Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bush's Lost Year

James Fallows in the Atlantic Monthly, Oct 2004. This kind of thing needs to be repeated again and again as more and more people find the scales falling from their eyes and realize that we have made a grave mistake by going to war in Iraq. We need to keep going back to these articles that were overlooked in the MSM, filtered out by "patriotic" jingoists, ignored and ridiculed by the Brush Lintballs, Bill O'Lielly's....

This piece is a must read today just as it was a year ago:

Bush's Lost Year: "President Bush's first major speech after 9/11, on September 20, 2001, was one of the outstanding addresses given by a modern President. But it introduced a destructive concept that Bush used more and more insistently through 2002. 'Why do they hate us?' he asked about the terrorists. He answered that they hate what is best in us: 'They hate what we see right here in this chamber—a democratically elected government … They hate our freedoms—our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.' As he boiled down this thought in subsequent comments it became 'They hate us for who we are' and 'They hate us because we are free.'

There may be people who have studied, fought against, or tried to infiltrate al-Qaeda and who agree with Bush's statement. But I have never met any. The soldiers, spies, academics, and diplomats I have interviewed are unanimous in saying that 'They hate us for who we are' is dangerous claptrap. Dangerous because it is so lazily self-justifying and self-deluding: the only thing we could possibly be doing wrong is being so excellent. Claptrap because it reflects so little knowledge of how Islamic extremism has evolved."

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