Posted by Brad @ 2:22 pm on May 27th 2007

The War On Non-Terror

Andrew Sullivan, ever since it first (and finally) entered his head that maybe Bush wasn’t the anti-terrorism statesman he imagined he might be, has been consistently and mercilessly ratcheting up the rhetoric in the Case Against Bush. This afternoon, he posts a new entry titled “Al Queda’s Enabler“.

It’s a sobering read, in part because the case that George W. Bush has arguably been the most powerful pro-Al Queda force in the world short of Bin Laden himself is one that, despite the slap-you-in-the-face nature of it, practically makes itself.

Lots of money quotes to pick from. Here’s just one:

What can one say? Well: we can say this at least. The president is right that al Qaeda remains a terrible threat to Americans. He is right to insist on this. But one core reason he is right is because he has been in the White House for the last six years. Al Qaeda surely never had a more helpful man in such a powerful place. After over six years of this presidency, Bin Laden is still at large. Five and a half years after Bin Laden’s religious tools murdered 3,000 innocents, this president still cannot find or capture or kill him. Five and a half years after that dreadful day, al Qaeda’s reach in the Middle East is more extensive than ever, centered in Iraq, where it was barely existent before the war. Over four years after invading Iraq, the security situation there is as grave as it has ever been. Tens of thousands of innocents have been added to the three thousand murdered on 9/11 – many of them unspeakably tortured and murdered by death squads or Islamist cells empowered by Bush’s jaw-dropping negligence. Over three thousand young Americans have died in order to give al Qaeda this victory and this new platform.

Sully goes on to lay down track after track on this point, which is at the core of really nearly everything facing America today.

Look, George W. Bush is, I believe, a good man. But the direction in which he’s moved things hasn’t been a response to terror so much as playing into the narrative of terror, nearly by the book. 9-11, in itself, didn’t change America. The event didn’t make America less safe, by itself. 9-11 was, if anything, the critical piece of evidence that America was not safe, already. It has been the RESPONSE to 9-11 that has made us less safe. Let’s be clear on this. IT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE To 9-11 THAT HAS MADE US LESS SAFE. Right up to the point of Iraq, we were doing alright. Al Queda was pretty well on the ropes, the rest of the world was falling into place behind us, we had been forced aware of the grave threat that faces the world, and were taking more or less appropriate actions to try to neutralize it.

But from 2003 on, we have not just backslid, but practically wrote the book on how to do it wrong. The only piece of evidence in Bush’s favor has been that there hasn’t been an attack on US soil since 9-11. Of course, there has been in Britain, Spain, Indonesia, and various other sites, and of course we’ve willingly sacrificed 3000+ more lives as nothing if not sacrifices to appease the Terrorism Gods, of course Al Queda, which was all but disintegrated by 2003, is now stronger, more flush with cash and converts, than they were on Sept 10th, 2001, and of course either because of despite the lack of homeland attacks we’ve had to give up more in the way of fundamental freedoms than I think anybody at the outset had been prepared to, but most relevantly, we haven’t had an attack on the US homeland, I think, for a lot of reasons, but at least one significant one is because an attack on US homeland has been entirely unnecessary.

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