Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I take exception Jacob.

First, I’d like to focus on the lead-in to your exploration of the unknowns:

But any honest appraisal has to recognize that President Bush has indeed played a role in keeping the United States free from another attack. To say this is not to say that his policy choices have been wise or that they have truly made America safer over the long term, but simply that our avoidance of domestic terrorism over the past five years is not entirely coincidental.
I read this to say that an honest appraisal of our avoidance of domestic terrorism over the past 5 years is not entirely coincidental, therefore the lack of coincidence can be attributed to a laundry list of Bush policies. My first quibble would be that you present Bush’s actions in response to 9/11 as if he had much of a choice in the matter. He didn’t. As the President of the United States he was obliged to take obvious precautions and offensive actions. Those include going after al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and certainly there’s plenty of room for criticism of Bush’s handling of that particular action. And of course increased law enforcement efforts to hamper and defend against the logistical and personnel requirements of the enemy. But again, Bush’s go it alone attitude leaves much to be desired in what is ideally a cooperative effort.

It is, however, debatable whether a different president would have felt so insecure as to immediately infringe on civil liberties, which is putting it less politely than Jacob who speculates that Bush may very well have been integral in stopping another domestic attack thanks to his ordering the wholesale roundup, prosecution and deportation of anyone resembling an Arab.

Lastly, and as far as I’m concerned, unforgivably, Jacob actually credits the war in Iraq with preventing domestic terrorism. Mind you, he loads up his case for this with caveat after caveat, but the end result is the same. According to Jacob, had Bush not taken us to Iraq, the chances are higher that we would have experienced a domestic terrorist attack. I’ll just attribute that rank speculation and post hoc justification to Jacob’s shame at originally supporting Bush’s push to enter Iraq.

That’s it. Five years of the war on terror and all Jacob can come up with are 4 possible guesses at why we’ve not suffered another domestic attack which also just so happen to credit Bush. All of them either a stretch or a no-brainer (read: something any President would have done). But in entertaining gross speculation, Jacob neglects to give all plausible, if unknowable, guesses equal time. I mean, if we’re going to entertain flights of fancy, why stop at just those that credit Bush?

I’ll ask the question again. What accounts for the fact that al-Qaida hasn’t attacked US soil since 9/11?

I have to be honest. My first response to that question is not to look at our (Bush’s) efforts at foiling al-Qaida. My first response is to make one simple observation. Why, if you were al-Qaida, would you want to help dethrone Bush with a second attack on US soil, when Bush’s utter incompetence is the best thing to ever happen to your organization?

Why are we bound and determined to underestimate the enemy here? Why is it somehow beyond the realm to speculate that the reason al-Qaida hasn’t unleashed their next attack on US soil is it’s in their best interests to save such an attack for a time when the American public elects a leader who knows how to win hearts and minds? Now there is a President al-Qaida will recognize as a threat. Bush, on the other hand, is their greatest ally, a gift from Allah himself.

So sure, I guess Bush does get credit after all. He is the reason al-Qaida is more than happy to let us dig our own hole. Things are looking up for al-Qaida, and they’re not going to rock the boat. *

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