Friday, October 10, 2008

Domestic Terror

When President George Bush launched his War on Terrorism, as a response to the 9/11 attacks, most Americans not only went along with it, they applauded. Since most Americans wanted to see the perpetrators and their backers identified and punished, going after them aggressively seemed to be the obvious thing to do, no matter what the operation was called.

Still, while not questioning the need to respond forcefully to the attacks, some of us criticized the president’s choice of words, saying things like, “War on terrorism? You can’t declare war on a tactic.”

Given the collective American mood, as bodies were being pulled out of smoking rubble and weaponized anthrax was being found in the mail, it’s easy to understand why most folks couldn’t have cared less about a nitpicking complaint over wording.

However, a year-and-a-half later, when the USA invaded Iraq under the War on Terror’s banner, it was a bogus operation. And, five years later, looking back on it, it’s obvious that more people should have not only questioned the pickled “intelligence” that justified the invasion, they should have asked a lot more questions.

The first question in March of 2003 should have been: “What the hell is a war on terror, anyway?

After all, the American revolutionaries were seen as terrorists by their British overlords. During World War II the Nazis saw the saboteurs of resistance movements in occupied countries as terrorists.

Following WWII, in 1946, Menachem Begin headed up the covert operation that blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. That bombing killed 91 people. Then, as prime minister of Israel, for signing a peace treaty with Egypt, Begin won the Nobel peace prize for 1978.

When Gov. Sarah Palin talks about the “domestic terrorist” -- Professor William “Bill” Ayers -- a man whose crimes were committed when she and Sen. Barack Obama were in grade school, she is cherry picking in a huge reach to tar the front-running Obama.

How worried is Palin about various cultural conservatives, heroes to the shameless, who have been associated with/given aid and comfort to doctor assassins and abortion clinic bombers? Segregationist bombers of churches?

This year, you don’t hear Palin or any other Republicans calling such twisted-religion crimes "domestic terrorism," do you?

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