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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Four years late, the media starts to catch on

The lead-story tease on the main CNN web page as of 8 AM (emphasis added):
U.S. President George W. Bush gains reassurances from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that Pakistan is doing everything it can to help in the so-called war on terror -- and that both sides will remain in close coordination in the hunt for al Qaeda terrorists.
I have questioned the motives and methods of the "war on terror" since W's first blustering statements after 9/11. I usually just put the phrase "war on terror" in quotes, but I've seen other bloggers use "so-called war on terror" frequently. But it's very encouraging to see one of the most prominent mainstream media organizations use "so-called war on terror." There have been so many clues to the essential phonyness of the SCWOT, including:
  • Attacking Afghanistan while ignoring or even allying with countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and the UAE which clearly were implicated in 9/11 as much as Afghanistan was.
  • Letting Osama get away, followed by W's statement that he really didn't care about Osama.
  • Not only attacking Iraq using resources that could have been used to hunt al Qaeda, but then claiming that the Iraq war was part of the SCWOT with no proof whatsoever.
  • Stalling and blocking all attempts to investigate what actually happened on 9/11.
  • A decided lack of vigor in actually taking steps to protect this country--not protecting the ports, nuclear and chemical facilities, and so forth, and not firing incompetents in critical positions.
  • Continually pursuing actions guaranteed to increase the threat of terrorism, including mindless support of Israel, the war in Iraq, and of course the endless use of torture, all complicated by defense of all of this nonsense by the administration and its wingnut supporters.
  • More recently, the UAE ports deal, and the statement by the Pentagon's deputy director for the war on terrorism that "thirty new terrorist organizations have emerged" since 9/11.
  • And perhaps today's visit to Pakistan, a country heavily involved in the creation of both al Qaeda and the Taliban, and the place where many think Osama is hiding today.
All together, a package even the most groveling mainstream media is finding hard to ignore. A real war on terror would involve defining the problem, identifying the enemy, actually protecting the homeland, and taking only those actions which reasonably address the problem--not ones guaranteed to make it worse. SCWOT is nothing like that, and hopefully the media is finally starting to admit it.