Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Plan of Attack by Bob WoodwardHave been engaging in a good email discussion with B regarding Larry Abraham's articles (see a prevous blog entry entitled "The clash of civilizations and the great Caliphate"). His comments:

> I read the Larry Abraham stuff you cited and, while I found the thesis
> to be interesting, I have to say the guy's off the deep end. His focus
> on the Judeo-Christian/Western viewpoint greatly reduces the relevance
> for me. While I come from that tradition, one needs to remember that
> there are over 2+ billion people that just don't give a s**t. We only
> care and may be alarmed because we hold some religious views very dear.
> It is these same 2+ billion folks that will end up eating our economic
> lunch in the coming 20-30 years.
> What we in the US face is an inability to even start thinking and
> planning for energy independence. It's that simple. With that, 90% of
> this religious jihad bulls**t falls away. Combine that with a sane
> policy toward the middle-east and Larry's scenario fails to have any
> plausiblity...not that there is much there to begin with.
> Sure, I think his analysis might be indicative of the state of radical
> areas of Islam. Sure, there is history here that goes back a thousand
> years. Why do you think Bush's handlers reacted so strongly when he
> called the War in Iraq/Afghanistan a "Crusade"?
> However, Larry's so partisan with respect to his views of U.S.
> politics that it's clearly a cry from his political perspective.
> Further, he is allowing the jihadists to frame the situation. They want
> us to see it that way and to be very frightened about it. I may have
> bought Larry's thesis were it not for the crazy alarmism and the
> pot-shots at the non-GOP politicians involved. Any article that calls
> out "Liberals" or "Conservatives" loses credibility quickly with me.
> The problem with the US is that we live in a pseudo-representative
> oligarchy. Without fundamental change in our system, things will
> continue forward regardless of the stuffed suits that reside in offices
> in DC. Big money (esp. Oil) and special interests drive what's
> happening. We're at "War" because we have too many foreign
> entanglements based upon our need for energy. That won't change until
> those in power change. Invading another couple countries won't solve
> the problem (though I do agree that Pakistan would have been a better
> choice than Iraq). The scary thing for me is that there are people,
> like the bulk of the current administration, that think in black and
> white terms. They have no second thoughts about using words like
> "crusade", "evil-doers", or "new world order". I'm sorry, but reality
> isn't like that. I also have little respect for the academics that want
> to change facts based upon what the definition of "is" is. There must
> be some balance.
> What we need to do is attack the problem at it's source. If we
> weren't such gluttons for oil, the middle east and people like Bin Laden
> wouldn't have the $$ necessary to mess with us. You take out Osama or
> the heads of other terrorist groups and three more people will step up
> to take their place. Attack their captial pipeline and they become a
> nuisance rather than a threat. That pipeline should be attacked at the
> source. We are its largest source and hold within our power the ability
> to change.

My response was:

Good note. I don't disagree with a thing you've said. But the timeframe for
the type of fundamental changes you've described extends well beyond our
lifespans (IMO).

Reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Sure. Eradicate the influence that
special interests have on law-makers? Absolutely.

But if we started today, we're looking at 20+ years to implement just those two
keystone tenets. Let's start the education process today to show Americans that
really don't need to drive Hummers and Land Cruisers. But that's gonna take a

And, in the mean time, do we tolerate a potential nuclear or WMD threat to our
cities and our families? And what's to say that the religious fanatics would
stop their shenanigans even _if_ we reduced our dependence on their oil to zero?
My guess is they wouldn't stop for a second.

I don't put this in religious terms at all. I put this in terms of:

Capitalist sons-of-bitches vs. Insane, suicidal, murderous sons-of-bitches

I don't give a s**t what their religion is. I do know they want to kill
everyone that isn't like them. Who do _you_ want to win that battle?

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