BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
Murder Inc, and the New World Disorder
At first blush, one would think that the Republican Party is making much ado about nothing with their staged outrage over the decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his 9/11 conspirators in the U.S. Federal court. Considering the macho stance that they generally take against Al Qaeda, one would think they'd say "bring it on", and be anxious to drag the conspirators back to the scene of the crime to face the consequences of their horrific act. After all, being forced to answer for their crimes before the people of New York represents the epitome of poetic justice.
But all of a sudden these swaggering chicken hawks seem to be trembling in their boots at the mere thought of bringing these terrorists on American soil to face justice. That's quite a curious reaction from this group - not just that they're afraid, but that they'd be so freely willing to admit it. Ordinarily they'd die before they'd admit being afraid of terrorists. So something is definitely afoot. Something has to be terribly important to these conservatives for them to risk being seen as cowards - especially since there's actually nothing to fear. But as usual, whenever one is uncertain about Republican thinking, you simply follow the money.
These people aren't afraid that trying the 9/11 conspirators on American soil is going to place the United States in jeopardy. After all, if terrorists are going to attack us in retaliation for putting their cohorts on trial, it doesn't matter where the trial is held. Even if the trial is held at Gitmo, they're not going to attack Cuba, they're going to attack the United States. So what's the real deal?
The Republicans are actually concerned about perception. They want to prevent these terrorists from looking like the common criminals that they are at any cost. They're afraid that will cause the American people to wake up and recognize that we could save billions of dollars a year by letting law enforcement go after these people.
Thus, by insisting on a military tribunal, the Republican Party is protecting the perception that these people are military combatants. That will both protect the war industry, that continues to feed from America's trough to the tune of billions of dollars a year, and keep the American people from recognizing what a wild goose chase they had us on for seven years.
If Osama Bin Laden didn't exist they would have had to invent him in order to sustain America's most thriving industry - the war machine. The most clear evidence of that is the fact that if the Bush administration had continued its efforts in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11, they would have had Bin Laden by now. But instead, while on the very threshold of victory over the Taliban, they did an about face to engage in the much more lucrative Iraqi campaign - and to this day, they're still trying to find reasons to justify that action.
The fact is, they knew they couldn't justify the expenditures they were seeking by engaging a gang of criminals. They needed a government to fight to justify their greed. In addition, since the Bush administration was made up of oil men, Iraq's oil fields were irresistibly seductive. The fact is, as any thinking person should know by now, Bush wasn't engaged in a war on terror. His war was on the United States treasury. Bush even admitted at one point that,"I don't think about Osama - he is irrelevant." Oh, really? Then what is relevant?
With all of the treasure and manpower that we spent in Iraq, we could have surrounded Bin Laden, cut off his escape routes, and simply closed in on him. If Bush had done that Bin Laden would have been dead by now. It simply strains credulity to believe that the entire United States military can't run down and capture a group of thugs - especially since they knew where they were hiding. But Bush couldn't do that, because that would have destroyed the war machine's cash cow. They needed Bin Laden out there to scare the American people into giving up their rights, keeping Republicans in power, and emptying their piggy bank.
Thus, this so called "war on terror" has been a farce from the very beginning. Nations go to war against other nations, not criminals. By declaring war on individuals who don't like us, they're guaranteeing that we're going to be at war forever, since every time we kill an innocent "non-combatant," we create more enemies. But that's exactly what the Republicans and their war machine want. They have just as much of a vested interest in waging war as General Motors has in selling cars.
As one of his final acts of office President Eisenhower warned us about these people. He said, in part:
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
President Obama should take counsel from his Republican predecessor and bring this nonsense to an end. No one was more of an authority on the war machine than President Eisenhower. After all, as the commanding general of the allied effort during WWII, he created the war machine, and he had an intimate understanding of the thinking and character of the men who ran it. Thus, his warning to the American people.
Using the United States military to go after a few terrorists is like trying to swat flies with a sledge hammer. We're wasting both lives and treasure, and the carnage that we're leaving behind is creating more terrorists than we're killing. So President Obama should allow the CIA to go after the top people in Al Qaeda and simply cut off its head. We should then pull our troops out of Afghanistan, then deploy enough troops in Pakistan to assure the security of their nuclear arsenal.
Finally, and just as important as going after Al Qaeda, the president should remember his oath of office and allow the rule of law to take its course with regard to Bush, Cheney, and the rest of their cronies. Al Qaeda can only do peripheral damage to this nation, while Bush and Cheney have struck at the very pillars of America's soul.
We cannot protect America by sacrificing our values. If we allow that to happen, Bin Laden has won. So let us not allow the collapse of the twin towers to become a metaphor for the destruction of American ideals.