Saturday, August 26, 2006

Why do they hate us, you ask?

Why do they hate us, you ask?
By Carlos T Mock, MD
August 24, 2006

The reason is the war in Iraq. A war that began at the president's choosing which has degenerated into a desperate, bloody mess that has turned much of the world against the United States. The administration's contempt for international agreements, congressional prerogatives and the authority of the courts has undermined the rule of law abroad and at home.

A war characterized by terrible intelligence, inadequate planning, not enough troops, underestimating the enemy, Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, torturing our prisoners of war, raping innocent 14 y/o Iraqi civilians and murdering them for fun, creating torture sites in foreign countries, and ignoring Article 3 of the Geneva convention. More arrogance and ignorance. The size of the fiasco is so large, that it will be a terrible blow to the U.S. military and American prestige for the next decade. Osama bin Laden in his wildest dreams could not have imagined that the United States would have responded to the World Trade Center attack with such madness—the White House led the United States into a disastrous international crisis and started subverting basic American traditions.

Yet while all this has been happening, the political discussion in Washington has become a captive of the Bush agenda. Traditional beliefs like every person's right to a day in court, or the conviction that America should not start wars it does not know how to win, wind up being portrayed as extreme. The middle becomes a place where senators struggle to get the president to volunteer to obey the law when the mood strikes him. Attempting to regain the real center becomes a radical alternative.

The truth is that five years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Bush's ongoing attempts to portray the war on terror as a global conflict in which Iraq is the front line obscure the fact that the U.S. still is vulnerable to the same sort of terrorism as in 2001. Bush has taken his eye off the real threat to national security: Al Qaeda and related terrorist networks.

To me, the foiled plot offered a way of reminding voters that the president is fighting the wrong war. "The Iraq war has diverted our focus and more than $300 billion in resources from the war on terrorism and has created a rallying cry for international terrorists," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "This latest plot demonstrates the need for the Bush administration and the Congress to change course in Iraq."

The administration's persistence in portraying the war in Iraq as the front line in the war on terror has left the U.S. more vulnerable to threats from either Osama bin Laden or others who model their attacks along Al Qaeda lines.

"The fact that we turned so quickly into preparations for Iraq allowed Al Qaeda remnants to escape from Afghanistan and begin the process of reconstitution," said Rand Beers, a former national security aide to Bush and previous presidents. "The violence that we face today is a direct result of that failure."

The sad truth is that the arrogance and ignorance were not limited to the administration. The religious right has fueled the situation by their hope that this is the beginning of Armageddon.

You asked why do they hate us? I answer - they have every right to do so.


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