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By Brad Friedman on 3/23/2004 4:24pm PT  

Never one to shy away from tooting my own horn, regretfully or otherwise, I came across this item this morning about a crop of babies born in Gaza today, named after the Hamas Leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated yesterday by Israel.

On September 14th, 2001, I wrote a "Speech to the Nation�were I President" to no one in particular that I shared only with my family and a friend or two at the time (the family, by the way, was quite critical of it).

Reading the news item above, I recalled the following paragraph from that "speech":

We must avoid the easy, and well-justified, temptation to avenge. To create more hostility, and, as Nobel Peace Laureate Nelson Mandela so wisely said, �to avoid any course of action that will be as unpopular as the terrorists� in the eyes of the world. For if we fail to do so, certain death and destruction will inevitably be borne from it. Borne by rash and imprudent action. Both by us, and by those that wish to destroy us. For every Usama bin Laden that we destroy, a thousand will be born in his place.

I've heard Bush and Israeli Officials over the last 24 hours describe Yassin as "Israel's Bin Laden". And today, we seem to - quite literally - have quite a few more "Yassins" born in his place.

Something to ponder as we continue down the short-sighted, narrow-minded, fear-based, vengeful, seek-and-destroy strategy currently employed as our own "War on Terror". I have no reason to believe that this strategy will work any better for us than it has for Israel.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2004 2:56pm PT  

Rummy Busted on Live TV!...Youch...Great piece of tape posted today by MoveOn.org. Check it out. Somehow, I guess the Administration hasn't yet heeded the warnings of my "Lessons from Madrid" article yet. Oh, well.

ReddIt this story!



The Real Lessons...not the Spin
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2004 1:48pm PT  

After pondering and reading and pondering some more...It seems there is a real lesson to learn from the horror of Madrid. The knee-jerk one, of course, is that Terrorism works. At least that's the one that al-Qaeda will take away, and the one that ought to terrify everyone. But that's a lesson al-Qaeda already knows, in no small part, from the capitulation to Bin Laden demands that has already quietly occured when Bush pulled our troops out of Saudi Arabia. Just as Osama requested on 9/12.

The real lesson is one for the Bush Administration. Though it may contain a bit more nuance than the true DittoHead believers are capable of understanding as I mentioned yesterday. They certainly won't have this nuance explained to them by Lord and Savior Rush.

The lesson that the Bush Administration may or may not begin to understand is that the Conservatives in Spain were ousted by the people not for their stand on Iraq or their complicity with the Bush Administration, but because - in the face of the bombings and the impending elections - they lied to the electorate and expected the people to be dumb enough to fall for it.

The Spanish people are well aware of the type of attacks to expect from ETA (the Basque Terrorists that they have been dealing with for years), and they were smart enough to immediately recognize that the Train Bombings were most definitely not the work of ETA, but the work of al-Qaeda.

None the less, the Conservative Aznar government insisted on trying to sell the idea to the people that it was the work of ETA - a long-time opponent of the Aznar government.

The people knew better. The people didn't appreciate being lied to for political purposes. And so the people removed the Aznar government.

It is that lesson which ought to be sending a chill through the Karl Rove Bunch right about now. But they've proven themselves willing to put their head in the sand before, so only time will tell if they will finally get it, or if they will continue on their current trajectory towards defeat this November by trying - as Aznar did - to obfuscate what the People are able to see quite clearly.

See the fascinating broken English letter to Tom Tomorrow from a Spanish voter for one inside account of what happened there last week.

On the homefront then, Bush needs to put the lesson learned into action immediately if he wants a chance of hanging onto Power this November (and we all know they want nothing more desperately than that).

They best heed the warnings coming from inside their very own base and come clean about their various and numerous failures in their mismanaged "War on Terror".

As the excellent David Corn pointed out, the "Washington Post quoted a Senior CIA official last week as stating that thanks to the war in Iraq, the CIA 'is stretched beyond their limits.'"

He goes on to point to more failures and misdirections currently being obfuscated by this Administration:

It's not just the usual anti-war types who have argued that Bush undermined the war on terror with his war in Iraq. In December, the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College published a report that harshly called the war on Iraq �an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred Iraq that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al Qaeda. The war against Iraq was not integral to the [global war on terrorism], but rather a detour from it.�

A few weeks ago, James Webb, secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, made the same point more brutally: �Bush arguably has committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory. To put it bluntly, he attacked the wrong target. While he boasts of removing Saddam Hussein from power, he did far more than that. He decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the United States and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that never has known peace. Our military is being forced to trade away its maneuverability in the wider war against terrorism while being placed on the defensive in a single country that never will fully accept its presence.� Webb added, �The reckless course that Bush and his advisers have set will affect the economic and military energy of our nation for decades. It is only the tactical competence of our military that, to this point, has protected him from the harsh judgment that he deserves.�

We know that Bush doesn't much listen to the common folk (or bother reading their Newspapers), but if they wish to stop the hemorrhaging of their own base, not to mention the all-import "middle", they may want to start coming clean on the only issue on which the American people are still barely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They need to begin telling the truth about their failures in the "War on Terror" and stop under-estimating the ability of the Electorate to smell a rat and turn insulted enough to hold them accountable for it at the next Election.

Otherwise, they risk missing the real lesson to be learned from Spain last week. I have no idea whether this bunch will "get it" or not. It would certainly be much better for the country if they did.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2004 1:23pm PT  

Good news! As a followup to my recent article on the Done Deal that is Gay Marriage, and in light of the many impassioned comments that article has engendered, I've learned a couple of things.

I've come to realize, of late, that I've been too hasty in overlooking the self-proclaimed accomplishments of our "President". As you know, he and his minions have been highlighting his undeniable successes in the "War on Terror".

The facts, they suggest, speak for themselves: There's not been a single terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Not one!

Putting aside the Anthrax Attacks for the moment - as they do - I believe it's only fair of me to acknowledge what a success Dubya has been on this count! There's not been a single attack! His strategy is clearly working!

In light of that success, and logic, I've also now come to realize another thing. Gay Marriage in America is an equally undeniable success! In fact, Gay Marriage may have single-handedly brought the Sanctity back to the Institution of Marriage in this country!

The facts speak for themselves: There has not been one single Gay Married Couple in this country, since Gay Marriage began, to file for a Divorce! Not one! Ever!

Gay Marriage has a 100% success rate! Clearly, by Dubya's own logic, this accomplishment is undebatable! It does, however, disturbingly highlight the Crisis we're now facing in regards to Heterosexual Marriage in America, which has a Divorce Rate of more than 50%.

I'm seriously concerned that Heterosexuals are making a mockery of the Sacred Institution of Marriage, and in light of this crisis, I and am calling for an immediate Constitutional Amendment banning Heterosexual Marriage in America. This step is a necessary one if we are to preserve the Sanctity of Marriage in this country. I'm sorry to say, it's the only thing we can do, at this time, in light of the disturbing statistics that are now ravaging many of the great cities in our land.

Please join me in this effort. May God bless you, and may God bless America.

ReddIt this story!



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