Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bush and "al Qaeda": perversely symbiotic extremists versus ordinary people

America's new Newspaper (company) of Record, McClatchy, has another story on Bush's increasing rhetoric explicitly identifying Al Qaeda In Iraq with the original Al Qaeda, even though the former is at best a rebellious franchisee of the original Qaeda, does not have a common chain of command or organization with the latter, and did not even exist until well after the U.S. invasion of Iraq and several years after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. This is more of the same of Bush's transparently desperate attempt to exploit 9/11 to his military misadventures.

I don't have the statistics in front of me, but various polls have shown a surprisingly large number of people believe Iraq was directly behind the 9/11 attacks and that we actually confirmed that Iraq had WMDs. Other polls have shown that those who rely primarily on Fox News are among the least knowledgeable about world affairs than those who rely primarily on any of the other news sources polled about (including the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, whose viewers were far more knowledgeable than viewers of Fox News(!)).

I'm going to venture a pretty safe guess: that there is almost perfect overlap between those who rely on Fox News as their primary news source, those who still believe Iraq was directly behind the 9/11 attacks, and those who make up the 26% or so who still actually hold a favorable opinion of George Bush.

(Of course, Bush himself presumably falls in that group.)

The logical corollary being, if Fox News didn't exist and those viewers had instead been relying on a magical fantasy cable news channel that practiced responsible, effective journalism, Bush's current favorability rating would be approximately zero.

A really interesting point can be drawn, though, from both Zarqawi's group renaming itself "Al Qaeda in Iraq" and Bush constantly trying to push the illusory suggestion that Al Qaeda in Iraq had anything to do 9/11. Both of them exhibit a strong interest in inflating each other's importance. The Islamist terrorists depend on the Bush-Cheney cabal to overreact to their terror campaign, and are delighted with the Iraq occupation, and even moreso the abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, for justifying themselves and recruiting new followers among Islamist sympathizers. Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney regime magnifies the terrorists' power and importance, elevating them to an enemy like no other we've ever faced, who justify more extreme measures than we've ever countenanced. (Oh please... compared with the Soviets or the Nazi-Fascist-Japanese Axis, the entire Islamist collective are a ragtag bunch of misfits.) So here we have two opposed extremist groups, one based on the other side of the world and the other based in our capital, perversely relying on and symbiotic with each other's extremist acts to justify their own, while the unwilling victims are the masses of ordinary people forming the majority in both societies, who would be far happier just to go to work and come home and enjoy being with their friends and families and live their decent ordinary lives, who get duped for the ride.

Not to confuse this with the appropriate responses America should have made in hunting down and destroying the actual terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11. If only we had done that, while holding to American laws and American values. It's everything Bush and Cheney have done beyond that, in exploiting 9/11 to try to justify their military misadventure in Iraq and their autocratic power grab, that has served to alienate our friends and enlarge our enemies and fuel the vicious cycle of extremists versus the ordinary people.


Anonymous said...

The freaky thing is, Bush IS Al Queda. 9/11 was the Neocon's own Reichstag fire. 9/11 was STAGED. 9/11/2001, Pentagon. Where is the Boeing 757-sized hole? In fact, where is the Boeing 757? -

Shazam McShotgunstein said...

*Where* is the asteroid at the bottom of Meteor Crater in Arizona? Must have been a conspiracy by the Anasazi!

The "freaky thing" is, the evidence contradicts your deeply cynical conspiracy theory. Investigate a little deeper and try applying a little more rational skepticism.

We have enough problems dealing with the malfeasance of government right in front of our eyes, without dousing it with informational noise, and denying the reality of the actual terrorist networks that actually do have violent intentions toward the West.