Friday, July 08, 2005

An Inauspicious Start

I was a little worried that yesterday's bomb attacks in London might disuade the radio militia's crusade of truth tour.

But my worries appear to have been for naught because it looks like the gang has embarked to its first destination--central command headquarters in Tampa, FL, where it looks like they spent their first night in rather plush surroundings.

Nonetheless, yesterday's attacks in London did get me to thinking again, not just about the infamous "fly paper" strategy advanced by the administration and its shoe-shiners in the press, but also about the whole "we will go after the states that sponsor terrorism" rhetoric that was unvailed after 911.

Because while the argument has a certain logic to it, it also seems obvious that America's attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq have not produced stable states in either. In the former, if the U.S. military was in control, it would undoubtedly be able to locate Osama bin Forgotten, where he is likely hiding out (we certainly can't assume he's in Pakistan or else we would be required to make the same demands of our man in Islamabad that we made of the Taliban before we invaded their country), in the latter, the American occupation barely controls a walled off section of Baghdad.

So it would seem that not only is the flypaper strategy of "fighting the terrorists over there instead of over here" argument rather lame, but the notion of suppressing terrorism by conquering and controlling the states that sponsor it also seems equally fallacious.

If the strategies of Al Qaeda and its offshoots indicates anything, it is that conventional military responses are not going to address the challenge they present. But paradoxically, because overwhelming conventional military force is precisely the area in which the U.S. enjoys an advantage, it will likely be the case that the "shock and awe" military response is what the U.S. will continue to reach for, at the same time that such a strategy will be what continues to reveal our weakness and continue to inflame the ideals of those who would do us harm.

Which brings us back, in a way, to the right-wing junket mission to Baghdad, where a handful of nationalistic and militaristic shock jocks will be setting up shop for a week. Without, it seems, quite realizing what they're demonstrating, the radio militia will be bunkered down in the Green Zone, under the protection of the military, isolated from the rest of the country we are obstensibly "liberating", and not in contact with any of the natives enduring our "liberation", all the while parroting talk of how "we're winning in Iraq" and in the "global war on terra".

After seven days, the gang will be gathered together and chauffered back to some form of military transport, and returned to the states, to which they will return as equally bamboozled and ready to bamboozle as before. To return to the same audience that already thinks "we're winning" over there.

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