Tuesday, March 23, 2004


macallan of tacitus on Richard Clarke:

He wants to go after Al Qaeda more intently, while I'd rather go after the basis for why Al Qaeda exists in the first place while we're at it. Clarke sees tumors, I see cancer.
via Kevin Drum

The point is that the Bush Administration wasn’t “at it.” In fact, if the Bush Administration had its way, we wouldn't have been "at it;" we have gone after Iraq instead of al-Qaida after September 11th. And going after “the basis for why Al Qaeda exists in the first place” assumes you have a correct idea of what that is.

Neoconservatives claim that Islamic terrorism exists because of a deficit of democracy. There are lots of undemocratic countries. Not all of them, not even most, have citizens who are committed to mass murder people continents away.

The left claims that one of the reasons Islamic terrorism exists because of poverty. There are lots of poor countries. See above.

The left also claims that Islamic terrorism is a response to Western imperialism, pretending that the poor brown-skinned non-Muslim victims of Islamic violence in India, Sudan, Indonesia and Nigeria don’t exist.

Let’s stretch macallan’s analogy a little, shall we? When a doctor diagnoses cancer, what does he do? The doctor treats the tumor (according to macallan, al-Qaida) whether by excision, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Once the tumor has been sufficiently destroyed, the doctor observes the patient to determine whether further treatment is necessary. What the doctor does not do is biopsy one part of the body and then invasively operate on another.


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