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Jul. 7th, 2005 | 04:02 pm

These terrorist fucks don’t get it, do they?

The invasion of Iraq was only ever possible because Bush linked it with the 9-11 attacks. You can argue about the motives, the rationale, the relative weight we should give to each pro and each con of having invaded. But the simple fact is, what made it possible in the first place was the palpable shift in the zeitgeist in late 2001. A lot of people were confused and angry at being attacked, and they wanted revenge. It is extremely doubtful that a clear majority of Americans would have supported a sustained ground invasion and occupation were it otherwise. Bombs from afar? Perhaps. Commitment of troops over an indefinite period? Doubtful. The people wanted retribution. They fell behind the man that promised them security and a quid-pro-quo for each instance of terrorist nastiness. ‘Get the fuckers that got us, and get them before they do it again.’

The terrorists say they want our and our allies’ troops out of the Middle East. Not such a bad idea, if you ask me. But if these jackasses knew the first thing about the West, they’d have seen that it isn’t going to be expedited by giving people more of a reason to be bloodthirsty and pissed at Islamic fundamentalists. All this latest attack on London ensures is that British troops will be turning over every sand-encrusted rock in a two thousand mile radius of Baghdad for another twenty years to come.

Sure, our leaders do some shady stuff, but the vast majority of their work is carried out in the public’s full view and with their acquiescence, if not active cooperation. With the media spin machines at work, it is much easier for our leaders to harness a vague discontent among the masses and direct it towards their own, particular vision for fucking up the world (by giving whole thing a specious plausibility) than it is to achieve something purely under the public’s radar. As every one familiar with either history or Star Wars knows, there is no more tried-and-true method of getting people to support questionable agendas than by drumming up patriotism. People are just never more united than when they have a common enemy....

Public sentiment is a very powerful thing. Our most effective politicians have learned how to shape public perceptions by learning how to put a positive spin on agendas that in a different setting would seem either partisan or sinister. And fickle though it may be, changing the public’s feelings about something is still the best avenue for effecting political change. The ironic part of today's bombing on London was that popular support for Bush and his tired justifications for the Iraq mess had recently hit an all-time low; after the Downing Street memos, I suspect that the situation was much the same for Blair across the Atlantic. A large part of America was finally starting to ask such questions as: “Why did we go over there? How and when can we leave?” On rare occasions even: “What are they attacking us for, anyways?” But whatever coincidental coalescing of interests on the part of terrorists and normal, responsible Britons and Americans might have been possible at one point--such as getting our people the hell out of the Middle East--it is becoming less conceivable as the dialogue in our own countries about what to do over there becomes overwhelmed by the cries of outrage.

The terrorist would probably counter that a lack of dialogue about the Middle East situation was the whole motivation for the attacks: that no westerners ever stopped to listen to Osama and his pleads to disentangle the Middle East from Anglo-American interests prior to 9-11; that no one cared about the favoritism we were showing the troops in Saudi, or the attack on Lebanon. Well I’ve got news: the higher the bodies pile up, the less many people are going to listen. Reasons, issues, who needs them? This thing has a life of its own.

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Comments {2}

your favorite Tabetha

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from: tabjunea
date: Jul. 10th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
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Hi. Remember me? Let's be LJ friends.

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Duke of Dawdlers, Earl of Twaddlers

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from: decepticonfetti
date: Jul. 11th, 2005 04:27 am (UTC)
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Hey. Absolutely. Consider it done.

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