Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The reverse domino effect...

Excellent op-ed piece in the LA Times about the application of the Cold War "Domino Effect" theory to the current war on terror, you know the whole fight them abroad or we'll have to fight them here rationalization...

From the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Bush has systematically sought to parlay the public's shock over a singular, if devastating, terrorist assault by a small coterie of extremists into what amounted to a call for World War III against a supposed "axis of evil." But these countries — Iran, Iraq and North Korea — shared only a clear hostility to the United States, rather than any real alliance or ties to 9/11 itself.

In the process, Bush has justified an enormous military buildup, spent tens of billions of dollars in Iraq, reorganized the federal government, driven the nation's budget far into the red and assaulted the civil liberties of Americans and people around the world, all without bothering to seriously examine the origins of the 9/11 attacks or compose a coherent strategy to prevent similar ones in the future. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden remains at large, as do his financial and political backers in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

But why has the White House pursued this nonsensical approach over the loud objections of the country's most experienced counterterrorism and Islamic experts? Because it allows the administration all the political benefits the Cold War afforded its predecessors: political capital, pork-barrel defense contracts and a grandiose sense of purpose.

And because the war on terror has no standard of victory, it can never end — thus neatly replacing the Cold War as a black-and-white, us-against-them worldview that generations of American (and Soviet) politicians found so useful for keeping the plebes in line. It's a one-size-fits-all bludgeon.

The terrible, unspoken truth of the war on terror is that the tragedy of 9/11 has been exploited as a political opportunity by George W. Bush, Halliburton, the Pentagon and the other pillars of what President Eisenhower dubbed the "military-industrial complex" in his final speech as president.


The full text can be found here





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