention.

    But a cabal of neoconservatives who had long had a plan to make the world safe for Israel and to turn America into an empire hijacked the president's mind, and instead of going after al-Qaida, the president declared war on all of the above. This was the president's big blunder.

    In the first place, terrorism is a tactic, not an entity, and you really can't declare war on a tactic. Only a sovereign state can declare war or be the object of a declared war. Al-Qaida is a criminal gang of fanatics representing no one but themselves. They should be treated like a criminal gang.

    By declaring war on terrorism in general, President Bush made enemies of people who were not our enemies. There was no world convention of terrorists that passed a resolution that stated "let's all go get the United States." Al-Qaida was our enemy. It was members of al-Qaida who had pulled off the first bombing of the World Trade Center, blown up our embassies in Africa and attacked the USS Cole.

    Whether you want to call the others guerrillas or terrorists, they had their own agendas that had nothing to do with us. Hezbollah had driven the Israelis out of most of southern Lebanon; Hamas and Islamic Jihad are fighting against Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza; guerrillas in the Philippines, Colombia and Indonesia are like the Chechens, trying to overthrow existing governments. None of them was concerned with or about us. None of them had attacked us. None of them had threatened to attack us. (Hezbollah had attacked us when President Reagan put troops in Lebanon, but once we quit messing about in Lebanon, it left us alone.)

    Al-Qaida, by the way, did not attack us because we are rich or free or democratic. Bin Laden spelled out the reasons explicitly in one of his videos (Al Sharpton has said that Osama has put out more videos than most rock stars). He listed three reasons: American military presence in Saudi Arabia, American mistreatment of the Iraqi people, and American support of Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians.

    Going to war with Iraq was part of the neoconservative grand strategy, but it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism. To say that Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism is to tell another big, fat fib. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attack on the twin towers, hated Osama bin Laden and was hated by Osama. He supported the Palestinians, but there is no evidence linking him with any terrorist organization. The people killing and wounding our soldiers are Iraqis resisting occupation. The Geneva Convention states that anyone in an occupied country has a right to resist, and attacks against soldiers are not acts of terrorism.

    At any rate, because of the cabal of neoconservatives and President Bush's big blunder, we are now in a literally endless war; we have attacked two sovereign nations, Afghanistan and Iraq; we have obligated ourselves to spend billions of dollars rebuilding those countries; we have not found bin Laden or Saddam Hussein; we have passed legislation that is a threat to American civil liberties; we have alienated key European allies; we have created a serious credibility problem by lying about weapons of mass destruction; and we have aggravated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by giving Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a green light to assassinate, reoccupy and brutalize the Palestinians under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

    And worst of all, the president seems to have divorced himself from reality and is oblivious to what is really happening in the world.

    © 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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