Thursday, October 14, 2004
Over at Slate, Chris Suellentrop hits the mark on the most important quote from Bush on the "not concerned about bin Laden" statement. And it's this:
"I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban."
As Suellentrop follows up:
The president's philosophy toward the war on terror could not be clearer: It is a war against nation-states, not against "nonstate actors"
This is dangerous, folks, because it ignores the realities of terror. It's all well and good to remove nation-states that aid, abet and comfort terrorists. Afghanistan under the Taliban fits that description, especially since Al-Qaeda was running the Taliban, and therefore Afghanistan. But to move the war to nations that could support terrorists (i.e. Iraq) doesn't eliminate the terrorist threat. They still exist, and while they may not get technical help in creating a nuke, they still have the capacity to build a "dirty" bomb. Or drive a fuel tanker into a building. Or release chlorine gas in a crowded street.
Invading Iraq does not halt or even impede these "nonstate actors." If anything, it makes it easier for them to act, since our attention and security manpower is focused at a single location.
We have to go after them where they live. Them, not the country that they're living in. It's about killing terrorists, not regime change and nation-building at every turn. The President has lost sight of that.