Democratic Underground  

The War is Over
February 2, 2002
by coyotefish

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 is—well, I'll get to him in a moment. To begin, allow me to pass along a definition:

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 against disease>

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 from Al-Qaeda.

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 real intelligence.

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 other terrorists?

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 at home.

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 days.

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

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article
Democratic Underground Homepage