Rove Has Me Figured Alright
June 25, 2005
By Tom Rinaldo
I'm looking at my computer screen, which is opened up to Yahoo
News, and my eyes are bouncing between these two stories:
One is from the Associated Press with the headline, "Rove:
Dems Didn't Get 9/11 Consequences."
And the other is from Reuters with the headline, "CIA
says Iraq is now a terrorist training ground."
I mean, computers are smart in their own mindless way, but I don't
expect them to write political commentary. Yet through the magic
of juxtaposition, mine just did. This is too easy. Again. Rove:
Dems Didn't Get 9/11 Consequences. CIA: Iraq is now a terrorist
The Bush White House never was interested in C.I.A. reports anyway,
except when they needed to edit them like they did with the reports
on global warning. But it isn't just the headlines, it's the text
too. My computer keeps spitting out the commentary like a player
piano reeling off notes. For example, it served up this (quoting
Rove): "Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we
will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said
we must understand our enemies."
Yup, there is nothing quite like focusing on defeating an enemy
that you don't understand. And once you eliminate the tricky part
about needing to understand your enemy, there's no pesky learning
curve to slow you down. Just set your goal at, say, deposing Saddam,
send in your Army to depose him, and declare Mission Accomplished.
No need to plan for a post-invasion, just bring vases for the flowers
thrown at our feet.
See, Democrats just don't get how these action plans work. Democrats
insist on success plans which take the focus completely away from
action and instead puts it on, um, success. So, yeah, I get the
difference between Republicans and Democrats that Rove is trying
to make here.
Therefore it doesn't shock me that, quoting from Reuters, "the
CIA now believes the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat
and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s
Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda."
But this commentary wasn't through self expressing yet, not at
all. Reading on one discovers that Rove wasn't content just describing
past differences between Republicans and Democrats, he goes on to
drag Senator Dick Durbin into his story. Durbin of course is the
Democrat who compared some interrogation methods used at the Guantanamo
Bay prison camp with things he might associate with the Nazis and
other repressive regimes.
Quoting from Associated Press one last time: "He (that's Rove
referring to Durbin here) said the statements have been broadcast
throughout the Middle East, putting American troops in greater danger.
Durbin has since apologized for the remarks. 'No more needs to be
said about the motives of liberals,' Rove said."
Here's the thing though. Durbin was reacting to reports about
what went down at Gitmo that had already been broadcast all
over the world. So what are the odds, you figure, that those wild-eyed
jihadists who the C.I.A. describes in the Reuters article, were,
like, totally cool with this torture news until Durbin opened up
his big mouth about it? What are the odds that Durbin was going
to push them over any edge that they weren't already leaping off
I suppose you might say that Durbin's comments kept the story in
the news for an extra day. Of course you can also say that the Republican
reaction to Durbin's comments kept the story in the news for an
This is what I think. I think the kind of Muslims who are already
angry enough with Americans to blow themselves up with suicide bombs
didn't need Durbin's commentary to rile them up any further. I think
the news reports alone about the Guantanamo Bay prison camp were
enough. Not to mention the photos shown all around the globe of
American soldiers torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu
Ghraib. But then again I am one of those Democrats who thinks it
is important to actually understand our enemies.
In fact I think the Gitmo news reminded all the insurgents and
terrorists and potential terrorists of those very same Abu Ghraib
photos. Hell, I think the Gitmo news reminded Senator Durbin of
those Abu Ghraib photos. I know it reminded me of them. My
understanding of Arab pride and the Islamic world leads me to believe
that many people in the Middle East react very poorly to being tortured
and humiliated by Western occupiers. It makes them want to kill
us in general, and our soldiers specifically, putting American troops
in greater danger.
If I were a U.S. senator, that would bother me a lot. I'm not
a U.S. senator and it still bothers me a lot. As does the C.I.A.
report that says Iraq is now a terrorist training ground. And if
they are right, and I think they are, we have this to look forward
to: "Once the insurgency ends, Islamic militants are likely to disperse
as highly organized battle-hardened combatants capable of operating
throughout the Arab-speaking world and in other regions including
Europe." The Reuters article goes on at some length with more gloomy
details, including many concerning direct threats to the United
So much is explained between these two stories that my computer
screen so graciously compared for me; all the consequences of our
invasion of Iraq which, if I am to believe Karl Rove, was a direct
consequence of 9/11. Well this Dem admits that he still doesn't
fully get an Iraq invasion as a consequence of 9/11.
How on earth did we let this happen?