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Illogical shortcuts

September 10, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

A new bin Laden tape came out on Friday and since I was traveling, I couldn’t comment on it.

It’s sort of an interesting tape. Lots of reports have noted how topical (if that’s the right word) it is, mentioning global warming, the subprime mortgage collapse, etc. His rhetoric resembles that of the anti-war crowd at points (at times the extreme edge of that crowd, at others the mainstream). This has, of course, prompted stupid comments from people like Dinesh D’Souza:

Why, you may ask, would Bin Laden praise these leftist critics of U.S. foreign policy? First, he recognizes that there are many on the left who hate Bush as much as he does and who share his desire that Bush’s war in Iraq, and Bush’s foreign policy more generally, end in complete failure. Surely Bin Laden doesn’t share the permissive social values of the left, but he has figured out that the enemy of his enemy is his de facto ally, working with him toward a common goal. Second, Bin Laden recognizes that he couldn’t possibly convince Americans to pull out of Iraq. Fortunately for him he doesn’t have to. There is already a political movement in America, led by the pundits and activists of the left, who are working overtime and without pay to secure Bin Laden’s chief objectives. Thus the chief architect of 9/11 can simply refer Americans to their own homegrown leftists in order to get the Bin Laden line.

This isn’t a new tactic. Anytime bin Laden says something that resembles a criticism of the war, it’s used as a smear by the Right. Why, bin Laden believes we should end the war and so does the Left! They must be working together to destroy America! It’s a cheap shot for intellectual lightweights who are desperately trying to avoid the obvious conclusion that the war is a complete and utter failure.

It also brings out the moron in the people who want to lead us. Case in point, Mitt Romney:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says the recent release of a video tape featuring comments from Osama bin Laden shows how “deluded” bin Laden really is.

“His comments as a radical jihadist and the idea of people converting to Islam under the threat of coersion — these kinds of principles are not in line, if you will, rational thought in my view,” Romney says.

“I think the whole radical jihadist movement is extraordinarily misguided and evil and is a form of delusion but I believe that the people of the world recognize that,” Romney said. “I think when he makes tapes like this, it hurts his effort. It doesn’t help it.”

Good heavens, I just can’t imagine how that bin Laden guy believes such things! It’s just too much for my little brain to handle.

Oh please. The guy who believes that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri is criticizing someone’s rationality? It’s just too much for me (yeah, it’s cheap shot, sue me). For fuck’s sake, I would think a religious person could figure this out. Bin Laden is a theocrat. It’s really not hard to figure out his train of thought if you start with a few basic assumptions taken on faith. It’s rather easy to justify just about anything doing that.

Anyone who dismisses Jihadism as nothing more than an evil delusion has no business running our foreign policy. These are people with goals and reasons for their actions, just like most other people. That isn’t to say they can be reasoned with, but if you refuse to understand your enemy you will lose. If we cling to a shallow, myopic view of this conflict as the good, rational people vs. crazy, evil delusional people, we’ll just continue bombing innocent brown people and making more terrorists.

Categories: Iraq, The Right
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