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Monday, September 25, 2006

Tortured Logic

Yesterday, John McCain was asked by CBS' Bob Schieffer about the recent National Intelligence Estimate which apparently concludes that the war in Iraq "has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks." (NY Times) Here's McCain's response:
I think that it's obvious that the difficulties we've experienced in Iraq have certainly emboldened. Lack of success always does that. But I would also argue that these people didn't need any motivation to attack us on September 11th. According to their history--and there's some validity to it--this begins with bombing of the--and killing the Marines in Beirut, and then Somalia, and now other, quote, "successes" of theirs. But I would--I think it would argue that we need to prevail in Iraq, and that if we fail, then our problems would be much more complicated. But if it wasn't Iraq, it'd be Afghanistan; if it wasn't Afghanistan, it would be others that they would use as a method of continuing their recruitment.
"These people didn't need any motivation."
Abdul: Mohammed, I'm bored. Let's do somethin'.
Mohammed: Nah, I got no motivation.
Abdul: Ah, let's go crash airplanes into buildings.
Mohammed: Why?
Abdul: No reason.
Mohammed: What the hell--why not?
Yeah, right.

"...other, quote, 'successes' of theirs."

Exactly who "they" are here isn't clear; the U.S. never figured out who was responsible for the Beirut bombing ("...we still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn't then." -- Caspar Weinberger, 2001). It seems pretty clear that it WASN'T Al Qaeda, since that organization as such didn't exist for another ten years or so. The battle of Mogadishu in 1993 was fought against local militias; Osama bin Laden claimed to have assisted the militias, and bragged about the eventual withdrawal of American troops. Nevertheless, the main person claiming these two incidents as "successes" for "them" has been Dick Cheney.

"If it wasn't Iraq, it'd be Afghanistan; if it wasn't Afghanistan, it would be others that they would use as a method of continuing their recruitment." Just so many examples of American imperialism to choose from! It's a jihadist cornucopia!

Later, McCain wants to prove he's even crazier than Bush; maybe even crazier than Cheney:
Afghanistan is proving very troublesome now, we know about our pending difficulties with Iran, North Korea.
Pending difficulties. Yikes.

President McCain, four years from now, explaining the latest terror attacks on the US: "If it wasn't Iran, it'd be North Korea."