Let me first say that my stated position was itself simplified. As I see it,
the need to suspend certain rights was necessary in order for the Neocons to
go empire building since this kind of activity is not exactly conducive to a
That said, I think the issue does come down to whether the war is real and in that respect, though I hesitate to bring it up again, it is dependent upon the duplicitious role (or otherwise) of the Bush administration in 9/11. We know that, as far as the Neocons saw it, they needed a 'Pearl Harbour' to push their agenda forward. They duly got this Pearl Harbour. Coincidence or conspiracy?
Subsequent to that, war was recognised by both sides (providing you can treat al Queda as a side), and was enacted first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. Lots of people were killed or captured, that's not unreal and it's indicative of a war. Yet what's also indicative is the level of threat as perceived by both sides.
In the US, the Bush Administration actively seeks to promote the perceived threat. They created 'threat levels'. Indeed, FoxNews has a perpetual threat level notification on its ticker line. OBL helpfully keeps reminding the US public that he still doesn't like them (surely his best tactic would be to lie low for a couple of years, let the US think he's dead so that they relax their guard, then strike).
Real or not in the early days, the fact that the 'war' was enacted also serves to create enemies. We've seen the results in both Madrid and London. Neither attack, according to the native secret services, was linked to al Queda. Both resulted from the Muslim perception of a war against their religion. The longer this 'war' goes on, the more real it gets.
And that's the detail that enrages me. Yes, the US was entitled to retribution for 9/11. Yet it wasn't and isn't entitled to wage war against the Muslim world. It's like saying that the UK should have waged war against Catholicism because of the atrocities being committed by the IRA. Not even Ian Paisley would think that!
In summary, I wouldn't argue that there is a real conflict taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet those beligerants fighting US and UK forces aren't all members of al Queda and it would be my guess that the vast majority became beligerants because of what they saw as aggressive US acts against their interests. There is a conflict on this scale because of the US' reaction to 9/11, not because of 9/11.
In other words, the Bush Administration (with Blair's help), has created an enemy and a war that suits their agenda.
Back on Phil-Lit I stated the difference between OBL and Saddam as I saw it - that the existence of the former works with Bush's agenda and that of the latter doesn't. I see no reason to change this view.
Simon With apologies for the verbage.
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