|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Monday, August 14th, 2006
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
Of abandoned character; lost to all sense of religious or moral obligation; unprincipled – Oxford Universal Dictionary, 1955
The Israeli war with Hezbollah did not go well. The Israelis, loathe to bomb Lebanon all the way back to the stone age, plumped for the pre-industrial era instead, which they achieved by taking out most bridges, apartment buildings and electrical plants. This may not have been enough. As reported in today’s New York Times, Israeli ground forces were in the awkward position of being pinned down by Hezbollah fire in villages they’d already reduced to rubble.* Meanwhile, a rain of Hezbollah rockets for weeks on end drove millions of Israelis into bomb shelters.
The Hezbollah leadership has proudly declared victory. Millions of their deceased, maimed, displaced, and dispossessed countrymen may be wondering just what has been won. But for an organization that boasts of its eagerness to sacrifice ten of its own, or rather ten of its own neighbors, for every Israeli casualty, possibly the mere fact of making the declaration is victory enough.
The Israeli fighting forces are the usual winners in these regional dust-ups, so what went wrong this time? Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker has the answer.** The Bush administration, Hersh reports, was heavily involved in planning the Israeli campaign. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other administration officials, put their Iraq expertise at the disposal of the Israelis, thereby creating what Oliver Hardy would have described to Stan Laurel as “another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”
Mr. Cheney and his Republican friends have been suggesting that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for a terrorist final victory. Defeatocrats, the GOPsters are punning. A Republican vote, by contrast, is a vote for victory for our side. But the administration’s record in the struggle suggests not, and this latest exercise in futile carnage is merely one in a series. Through indifference, ignorance, and imbecility, when it comes to losing battles to terrorists, the GOP has a perfect record.
Recall that in the days before 9/11, National Security Advisor Rice was preoccupied with a Chinese missile attack. Attorney General Ashcroft was fascinated by pornography, going so far as to drape the DOJ’s bare-chested statues with chaste blue cloth. Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld were already plotting an invasion of Iraq. Of all departments of government, George Tenet’s CIA was most concerned about Al Qaeda, even if Tenet’s men forgot to share their concerns with the FBI, the only agency in a position to prevent the looming massacre. Tenet, recall further, was a Clinton appointee.
But it was Mr. Bush who best expressed the administration’s posture on terrorism, in August of 2001. Told about the threat posed by Bin Ladin just days before it materialized, Mr. Bush, according to Ron Suskind’s excellent One Percent Doctrine, told his CIA briefer “OK, now you’ve covered your ass.” Terrorists 1, Republicans 0.
After the fact, we arrested thousands and spied on millions of our fellow citizens, with no resulting charges against anyone. Terrorists 2, Republicans 0.
We cleared the Taliban out of Kabul and drove Al Qaeda into the hinterlands, but failed to press home our advantage, allowing Bin Ladin and his followers to escape capture. Now the Taliban is regrouping, Al Qaeda still functions, and Afghanistan remains a dangerous source of both terrorists, and heroin. 3 – 0.
Iraq is now both the principal training and breeding ground for terrorists -- but only after we invaded and touched off a civil war. 4 – 0.
Guantanamo. Abu Ghraib. Iran. Pakistani and Indian nukes. The still at large anthrax mailer. The 9/11 Commission flunks the administration on implementing its recommendations to secure the nation. Keeping score? That’s terrorists 10, Republicans 0.
In youth baseball leagues, a mercy rule ends the game when one team leads another by ten runs. In the Bush league, going down ten nil and taking the rest of the country with you is called strength of character and steadfastness of purpose. Welcome to the Reprobatelican party.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2006
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