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November 01, 2004

Hate doesn't exist in a vacuum

As we wind down to what many US citizens are calling the most important election of their lives, here is a quick thought: hate doesn't exist in a vacuum. I recently read a post on Wampum called "The Roots of Terror" by a retired naval officer (he ran it as a paid ad in a local newspaper). I urge you to read it. In a couple of paragraphs it sums up the history of modern terror - a history that I am confident George Bush is completely ignorant of. This sentence in particular sums up most of my feelings on the subject:

"Terrorism arises when people, rightly or wrongly, perceive that they are being treated unjustly and feel helpless to do anything about it."

The right wing of America would call me weak, and claim that I am blaming the victim (they did just that after 9/11 and continue to do it to anyone who tries to understand or comprehend 9/11 in any terms outside of the administrations newspeak). It just isn't true. Like it says above - "rightly or wrongly" - I am not going to absolve Osama Bin Laden (for some insight into his thinking see Juan Coles "Towers of Beirut") . What he orchestrated was wrong and horrific, there is no question about that. But to think in the simplistic terms of President Bush, that radical Muslim fundamentalists hate us because of our "freedom" borders on the insane. Bin Laden, although wrong, had his reasons. But instead of trying to understand that, of trying to put policies in place that could perhaps avoided future repeats of such acts, and of using every single resource we had to capture him and bring him to justice, we invaded Iraq. And how could invading another nation, one that for all intents and purposes had nothing to with Bin Laden or 9/11, do anything but to make more terrorists? This President seems to think that terrorists are a finite entity - that they can all be killed and then we will all be safe. These are the thoughts of a fool, of a child who has been indulged beyond comprehension.

Pretend for a moment you are an alien and have just landed on earth from outer space. You observe the war in Iraq and the events leading up to it. You learn that there are now estimates of 100,000 Iraqis killed in the past 18 months, most of them women and children. As a neutral observer from an alien land, wouldn't you come to the conclusion that George Bush should be facing impeachment and war crimes tribunals, and not be on the verge of another fours years as the world's most powerful man?

Postscript: My election prediction - Kerry 317 Bush 221