Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Terrorist in my Head.....

NOTE: Digressions are marked in BOLD, and there are video links at the bottom.

According to Bush, the terrorists hate us because we're good, wealthy, and free (mostly the "free"part)....does that make any sense? It's completely understandable that there is jealousy around the world about America's status economically (that's disregarding the fact that within America there is a very uneven distribution of wealth [see Paul Krugman's "America the Polarized" which states that between 1979 and 1999 the middle class incomes rose 9 percent, while the income of the top 1 percent rose 140 percent]). However, is there any reasoning that supports that the US was or ever has been attacked because of its freedom, wealth, or overall good nature? DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?

We're really showing those terrorists what freddom is, aren't we?

Could it, and this is just a hypothetical, could it possibly be because of some of the means that the US went about becoming wealthy? I don't mean this necessarily in an accusatory sense, because there's no doubt in my mind that any other country would (history backs me up) conduct itself well in regards to being the world power and using its power (Sweden may be an exception, though I'm sure they've got some skeletons in their closet. But, seriously, it seems like you have to mention Sweden as an exception when you're making international comparisons. They're flawless, and their trains are really comfortable...they're people are okay, too, I guess [that was a joke, meaning Swedish people are great, especially when they live on farms and speak French]).

Okay, so we've come to the conclusion that its a pile of crap to say that we've ever been attacked because of what makes us so darn great. So what does that say for someone if they think that a whole group of people is willing to kill others and themselves to fight against goodness, prosperity, and liberty? Well, it's racist. I know you're probably rolling your eyes, but to believe that there is something so innately different in another group of people that this particular group of people (the "A-rabs") hates freedom and prosperity, then that, mis amigos, is racism.

Now, why do they say they attacked us?

They (Osama, al-Qaida) gave three reasons: (1)the occupation of Saudi Arabia (listen to the Tim Lynn video, brings up some very interesting points about Saudi Arabia....and let's not forget that SA is the home of a little place Muslims like to call "Mecca," meaning, if you're worried about Islamic terrorism then you might want to be careful how you operate in the country where their holiest of sites is stop having tea with their corrupt dictators at, say, your ranch in Crawford, Texas!), (2) the embargo that killed millions of people (but, Saddam killed millions of people?! Say what you will, the embargoes made it considerably easier to starve his people. Embargoes and sanctions don't hurt dictators, they hurt the people. Dictators always make it clear that they don't care about their people, so why would you think they'd worry if their people are starving?) along with the constant bombing of an Arab nation,meaning Iraq (don't forget we were doing that throughout the 90s after the first Gulf War), and (3) America's part in the fight between Palestine and Israel which isn't exactly unbiased.

So we're basically doing really well in the War on Terror, right?

Of course, because we're America and we rock.

Speaking of how much we rock, I also want to mention a little something we like to call the Patriot Act.....(pause for effect)......the PATRIOT Act. This is a little peice of legislation (about the size of a phonebook) that is strongly defended by the present administration (coming from the party that is against "big government" which makes this so ironic) that essentially takes away many of the rights that were "inalienable" in the era in which the constitution was written, yet are now old-fashioned. In the 20th century, we don't need to worry about rights, those are dangerous, right? Back to the Bush argument about hating freedom: Mr. Bush, if the terrorists hate freedom, and we're against the terrorists, why are you taking away our freedom? Why did you name it the Patriot Act, because it doesn't seem very patriotic when you take liberty away from the country that was founded on ideals of liberty and, say perhaps, justice for all?

The fact that the thought is in the back of my mind that I could be in trouble for even writing this, a blog, against the Patriot Act, is a sign that the Patriot Act is wrong (and, yes, perhaps also that I'm overreacting or being narcisistic). Whenever creativity and/or dessenting voices are muffled, it is a far more serious crime than many people make it out to be. Like the lady said at the beginning of the Tom Lynn video says, there is no date that congress will just go in and say, "Okay, we're now a police state," it's just something that you realize one day. Then you're screwed.

Okay, I'm done for now. I could go on all night, but it's 4 o' clock in the morning which means I already have gone on all night. I have a paper and an exam tomorrow, so I need to start working.

Here are teh videos:

Speech by Congressman Ron Paul (Texas): (speaking out against the Patriot's still kind of freaky how much his mannerisms resemble Bush's.....must be a Texas thing)
  • Does it worry anyone what Ron Paul says in his speech about Michael Ledeen's book Machiavelli on Modern Leadership? This is a book praising Machiavellian ideologoy that was handed out at a republican strategy meeting.
  • Though I don't agree with Paul's Bill 1146, I do agree with some of his reasoning. My aproach to solving the problems that he mentions, that do exist, would be pretty much the opposite of leaving the UN

Salman Rushdie's (who has a just a little experience with Islamic terrorism) words on the Partiot Act.

Tim Lynch (CATO Institute) speaking on Capitol Hill (incredible information about the approaches to fighting terrorism):

A couple notes on this clip:
  • I've been a part of a study on comparitive counterterrorism at my university (my specific area of study is recruitment within the intelligence community), and the truth is that there is a huge problem in the recruitment of language experts. This is largely because there is a large amount of discrimination from our intelligence agencies towards all Arabs. How do you get people that speak fluent Arabic (i.e. Arab-Americans) to sign up to work for the same organizations that are interogating their families and friends?
  • Concerning the length of laws, there's a book called The Death of Common Sense (I can't remember the name of the author, and I'm too lazy to look it up), but there's a part where he mentions the fact that the average law presented in Congress in Kennedy's time was about 40 pages, and now (meaning the late- or mid-90s when the book was written) the average law is about 400 pages. It's probably even more now in post-9/11 America.


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