Friday, May 24, 2002

Israel == US?

OK, I'll take just one hit off the pipe before I get some paying work done. Joshua Marshall has devoted a lot of space to the Intelligence-Gate scandal, bringing up a lot of good points and some stuff I didn't know, e.g. that the Bush administration had scaled back anti-terrorism from the levels of the late Clinton administration, at least until 9/11. A good point was that, given that so much intelligence related to the attacks was floating around ahead of time but not tied together, was it really necessary to pass the Patriot Act so more intelligence could be gathered? It doesn't appear that due process and other civil rights were what kept us from preventing the 9/11 attacks.

But what caught my attention was his mention of FBI Director Mueller's claim that suicide bombers are inevitable in the US. I've been reading this claim, and recall (but don't have a link) that an Israeli police bigshot was in the US a few weeks ago saying the same thing.

It's not to say this couldn't possibly happen, but, I strongly doubt it would happen at the level it's happening in Palestine. I think hyping this threat is just another way some people are trying to equate Israel's war on Palestine to the American-Afghanistan War.

So both situations involve terrorist attacks by mostly Arab, mostly Muslim people. But Israel has millions of these folks right next door, so recruiting suicide bombers and sending them into Israel is far easier than doing the same to the US. Yes, there are plenty of Muslims in the US, and some probably think suicide attacks against the US is a fine thing. But. Those US-based Muslims aren't having their land settled by people who openly talk about sweeping them into the sea (yes, I know it goes both ways in Palestine), nor are they haveing their homes bulldozed. Even the anti-West Muslims in the US are most likely comfortable enough that they're happy to let other people sacrifice themselves for the Cause. They simply can't supply the steady stream of suicide-ready people that Palestine can. And importing them from Palestine or other places is difficult. Palestinian suicide bombers are heavily "indoctrinated" right up to the attack; harder to do in the US, even if they succeed in getting them into the country.

A major reason for considering them to be tied is because al-Qaeda claims the Palestinian cause as being part of what they're fighting for. But it's all spin. The Palestinians want the Israelis out of their land, with differing definitions of what constitutes "their land". The fundies want old-fashioned Islamic unity and supremacy. Bin Laden doesn't give a fork about the Palestinians, except as propaganda to get people worked up about the Evil West. I doubt the Palestinians are all that fired up about bringing back fundamentalist Islamic values.

If we should learn anything from previous American experiences in the Middle East (*cough* Lebannon), we should learn that local allies don't hesitate to manipulate you to their own advantage. The Minions of Evil want nothing more than to divide the world into a simple, black and white worldview of Islam vs. the West. That's what bin Laden and the Wahibbists have always been after. The Bush administration very shrewdly avoided getting sucked into that trap with the War in Afghanistan, but the Israeli leadership is more than happy to lead us right back in. Let's look sharp and think for ourselves.

Blogging considered harmful

Sorry I haven't posted this week. A big project has come up which is keeping me away from the computer; life as a freelance dilettante can get hectic at times. Also, blogging, especially keeping up with current stories in the news and other blogs, is very addictive and time consuming. Maybe I should take up smoking crack instead.