BushSpeak: Evil Disconnect
President Bush's Speech [New York Times]
"Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals.In an argument beyond circular logic, Mr. Bush made his "important" speech on terrorism at 10:00am, when most of us in Washington were simply at work. But I agree that Iraq certainly became an excuse.
I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, and Al Qaida attacked us anyway.
The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse."
Mr. Bush went on to use the argument that Russia was still attacked by terrorists even though they did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, which further begs the question of how one can possibly measure related effectiveness between our presence in Iraq and the broader war on terror.
And while Mr. Bush's description of the enemy is accurate in its murderous detail, it does not then follow that a military response is the solution for twisted humanity gone awry.
Mr. Bush did offer some impressive statistics:
"Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted at least 10 serious Al Qaida terrorist plots since September the 11th, including three Al Qaida plots to attack inside the United States. We've stopped at least five more Al Qaida efforts to case targets in the United States or infiltrate operatives into our country."Later that day, NY would be put on terrorist alert due to new intelligence that was of contested value.
Politically, the speech was meant to bolster flagging support for the War in Iraq, a cloud of possible indictments approaching Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame CIA leak and double indictments of Tom DeLay for conspiracy to launder and actual laundering of campaign monies. It also follows in the wake of Katrina and the government's lackluster response.
But on the social import of the President's speech, there is a gathering consensus that we are basically against terrorists who are clearly evil. It is important to note though, that this isn't just because WE say so. We are also starting to hear Muslim condemnation of such acts too. And we must continue to steadfastly remain against evil to ensure "freedom's victory."
I'd be a fool to argue with that kind of logic as well as one to not point out the huge disconnect between agreeing that evil is bad and the host of social policies (if war can even be politely called that) that get subsumed under that agreement. But it's nice to have the company.