Posted by: Steve Coplan | August 31, 2006

Appeasers

At some point, I start to wonder whether the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal believes its own drivel or is a)delusional, b) overweaned on arrogance or c) lost in a echochamber. The reason why the Bush administration faces criticism is because its policies and strategies have proven to be a failure, unless measured in the narrow terms that there have been no significant attacks on US soil since 9/11, not because critics are all a bunch of Neville Chamberlains who think Islamic fundamentalism is generally a benign development. But comparing the relative incidence of terror attacks reminds me of how people initially reacted to crime like house breakins and burglary in Johannesburg . The strategy involved creating a greater deterrent so that criminals would move on to look elsewhere (like the next-door neighbor, for instance). First it was high walls and gates, then sophisticated alarm systems including tripwires, then the creation of private security companies with armed guards and then creating manned access points in and out of streets in good neighborhoods. The appropriate course of action would be to address the root cause of crime, since the risk has not been significantly been reduced and the end result is building a fortress.

If anything, the Bush administration policies have contributed to the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, not stemmed it. Unless, of course, demonstrations in Baghdad and Cairo in support of Hizbullah and Hamas’ electoral success can be considered evidence that Islamic fundamentalism is declining in popular appeal. Oh , and if Osama Bin Laden is a threat on the same scale as Hitler (even making the comparison is perversely misleading), why has the US not captured him?

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