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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The story changes quickly

"We're not going to let lies and propaganda by the enemy dictate how we win this war." -- aWol, yesterday.

Actually, three weeks ago, that seemed to be exactly what the Bushies were doing. They even had an entire web page devoted to alleged quotes from terrorists. Here's a quote from aWol's speech on September 5:
We know what the terrorists intend to do because they've told us -- and we need to take their words seriously. So today I'm going to describe -- in the terrorists' own words, what they believe... what they hope to accomplish, and how they intend to accomplish it. I'll discuss how the enemy has adapted in the wake of our sustained offensive against them, and the threat posed by different strains of violent Islamic radicalism. I'll explain the strategy we're pursuing to protect America, by defeating the terrorists on the battlefield, and defeating their hateful ideology in the battle of ideas.

The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience -- but they're not madmen. They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil, but not insane. These al Qaeda terrorists and those who share their ideology are violent Sunni extremists. They're driven by a radical and perverted vision of Islam that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women and children in the pursuit of political power. They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call a "Caliphate" -- where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology. Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks -- in his words -- "a great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the Righteous... [Caliphate]."

This caliphate would be a totalitarian Islamic empire encompassing all current and former Muslim lands, stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. We know this because al Qaeda has told us. About two months ago, the terrorist Zawahiri -- he's al Qaeda's second in command -- declared that al Qaeda intends to impose its rule in "every land that was a home for Islam, from [Spain] to Iraq. He went on to say, "The whole world is an open field for us."
He goes on and on. And on.
Hear the words of bin Laden: "I now address... the whole... Islamic nation: Listen and understand... The most... serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War... [that] is raging in [Iraq]." He calls it "a war of destiny between infidelity and Islam." He says, "The whole world is watching this war," and that it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation." For al Qaeda, Iraq is not a distraction from their war on America -- it is the central battlefield where the outcome of this struggle will be decided.
(That's copied directly from the White House web site--and that "Hear the words of bin Laden" still freaks me out.)

Eventually, he reached this conclusion:
These evil men know that a fundamental threat to their aspirations is a democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. They know that given a choice, the Iraqi people will never choose to live in the totalitarian state the extremists hope to establish. And that is why we must not, and we will not, give the enemy victory in Iraq by deserting the Iraqi people.
In other words, we must let the "lies and propaganda by the enemy dictate how we win this war."

I realize I'm in dangerous territory here--Analyzing aWol's insane ramblings seems like a likely path to insanity itself. The WaPo's Dan Froomkin attempts it today, and WIIIAI does it almost every day, including yesterday. He even dares to take on Tony Blair today! We're playing with fire here, folks! Please be careful!