November 16, 2002

The War on Terror Lost

The emergence of a tape that is purported to be Osama Bin Laden more threatening than ever prompted Senator Tom Daschle to ask the question, "whether or not we are winning the war on terror." (See The New York Times.)

When you declare war on a thing, not a human entity, as Bush has, it makes it nice and simple for his purposes. And Bush's primary purpose is war. If you have a vaguely defined enemy, you can adapt it to whatever your current objectives of conquest and plunder are.

Bush likes things simple. You're either for us or ag'in' us. So his "war on terror" must be judged by the same simple standards. If it's a war on terror, it's logical to assume we win when terror diminishes. This is clearly not the case. In the first place Osama bin Laden, the very face of evil and terrorism according to the Bushies, has apparently survived fully intact. And we can only assume that the international rage against the U.S. has built to higher and higher levels as a result of the Bush administration's bullying, bombing and disregard for other nations and peoples of the world. Now even more than before we can be sure that Bin Laden's voice has the power to stir untold millions into individual action against Americans. And these millions are now more than ever willing to give their lives for the cause.

As a result, no, we are not winning the war on terror. The Bush strategy is only making things worse. The aggression of the U.S. government is making it a much more perilous world, especially for Americans.

To assume that Bush is sincere when he talks about wanting to reduce terror is to be sadly misled from the start. It is clear that the objective of the war in Afghanistan and of the upcoming war against Iraq is to gain control of Middle Eastern oil reserves, not about anything so high-flown and noble-sounding as eliminating terror. George Bush, who celebrated "hitting the Trifecta" of calamities for months, is the greatest beneficiary of terror by his own admission. He would be the last person to want to see it eliminated.

Without terrorism, Bush would be out of a job. People would turn their attention back to what they normally consider the duties of a president and see that Bush has done a pathetic job.

So now the propaganda machine is recycling the Bin Laden pictures and stirring up fear, because that is the basis of their success and their power. The FBI sent out warnings of plans for "a spectacular attack" and at the same time Condoleezza Rice said there is "no new information." What then is the new round of warnings based on? Is it just a schedule of orchestrated panic?

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