Friday, September 17, 2004

Osama's Tool? Or Just a Tool? 

Via Cursor: Former Pentagon analyst and bete noire of neocons Karen Kwiatkowski runs down Osama bin Laden's to-do list, notes that the Bush administration has, through incompetence, indifference and greed, enabled him to meet every one of his goals, and wonders if there's anything else he'd like us to do for him:
Our occupation of Iraq and political colonization of Afghanistan are military disasters, and political and moral failures. The Iraqis are not only winning tactically today at a high human cost, they have already won strategically – we will leave Iraq, whether next year or 25 years from now, whether after 1,500 or 150,000 dead Americans, makes no difference to them, or to the neoconservatives who have already gained what they envisioned – oil region military dominance as we retreat behind concertina wire and concrete-cordoned Guantanamo-style bases in Iraq, U.S. corporation-and-friends raids of major Iraqi business in every major city, and Israel’s enemies put on notice. The U.S.-Likud alliance is cemented, and the only cost is paid by young American servicemen and women, millions of unliberated Iraqis and the odd member of the coalition of the bullied – none of whom count for beans in the neoconservative playbook.

What have Bush and his neoconservative team really accomplished? They toppled Saddam Hussein, America now militarily threatens both the Shia government in Iran and the secular one in Syria, the House of Saud is crumbling and we have removed American troops from Saudi Arabian territory.

These achievements match – word for word – the oft-stated goals of the Wahhabist Sunni radical Osama bin Ladin.

Bush has clearly delivered the goods for Osama, our one time friend in fighting Soviet communism. The turmoil, destruction of economic and social life in Iraq, the escalation of political Islam there, both Sunni and Shia, and the sheer daily injustices visited on the very people we were "liberating" gives al Qaeda added bonuses of recruitment opportunities, local support, and tactical access to Americans and American interests.

George W. Bush formed the Homeland Defense Agency monstrosity but gave it little authority or funding to actively engage in policing terms with others, domestically or abroad. Further, Bush failed to eliminate any of the superfluous waste pre-existing in the already monstrous state security system. Not surprisingly, this also helps al Qaeda.

Our actions in Afghanistan have resulted in warlord rule and competition throughout most of the countryside and a resurgence of the national flower, the opium poppy – again, a profitable black economy that eventually supports not only al Qaeda directly, but after it is cleaned and fluffed and sanitized, those profits are deposited in national and global banks, fueling the global financial system, and with it those who invest in American empire.

And sadly, the military effort to capture bin Ladin in Afghanistan has not succeeded in the past three years due to a combination of political/tactical decisions made in Washington, and the pullout of logistics and manpower from Afghanistan in order to pursue Bush (and strangely, Osama bin Ladin) objectives in Iraq.
Meanwhile, on the heels of a newly-leaked National Intelligence Estimate from July that presents "no improvement" as the best-case scenario for Iraq and "outright civil war" as the worst, the President cranked up his campaign to remind American voters that:
While a new intelligence estimate offers a gloomy assessment of Iraq's future, President Bush talks instead about brighter days ahead under a new prime minister and the promise of free elections. "Freedom is on the march," he told a campaign rally Thursday . . . .

Kerry, in a speech to National Guard veterans, said Bush who was trying to persuade voters with "a fantasy world of spin" rather than telling the truth on Iraq.

"Two days ago, the president stood right here where I'm standing and didn't acknowledge that more than 1,000 men and women have lost their lives in Iraq. He didn't tell you that with each passing day, we're seeing more chaos, more violence, indiscriminate killings," Kerry said.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett accused Democrats of unfounded pessimism. "President Bush gets his briefings from commanders on the ground. He has reason for his optimism because of the enormous amount of progress we have made," Bartlett said.

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