Sunday, March 19, 2006

Short Term/Long Term

One of the favorite arguments of the right wing blogs and talk shows is that in the war on terror, we have two choices: here or there. Meaning another attack in the US or more attacks in Iraq. This is an inplicit assumption made, and sometimes even explicitly said by these various pundits.

And like all lies, it contains some truth. In this case, the truth it conains may be this: terrorists are attacking the US in Iraq, and may be a bit distracted. After all, they have limited resources. By putting these resources into Iraq, they are not putting them into attacks in the US.

That may be. It is impossible to know if it is the case or not. It is on this uncertainty that many in the political right base their support of the Iraq war. They ignore, however, the certainties. The certainties are the fact that if this is a solution at all, then it is a short term one. The US will pull out of Iraq, and when we do, the country will no longer be the sink for terrorism that the right theorizes it to be. Instead, it will be a source. Already we have seen terrorist attacks in Iraqi style outside Iraq borders. So this is not a hypothesis, an Iraqi source of terrorism is a new reality to the world.

That brings up the second certainy. The terrorists who are working Iraq are in training. They are learning their craft. And it is this problem which will haunt America in the long term.

It is famously said that in the long term we are all dead (Keynes I believe). But in American politics, that term lasts 4 to 8 years. If Bush can maintain the hypothetical sink in Iraq for that time, then he'll be long gone for the long term. Too bad this long term includes us.


Blogger marybishop said...

Your words are as sad as they are true...

Let's see, it's been three long years and how is this war working for us? Great...we must continue they tell me. Even though mission was accomplished years ago...or did I dream that whole scenario?

12:48 PM  
Blogger marie antoinette said...

I wish. No, the image of Bush in a flight suit is burnt into the backs of my retinas too, Mary.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

BTW, it was Keynes, thanks to google.

Three long years. Where will we be in another three? Probably in the same place - but things can always get worse.

Bush went on the news today to tout the good news. I've heard that before.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Peg Spencer said...

Is it terrorism over there, or civil war? Why is anyone surprised that there is conflict in a country that had such extreme and disparate groups even BEFORE we invaded and let up the pressure that dictatorship provided? What did we expect would happen?

As to "here or there", Bush and co love to try to get us to think that the 9-11 attack was done by Iraqis, and to believe that we had to invade Iraq to protect our own soil.

Baloney. We should all be totally offended that he thinks he can put that one over on us.

Except that, alas, it seems he can.

3:30 PM  
Blogger echrai said...

When all is said and done, Bush and admin. love the here and now because of what it does FOR THEM. It truly isn't about what's best for our country or that country over there, it's all about personal gains.... and the general public certainly aren't getting any of those, either.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Peg Spencer said...

Can you believe the way Bush is scrambling this week to try to drum up support for his Iraq invasion? The more he jabbers, the more foolish he looks. He's an idiot. I'm amazed he hasn't been impeached yet. Clinton suffered far more than he did for a simple sexual indiscretion (not that I'm condoning that behavior). Bush lied to an entire country, heck, a world, to get us into a country he wanted to invade from the beginning. Now he's violating American citizens' privacy in the name of national security. Why are we putting up with this crap?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Ern said...

Over here, over there, as long as we keep trying to fight this "war on terror" we are just motivating more and more zealots who are ready and willing to continue the terrorism. You can't fight that kind of thing with force.

9:00 AM  

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