Monday, October 27, 2003

Did anyone read donald rumsfeld's op-ed in the washington post yesterday? It's nothing very new really, the same rational for the war blah, blah, blah. The only thing that really jumped out at me was his statement that we had to take the war to the terrorists. He wrote that as though it were obviously the only solution to the problem of global terrorism. the fact that that is how he feels isn't what surprises me, not much he said really did surprise me. it did however disappoint me a bit. he frames his argument by pointing to the beruit bombings of 20 years ago, and listing the subsequent anti terror measures and counter measures taken in response to the attacks, then makes his case for war. as i said, not surprising, considering the source, but deeply disappointing. in detailing how every effort to curb terrorism will be subsequently met with a different kind of attack he frames perfectly the argument that war isn't working, but attacking the root of the problem never comes up in his arguement. yes, he closes by saying that "we must lean forward and stop [people] from becoming terrorists in the first place." but that's where he ends. it should be the beginning. the evolution of the problem, as well as how terrorism can be an equalizing factor are both broached, but the possibility of dismantling terrorist networks by attacking the roots of discord in the parts of the world where this brand of hatred grows is never discussed, only the best ways to try and beat it back down from the outside. like i said coming from rummy i'm not remotely surprised that his point of view is militaristic rather than sociological, all i'm saying is there's an argument to be made for that point of view as well, and it needs to be heard. to put it simply-if a pit bull is clamped down on your leg, what's a better way to get him to stop attacking you, hitting him with a rolled up newspaper, or throwing him a steak. i'm no foreign policy expert by a long shot, just someone who thinks that we've had years of hindsight to realize that meeting this type of violence with further violence has only served to breed more terrorism, not discourage it. and if we were truly serious about sowing stable democracy in iraq and afganistan by letting the world share the burdens as well as the rewards, and giving the iraqis a little more credit for knowing what's best for them, baisically if we stopped acting like assholes maybe we could actually get somewhere-not by, as rumsfeld says "bringing the war to the terrorists" but by bringing peace and stability to their violent tumultuous world. just a thought...

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