September 11 has arrived, along with pleasant double-digit temperatures in Central California. It’s still a bit too close for a historical perspective, but some things are clear:
Our government responded with a blend of cynicism and incompetence, letting the main perpetrator go free and failing to follow up the Saudi connection, while using the attack to justify an unrelated war — which it then proceeded to screw up massively.
Some people still do not understand what motivates radical Islamist terrorists. For example, consider the following remarks by Barack Obama in an interview with David Brooks of the NY Times:
He said the U.S. should help the Lebanese government deliver better services to the Shiites “to peel support away from Hezbollah” and encourage the local populace to “view them as an oppressive force.” The U.S. should “find a mechanism whereby the disaffected have an effective outlet for their grievances, which assures them they are getting social services.”
The U.S. needs a foreign policy that “looks at the root causes of problems and dangers.” Obama compared Hezbollah to Hamas. Both need to be compelled to understand that “they’re going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims.” He knows these movements aren’t going away anytime soon (“Those missiles aren’t going to dissolve”), but “if they decide to shift, we’re going to recognize that. That’s an evolution that should be recognized.” [my emphasis]
First, Sen. Obama apparently does not understand that this is not a civil rights issue. People who blow themselves up do it for religious-ideological reasons, not because they are lacking ‘social services’.
And second — and this is really shocking — he seems to think that Hezbollah and Hamas have “legitimate claims”! Does he mean that Hezbollah’s claim that Israel is still occupying Lebanon is legitimate? Hamas has only one claim, which is that all of historic Palestine is an Islamic Waqf and therefore Israel must be replaced by an Islamic state. Both Hamas and Hezbollah claim that Israel must be destroyed, so violence is not exactly a ‘blind alley’ for them; rather, it is the only alley.
Does he also feel that al-Qaeda had ‘legitimate claims’ which could have been dealt with peacefully?
In exactly 54 days, there will be an election here in the US, and we will have to decide between the party of incompetence — which, by the way, is also the party of regressive taxation and looting the wealth of the middle class — and the party of not-getting-it.
Whichever party wins, I would be guaranteed to feel guilty after voting except for the fact that our electoral system is so thoroughly broken that my vote — I live in California, remember — will have zero effect. The election will be decided in a few ‘key’ states, and the decision will be driven — assuming that one party or the other doesn’t steal the election — by considerations of race, gender, personality, and class.