2006-10-25

Jihadist Hydra: Enough with the head-slicing thing!

In the interest of supporting the use of source documents when forming opinions on current events, here follows a link to an extended excerpt of the National Intelligence Estimate report titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States."

I have read the excerpt and seen the comic soundbites of Bush II's press briefing on the subject. I also read the transcript of Bush II's Presidential Radio Address and I have to say I agree with some of his comments. See what you think, and try to forget for a moment that it is Bush II's hard head from which these words emanated:
"The National Intelligence Estimate confirms that we are up against a determined and capable enemy. The NIE lists four underlying factors that are fueling the extremist movement: first, long-standing grievances such as corruption, injustice, and a fear of Western domination; second, the jihad in Iraq; third, the slow pace of reform in Muslim nations; and fourth, pervasive anti-Americanism. It concludes that terrorists are exploiting all these factors to further their movement.

Some in Washington have selectively quoted from this document to make the case that by fighting the terrorists in Iraq, we are making our people less secure here at home. This argument buys into the enemy's propaganda that the terrorists attack us because we are provoking them."

That sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Then he goes too far and says "The terrorists are at war against us because they hate everything America stands for." I beg to differ. I think if the President acts in a manner that reflects "everything America stands for" that the US would have far fewer enemies in the world.

Freedom. Democracy. Truth. Self-determination. Free markets. Justice. That is what America purports to stand for.

But from the perspective of anyone outside the deluded administration or blinkered rural electorate, we instead see: Lies. Occupation. Martial law. No due process. No-bid contracts. Theft. Poverty. Despair.

Hard to cultivate allies from such a quagmire.


1 comment:

KristaLouise said...

I love the editorial cartoon. I agree that it's too simplistic to say that "they" hate everything that "America" stands for. Perhaps the larger question is, what does "America" stand for? Sure, there is the historical stereotype, the flattering self-image. But is the truer picture ones own memory of how one looked in the highschool grad photos? or how others recognize you on the street today. What "America" stands for internally, to their own people, may be quite different than what "America" represents in public on the world stage. As you say.

And while I have little in common with the jihadists, i have to sympathize with those who see North America as the fountain of immorality and selfishness.