Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rami G. Khouri

"The president's speech Thursday night was most compelling for its capacity to say nothing new—nothing that he has not said repeatedly in the past three years—while adding new layers of misinterpretation and diversionary confusion that he sells to the American public on the basis of emotionalism, patriotism and nostalgia. His main thesis sums up his shameful misanalysis: "The war we fight today is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century.''

Really? The decisive ideological struggle of the 21st Century is launched by a small band of criminal deviants like Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri from caves in Afghanistan, who play on the lost minds and restless psyches of young, mainly Arab and Pakistani men already angered by conditions in their societies? The terror problem is one that some good quality American high school guidance counselors could probably diagnose accurately, if given a chance to do so without the distorting dictates of domestic politics.

I can think of a lot more credible candidates for this century's decisive ideological struggle, including fighting poverty, expanding equitable global trading patterns, promoting good governance and the rule of law around the world, giving ordinary people everywhere a sense of being treated with dignity and justice, safeguarding the global environment and a few others..."


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