Friday, September 10, 2004


After being away for a few days, and just now having a chance to reflect on the current state of affairs continentally and internationally, I've come to the bleak conclusion that the end of the world seems to be approaching rather quickly-- or was Nostrodamus off a couple of years? Consecutive Hurricanes in an electoral hotbed, ineffable tragedy in Beslan, Bombings in Jakarta, fighting in Najaf and Fullujah, genocide in Dafur, Religious intolerance in France's public schools, I could go on, but I'm sure I wouldn't nearly touch on everything of importance to anyone with regional particularities.

Although there does appear to be one thing that sprang to mind: Bin Laden Deputy: U.S. Will Be Defeated. For the purpose of synthesis this story seems to tie into, or be buried under, the political minutiae of the American Presidential campaign. Swift boat Vets and Texans for Truth notwithstanding, the issue of who can effectively fight the war on international terrorism (fundamentalist islamo-facist jihadists bent on the destruction of Western modernity) has been, sadly, framed in the wrong context. Because of threats like these:

The defeat of America in Iraq and Afghanistan has become a matter of time, with God's help," Ayman al-Zawahri said on the tape, which was broadcast by the pan-Arab television station Al-Jazeera. "The Americans in both countries are between two fires, if they continue they bleed to death and if they withdraw they lose everything.

It's hard to see what American efforts in Afghanistan, thus far, have done to either eradicate or stave off the resurgence of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. All this because essential resources were redirected towards the toothsome appeal of slaying the dreaded Saddam: A venture surely overdue, key to the puzzle of "democratizing" the Middle East, integral in the Grand Strategy of the WoT, but infelicitously pursued before the marginal viability of Afghanistan. One step forward; ten steps back.

This from a TPM reader speaks to the urgency of a stronger articulation of the message:

1. Bush is A TERRIBLE LEADER IN THE "WAR ON TERROR". He has failed in the hunt for Osama, misdeployed resources, and put off allies who are key to our long-term success against terrorism. Look beyond the macho swagger of Bush and see that he is completely screwing up this incredibly important long-term battle.
2. Bush and the neocon puppet masters deceived the nation into Iraq, then completely blew the execution of a horrible war, costing us more than a thousand soldiers and billions of dollars, killing countless innocent Iraqis, and creating a disastrous and extremely dangerous situation for America for years to come.
3. Bush has blown the economy.
4. Kerry is the man to put America and the world on course for a better future.

This, I think, should be a meme with traction; though, I'm not sure why others haven't picked up on it and used the power of iteration to spread it. Will it take a tragic event or a momentous precipice in Iraq or Afghanistan to change people’s perspective? IRAQ WAS A BAD IDEA BECAUSE AFGHANISTAN WASN'T VIABLE. THAT'S ON BUSH.

Proviso: I'm not suggesting we take Zawahri’s word about the situation in Afghanistan, but a general understanding of the deteriorating security there is enough to know that it’s getting worse, not better, for US forces.

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