Democratic Underground

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 training ground.

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 of?

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 extra week.

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 States.

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?

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