War is Over
Let me be the first to say it. The War is over. Al-Qaeda
has been routed, its network either dismantled or so fragmented
as to be useless, and Osama bin Ladin iswell, I'll
get to him in a moment. To begin, allow me to pass along a
War: 1 a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed
hostile conflict between states or nations (2) : a period
of such armed conflict 2 a : a state of hostility, conflict,
or antagonism b : a struggle or competition between opposing
forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war
Definition 1 is not applicable to our war. Definition 2b
is more succinct and to the point for our purposes
On September 11, 2001, members of Al-Qaeda attacked the United
States of America. This attack killed roughly 3000 citizens
and destroyed the World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon,
and three aircraft. It was unprecedented and heart wrenching.
There is no American who did not feel the horror and the following
unity as a nation.
Within a month, forces of the United States and her allies
began attacking Al-Qaeda's refuge in Afghanistan. This
response was swift and, I believe, justified. I hold no opposition
to this response to the attack.
Now, 5 months later, the Taleban government that harbored
Al-Qaeda has fallen and Al-Qaeda itself has been destroyed.
I say, mission accomplished!
Is this possible?
Original threat assessments from the CIA and other intelligence
sources placed Al-Qaedas membership from several hundred to
several thousand. Despite George Bush's fear mongering
picture of "thousands of ticking time bombs",
this just isn't so. Yes, there are terrorist cells.
Yes, there is a threat. But it doesn't appear to be
They have no base of operations. Most of their funds have
been frozen. Many of their surviving cells were rounded up.
Those who survive seem to have fled back to their homes. After
Afghanistan, I can imagine there are few who see further attacks
as productive. Quite simply put, with the slimmest of evidence,
America would simply come in and dismantle their countries.
It might take a bit longer, but it would happen.
When I saw the contents of the maps and secret codebooks
taken from Al-Qaeda safe houses, I had to laugh. They were
pathetic. I thought of the secret codebooks and maps we made
as children. I thought of how these men had never commanded
battalions, or planes or divisions of men. They had never
plotted strategy with tanks or diplomats. They plotted as
children plot, without true understanding of the consequences.
See how quickly they fell?
And Osama bin Ladin? No less an intelligence insider than
Oliver North believes him to be dead. If he isn't dead,
he is either a stateless refugee or hiding in Saudi Arabia.
If alive, the manhunt is still on, and he has a price on his
head that will make it very hard for him to surface.
The enemy who attacked us on September 11 has been defeated.
The War is over. The giant awoke and slew his foes.
Does this mean that there will never be another attack on
the United States? No. Does it mean that we should return
to the slumber of September 10th? No.
Does it mean that groups of men and women will never again
find ways to inflict damage upon us? No. Such groups have
always existed. They will always exist where the fertile grounds
of poverty and ignorance breed disaffection and hatred. They
will always exist where oppression and powerlessness breed
resistance and action.
We are awake. We are alert. But we are not clear-eyed and
clear-souled, for even though the enemy has been defeated,
our fear still clouds our eyes and spirits. Shaken by an event
we thought could never happen here, we are as twitchy and
fearful as a child that has been beaten. What enemy lurks
now that Al-Qaeda is defeated?
In its place, we now have the shadows of faceless unknown
terrorists. We have the vague threats delivered by our leaders
of more attacks, more evil, and more evil. Every insurgency
movement is being painted with the terrorist brush. The specter
of "thousands of ticking time bombs" is invoked
at the State of the Union like the calling in of some demon.
No specifics. No credible threat that can be backed up with
Almost all the terrorist attacks against America in the past
decade came from this one organization. If there were others,
do you not think they would have acted? Where are all these
In our shock and vulnerability, our fears are being fed deliberately
with another war in mind: The war to keep the administration
popular and in power. The war to keep our minds off the administration
while they loot Social Security and transfer our tax dollars
into the pockets of the plutocracy. The war to keep us distracted
while they consolidate their hold on power. The war to keep
us quiet while our civil rights are taken away. The war to
keep us from real reform of a corrupt system where money buys
access and those without money are not heard. The war to funnel
billions of dollars into companies owned and operated by members
and friends of this administration.
The indefinite war. The war without end. The war that will
have American men and women coming home in body bags to keep
George Bush in power.
The war for America. The war of terror being fought here
On one side is an America that stands for human dignity,
the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, limits
on the power of the corporations, a clean and thriving environment,
a healthy and informed citizenry, respect for women, free
speech, equal justice and religious tolerance.
On the other is George Bush's true vision of America:
the indignity of poverty and oppression, no free speech except
where no one can hear you, the rule of money, no limits on
the power of the corporations, the state as a tool of the
corporations, justice for those with money, religious tolerance
only for the state religion and finally, the rule by fear
and the state-controlled media. America stinks of fear these
This war has been waged from the very moment this administration
took power. It is a war on the American people. Its axis runs
from the boardrooms of corporate power to the Oval Office.
This is a real alliance. (Just follow the money.) This axis
cares nothing for people, only profits and power.
This war is not over