Democratic Underground

Is the Dalai Lama a Terrorist Now?
October 23, 2001
by Ted Westervelt

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The race is on, Mr. President. You have arrived on the international stage for the first time, and you need something in your worldwide "war on terrorism" - help.

How many people will you allow to be lumped under the definition of "terrorist" to get it?

The problem is, Mr. President, that "terrorist" is a very subjective word. The Reuters news service has come under heavy fire from the right wing for removing the word "terrorist" from their dictionary, referring to it is a "loaded term". The world is beginning to see why.

Conservative regimes around the world are all to eager to join in your fight, provided they can reap the benefits, of course. One main benefit is to get the US to lend some kind of credence to their very own "terrorist problems".

As you know, Mr. President, The USA has consistently been a dogged supporter of democracy and human rights worldwide. Our opinions on these things, as we are the most powerful country in the history of the planet, have really mattered. While we may not have been able to solve many of these problems, sir, even in the worst of times under the most conservative leaders the USA has definitely acted as a control rod of sorts in the nuclear reactor of worldwide politics. It is fair to say that we have at least kept mass violations of human rights in check with our continued vigilance.

Are you prepared to start looking the other way now?

The reality of the situation dictates that you need cover for your own actions in the middle east. Everything must be done to obtain the broadest array of support in order that they be deemed non-religious in principle, to avoid being cast as another murderous Christian crusader bent on keeping the Moslem world from controlling sites important to the psyche of the Western world.

Building this coalition, however, will be difficult, especially as you spent the first 20% of your Presidency withdrawing from the world in an isolationist frenzy on environmental, racial, and arms control conferences and treaties. But your coalition building skills are legendary......

Hey, remember the blind eye you turned on your friends in the energy industry during the price spikes and blackouts that plagued the early months of your Presidency? Well, you could take a similar approach on the international scene. China, the UK, India, Russia, Israel - all have already given strong (and sometimes surprisingly strong) support to your new war.

Conservatives in all of these countries would be very gracious if, in some small way, you could just cut them some slack with their "terrorists". You don't have to openly support their own wars on "terrorists". You could just not take their human rights violations so seriously. Do what you can to shield them form the pro-democracy pro human rights radicals that plague our country.

No doubt, you can empathize. Pro-democracy and pro voting rights activists almost cost you your job in Florida. I assure you, people in search of self determination can be a dangerous and potent force in other places too.

There is one question, though:

You may had the authority to christen your ranch in Crawford the "Western White House" - but do you have the authority to sell the American soul for your "war on terror?"