What Good Is An "Anywhere But Here" Anti-Terror Policy?
What good is an anti-terror policy if your only consolation is that everyone else in the world suffers except you? And when will Tony Blair confront George W. Bush for his administration's shortsighted role in what happened in London today? (see end of piece)
Yes, yes, remember now: if we fight them in Iraq, it means we won’t have to be fighting them here in America. That’s what we’ve been told over and over again by Bush, even very recently, as the rationalization for why we need to stay in Iraq as long as it takes. And the wingers point to the absence of another 9/11-style attack here as validation for Bush's anti-terror agenda, when in fact Al Qaeda has been allowed to morph by the Iraq war into something far more dispersed and better-trained. But remember, by fighting them in Iraq, we don't have to fight them here, yada yada yada....
Tell that to Tony Blair this morning, as Al Qaeda-affiliated groups strike not once, but several times with coordinated bombings in London. The same group that carried out the Madrid bombings claims responsibility for today's carnage.
Too bad for Bush that this terrible news has obliterated his chance to look like a statesman on the issue of global warming four years too late, as it has been reported that Bush was finally going to admit that humans cause greenhouse gases and was going to signal that he was willing to work towards a new alternative to Kyoto based of course on voluntary initiatives and technology sharing with developing countries, but to Bush even this new agreement would be “seven years away.” These are things that Bush could have done four years ago, instead of doing it now when his only solace from a poisoned domestic politics he has himself created, and the soon-to-be $80 per barrel oil he has contributed to is to escape domestic worries like all second-term presidents and look for overseas pats-on-the-back. And it now appears that Bush’s attempts to find validations for his anti-terror policies and bon-mots for finally coming around years too late on global warming will go for naught as well. Oh well, in a twisted way, the terror attacks helped dampen the rising oil prices as analysts are now worried that a new spate of terror attacks will harm economic growth.
If the preliminary reports are 40 dead and over 300 injured, you can bet the death toll will go higher, and Blair has left the G-8 summit to return to London. The summit will pretty much collapse now, as will Bush’s rehabilitation efforts. Sure, he’ll mumble some garbage about staying strong (“resolve”) and not capitulating to the terrorists, but to the world Bush is a broken record playing on an outdated victrola. Al Qaeda timed this attack in London to coincide with the G-8, showing a degree of coordination that indicates they are doing quite well in the UK. No matter what stupidity we hear from the Department of Homeland Security about there being no need to do so here at home, the terror alert will be raised here as well, as it should be, to protect us against those who Bush told us just last week are bottled up in Iraq.
But will the government be protecting us from the wrong attacks, a style of attack that the people of Iraq have suffered through every day for the last two years?
While this is going on, under Bush's energy policy we continue to finance terrorism by sending billions to Saudi Arabia, as we have every day since 9/11. But to your bubble-headed neighbors who get their news from the bubble-headed local TV anchors, who cares as long as it is someone else who gets killed?
Lastly, as Tony Blair oversees the carnage and anger in his country, he may want to ask his good buddy George W. Bush why his administration crippled Blair’s domestic anti-terror efforts to track down and stop Al Qaeda cells inside Great Britain by exposing a known Al Qaeda asset at a time when the Brits were very close to nailing a ring of Al Qaeda cells inside the country? With today's tragedy in front of them, don't you think that British intelligence would have wanted to finish their work last fall in smashing London's Al Qaeda cells before the Bush Administration blew a covert operation just so Bush could be reelected?
But as the Plame case shows, the Bush Administration has never let national security here or abroad get in the way of their Number One priority anyway, have they?
Update: Yes, the spin that this wasn't Al Qaeda or an affiliate is starting already. But that raises the question then of who would want to, and has the ability to stage multiple, coordinated bombings of this type?
Update #2: And if you want to see a sickening display of how the right wing corporate media talking points are ready to go, take a look at what just was said on Fox News about the bombings, and how it helps to drive global warming and African debt relief off the front pages and brings fear and terrorism back onto the front pages.
KILMEADE: And he [British Prime Minister Tony Blair] made the statement, clearly shaken, but clearly determined. This is his second address in the last hour. First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.
VARNEY: It puts the Number 1 issue right back on the front burner right at the point where all these world leaders are meeting. It takes global warming off the front burner. It takes African aid off the front burner. It sticks terrorism and the fight on the war on terror, right up front all over again.
Yeah, just another opportunity for Fox News to swing back into its "War On Terror" mode and use those graphics, music, and analysts to hype the fear of red state voters all over again. We wouldn't want real 'Muricans to pay attention to global warming or other issues, would we Mr. Murdoch? It's much better to use this tragedy for Fox's ratings, isn't it?