Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

Musing on the Devil

Due to a technical problem at work, I've a bit of downtime right now and I find myself thinking a bit about Osama bin Laden. Some people claim that he's just a bogeyman the government uses to frighten us with but that's not true. I remember 9/11 and in bin Laden's last speech, he admitted his involvement. The man is a murderer. A butcher. He is quite willing to see innocents die to further his cause. He should be captured and brought before a court to be tried for his crimes.

I pretty much have the same view of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. These are evil men who are willing to see innocent people die to further their cause. Few people, however, self-identify as evil. I doubt that any of these men are particularly gleeful when a janitor in a building is crushed under the rubble. In their zealotry, though, they feel this is necessary. But what are their arguments? Bush and his handlers have repeatedly said "weapons of mass destruction", though there was no serious evidence of them before our attack. They described Saddam and bin Laden as working together, but anyone who's familiar with bin Laden's hatred of both corruption and secular governments in the Middle East knows this is laughable. He loathed Saddam. Bush talks about Saddam being a "bad man", but even today, there are plenty of horrifying dictators and butchers that we strongly support. Finally, Bush falls back on simplistic attacks worthy of playground taunts: "terrorists hate freedom."

Do they? bin Laden, in his last speech, raised an interesting question. If they hate freedom so much, why didn't they attack Sweden? I find it gut-wrenchingly painful that the most intelligent questions about world politics are being raised by a mass murderer. Why don't they attack Sweden? Why don't they attack Denmark? They're easier targets and would generate a lot of publicity. What the hell do these terrorists want?

What they want is what the people in the Middle East have been wanting for a long time: for the rest of the world to stop meddling in their affairs. Palestinians are tired of seeing their children shot with bullets we've paid for. Iraqis know we "liberated" them from the man we supported. Iranians were so fed up with the man we put in power that they overthrew him.

bin Laden and others are not focusing a lot of energy on freedom-loving nations such as Sweden because Sweden isn't trying to kill them. Lockerbie, bombed discotheques in Germany and 9/11 are reactions. But we're the good guys, right?

Frankly, I don't know what we can do now. The chickenhawks in the White House don't give a damn. They are doing God's work, but that god is Loki. They are nice and secure in their mansions and lament over their Chianti at how little we "little people" know. But in a way, they also have no way out. If we were to end our support of Israel, I suspect disaster would follow. Pull out of Iraq? I think we'd be facing an Iranian-Iraqi alliance. Ironically, I suspect our violence is stabilizing the region. Is there some way we can serious de-escalate the situation? Not with our current leadership. Of course, I see no one in America's political future with the ability to change this situation. In fact, there's nothing in our country which can allow such a change to transpire without a serious shift in attitude of the US public. And that, my friends, is why 9/11 happened. There are plenty of political groups the world over who've found that talking to brick walls is less effective than knocking them down.

Want to end terrorism? Stop killing them. Put pressure on Israel. Let Israel know they'll no longer get a free pass in the UN Security Council. Iraq? Get rid of Halliburton. Start by hiring as many local contractors as you can. They're less likely to blow up something they built themselves. Iran? Start talking with them instead of at them. It's tough for us to tell them to give up their nuclear program when we're unwilling to give up ours.

And while we're at it, let's support faith-based missile defense systems.
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