Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well, the terrorsits keep making threatening videos, and Bush keeps rising to the bait, giving the terrorists greater and greater publicity by continuing to shoot back retorts and argue with them publicly.
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/08/04/bush.thursday.ap/index.html
Then again, Bush seems to gain a great deal by making sure that the terrorist threat looms large in American minds, and that Americans see Bush as their only opportunity for real safety.
Bush continues to publicly denounce the ideology and methodology of the terrorists as though it were an issue that were in question and up for debate. Here's a news flash George- even the liberals don't like terrorism. But we don't want to hear you argue with the terrorists and fuel their fanaticism with your rhetoric. We just want these people treated like any other criminals- we want them captured or put down because they hurt innocent people. We don't, however, need to wrap ourselves in the American flag in order to accomplish that task, and we're not sure that doing so is a good idea, especially given the fact that we have invaded and occupied Iraq under false pretenses or bad intelligence and given the fact that half of the planet sees us as an imperialist country in the first place (which wants to impose its values and culture on other sovereign nations). We need to just limit the argument and the fanfare, and round up the bad guys. It feels like every time Bush opens his mouth he's just adding to the Al Qaeda recruiting efforts by talking about how much better our country is than theirs.
Also, I found this article kind of interesting in that it mentions Bush's pledge to the Columbian president regarding our continuing efforts to help in the Columbian war against drug trafficking and narcoterror (which, as I understand it, is mostly the intimidation of government leaders and local people in ways that benefit the drug cartels). Anyway, there's a long article in Rolling Stone this month about how Bush has actually had to greatly roll back cocaine and heroine interdiction efforts in order to divert those troops to the war in Iraq. War against the cartels has been put on the back burner in order to fund the war in Iraq, but in order to try to make up the difference in public perception, the federal government (and some state governments) have significantly stepped up their prosecution of marijuana and other "soft drugs". The users and distributors of these drugs are local (in the U.S., mostly), and the cost of prosecuting them is a lot lower than sending troops to attack coca fields in Columbia. Yet, as the conservative theory goes, putting your local pot smokers in jail helps to boost the overall arrest and prosecution statistics in the "War on Drugs", thereby making Americans feel that we're still doing a good job in fighting the drug war while at the same time making progress in the war on terror. But we've substituted hunting cartel militias for putting Uncle Willie in jail because he got caught with a joint. Meanwhile, according to the Rolling Stone article anyway (and I've seen no evidence to the contrary), the prevalence and purity of hard drugs such as cocaine and heroine (which carry far greater physical and mental health risks than pot)remains at an all time high.
Anyway, it's interesting. I'm not sure that quoting Rolling Stone does a lot to enhance the credibility of my blog, though. Oh well.
Gotta run. Stuff to do.

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