Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Commentary: Iraq's Complicity in Terrorism

Offered as a sort of sanity/reality check to Fahrenheit Blair Witch 9/11 Project.

I think one very interesting excerpt from this article is this:

Clarke's tenure as America's top counterterrorism official is essentially contemporaneous with the Clinton administration. Before Bill Clinton took office, it was assumed that major terrorist attacks against the United States were state sponsored. Clinton turned a national security issue, focused on punishing terrorist states, into a law enforcement issue, focused on arresting and convicting individual perpetrators.

This fundamental policy shift was fundamentally flawed. People with nothing to lose aren't afraid of anything. Nations, and national leaders, have a self interest that cannot be denied. However, our voting populace prefers flash and dash to boring substance. (Which explains why movie and rock stars are successful in speaking to the young and liberal. There is no there, there, and it does not matter to the fawning idolators, since what they are attracted to is style and a certain experience of closeness to an untouchable benevolent aristocracy; a giddiness at rubbing virtual elbows with the high and mighty.)

Anyway, if this article by Laurie Mylroie, a former adviser on Iraq to the 1992 Clinton campaign, can be given any credence, the Iraq - al Qaeda connection seems to have substance.

Which, by the way, neither Bush, nor anyone in his top administration, ever stated that Saddam was part of 9/11. I'm really tired of hearing that. Ψ


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, we will be hearing that A Lot from now until November! I love politics and enjoy this whole 'blog world', but sometimes the bickering over semantics is just downright tiring!
have a great night...

leftyjones said...

Ahhh, I see my nemesis and I have both been drawn to your page.
I actually agree with a lot of your comments both on this page and over at Ala71's. The fact is that I'm not sure a President can tell the truth and do their job effectively in all cases. It begs the question, does the leader lead and let the chips with the public fall where they may? or in an effort to do their job must a President avoid public outcry by hedging the truth? The fact is, I'm not sure.
Knowing the Presidents have gone the "partial truth" path in the past is probably why people fly to their conclusions about policy so instantaneously. Since they don't feel the truth is forthcoming, they judge the decisions of the President by how they view his morals and values. Or, more simply put, like the President--believe the policy, dislike the President and everything he says is a lie.
As with most things.....the truth lies in between.
I imagine though, that the people with the most to lose....those with family and friends in Iraq may be the ones with the most to say on this issue.
Because while I believe that everyone wants a nation that is secure, I'm also pretty sure that these families would like to believe that when a President sends people to war and possibly to face death, that the least they deserve is the truth.

Bathus said...

Hey Frater,

Great article! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. And thanks also for adding me to your blogroll. I'll be honored to return the favor.

You win the prize for best blog title! Wish I had thought of it first. Indeterminate hair tincture" is a pretty accurate description: My hair used to be dark brown, which made a nice match with the rest of me, which is light brown, but it's been going gray so fast lately, that I'm not sure quite what color it is. Guess I should be happy to just to have hair at my age.

Yes, I am what the libs like to call a "person of color," which is highly convenient because in the liberal bible my naturally tan patina automatically makes me an indisputable authority on all manner of social injustice.

Happy Blogging!

Antipentheus said...

Dear friend Frater, you mention that no one in the administration mentioned a link between Iraq and 9/11. I have quotes by Cheney connecting 9/11 to Iraq. There are many other quotes, some forthright and others veiled, used by the administration to justify the invasion.

"In his appearance Sunday on "Meet the Press," Cheney vigorously defended every aspect of the war, saying the administration's prewar claims about banned weapons held by Iraq would be proved true. He argued that Iraq was the "heart of the base" of the terrorist threat that culminated on Sept. 11. "If we're successful in Iraq then we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11," Cheney said."

Los Angeles Times
September 18, 2003


"But Cheney left that possibility wide open in a nationally televised interview two days ago, claiming that the administration is learning "more and more" about connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq before the Sept. 11 attacks. The statement surprised some analysts and officials who have reviewed intelligence reports from Iraq."

Boston Globe, 9/16/2003

Yes, ALa, perhaps semantics, but semantics was used as a weapon to scare Americans into supporting the Iraq invasion. Before we crossed into Iraq in March '03, Cheney many times made that connection. I'd like to see the proof of that connection - I am sure it can be sanitized enough to publish without harming national security.

The terrorists that struck us on 9/11 were driven by hate of America not based on its treatment of Hussein or Iraq. I'm sure Saddam cheered when he saw the attacks on TV. I believe the terrorists hate us for many reasons, and some of them are reasonable (although primitive and misdirected). The biggest reason they have is one we have handed to them on a silver platter - the Palestinian issue, and how unfairly we have handled it over the years (blame goes to every administration since 1948). Sure Arafat is an asshole megalomaniac, and sure Hamas and Hezbollah are religious zealots.

But we must work with the common people of the Middle East to better their living conditions and right some wrongs, encourage a liberal education, find jobs to keep them busy, and other actions we can take to stop angry young men (and women) from joining the ranks of terrorists.

I hope whoever wins in November has the desire to look at issues fairly and work on the underlying issues that will eventually defeat terrorism in all parts of the world. I pray for that.


p.s. I want to know who has and who has not seen Fahrenheit 9/11. I did not see Blair Witch to compare it, but I have seen F 9/11.

Frater Bovious said...

Hola! This is going to sound like quibbling, but no one said Saddam was directly involved in 9/11. The connection between Iraq and terrorists in general is, was, and will be brought up, especially as it becomes more and more apparent that in fact Iraq was quite friendly and supportive toward al Qaeda et al.

Now, you may say that is splitting hairs. But you won't find any quote anywhere that says, "We know Saddam was personally involved in the planning and carrying out of 9/11."

However, if you house and fund someone that harms someone else, you are involved to that degree, even if you don't pick the target or get your hands dirty.

Terrorists have to have a base of operations. Madame Boverie pointed out to me that Iraq is geographically important. As a safe haven, it is necessarily a target in the attempt to stop terrorism.

Your other points are very valid to the extent that we can understand them. People with full bellies and MTV aren't easy to motivate into suicide missions. Ideally, all those people would share our concepts of what a comfortable life is, and fall in line when creature comforts are met.

But, I think that is naive. I read a very interesting book about the Sa'ud family (you know, of Saudi Arabia) shortly after they came to power in their country. It was done by killing most of the current power base. There is a story about a fight going on and one family member being on one side of the wall trying to get to the aid of his relative. A human kidney came over the wall, and he inspected it and determined it was not his kinsmen's. "Too fatty."

A certain ascetism is part of the whole culture there, I believe. And the mullahs are not interested in MTV or McDonald's or any other aspect of the USA.

However, it is critical that we understand the source of the hatred, and attempt to address it. The alternative is, I fear, religious war.

Frater Bovious said...

Oh, I have not seen F 9/11. I really can't bring myself to lend monetary support. I believe calling it a documentary is a misuse of the term. A documentary is supposed to be a faithfull rendition of whatever the subject is, told plainly and supposedly with minimal editing and very specifically without editorializing. Michael Moore's work of fiction is not a documentary. That would be like calling Apocalypse Now a documentary, or Full Metal Jacket. There are truths in both those movies, and they are presented through augmented lenses to show one person's perspective of the truth. I contrast with Blair Witch Project because some people actually believed that was a true story. Like F 9/11.

Frater Bovious said...

Here is some of my basis for calling f 9/11 a work of fiction

Anonymous said...

I also did not /will not could not /should not see F 9/11. I will not see it with a friend, I will not even watch the end. I will not see with a plea, I would not see it -not for free.