RANGER AGAINST WAR: Moving Around the Pieces <

Monday, September 04, 2006

Moving Around the Pieces

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld recently addressed the American Legion in Salt Lake City, likening our current war efforts in the Middle East to those in WW II. (As an aside, I'm always amazed when President Bush has the gall to give rah-rah addresses to veterans groups that he cannot join because of his astute avoidance of active service duty during the Vietnam War.)

Rumsfeld's reasoning is that they (Muslims) are as fascistic as the Nazis. Dictatorships, oligarchies--whatever you wish to call these Arab governmental systems, they are not in the business of world domination.

What we in America confronted on 9-11 was not a hostile takeover effort by a nation, but rather, an attack by a terrorist organization called Al Quaida. They happen to be Muslims, as the IRA happens to be Catholic, and their purported reasons for their attacks are much the same--autonomy over their regions.

Leonard Pitts recently wrote an excellent piece riffing on that speech, "Iraq War Supporters are in a Fantasy World" (9/01/06), however, I disagree on one point.

Pitts and the administration say that "we quickly knocked over Afghanistan." You can't knock something over that is already on the ground. As veteran newsman Daniel Schorr noted at the time of our invasion, we simply moved the rubble around.

And if we did accomplish our objectives in Afghanistan, then why is the place still a morass? As only one example, it was just reported that this year their opium production outstripped world demand by 30%; what kind of an efficient business model is that? (of course, there's always a bright side--an unintended benefit is that junkies worldwide enjoy lower prices and better quality.)

Grasping at straws, the administration proclaims Afghanistan a success, somehow foisting off the idea that it was necessary, and but the first domino to fall in a series of necessary Muslim takedowns. And a hopeful nation embraces this dissembling.



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