"If al Qaeda were a board of directors, the chairman and vice chairman might still be out there, but the middle management is gone." -- George W. Bush speaking to the Associated Press Luncheon, Wednesday April 21st.Sadly, Mr. Bush, Al Qaeda is not a hierarchical organization in the sense of Halliburton or General Electric; they resemble an anarchist movement more than a corporation and this is one of their greatest strengths. They are like cancer cells swarming around the globe and striking whenever they find a soft target, as the CIA call civilian population centers like nightclubs or shopping malls. You can't cut the head off a group that has several thousand of them. Cruise missiles won't work against nefarious terrorists like Al Qaeda because every military victory against them (and the subsequent civilian casualties) results in an upsurge in membership to their cells.
Also, their religious doctrine ensures that they are willing to die for their cause and if someone is willing to be consumed in a reaction like octane in a gasoline explosion, there isn't much you can do to stop them, unless you address the root cause of their anger. You can't kill an idea by killing a man but you can by speaking to the people where the terrorists originate from and trying to change their minds. If these disenfranchised, angry citizens are willing to die just to inflict harm on the Western world, we should try to help them by pressuring their governments to give them a voice. When people's mouths are sewn shut, they pick up arms and attack whoever has been watching them suffer.
Oddly enough, Saudi Arabians produced 9/11 and then Afghanistan got bombed for it. If Bush is so concerned with speading democracy in the Middle East, why aren't we threatening the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where strict Sharia law keeps everyone in a state of perpetual fear? Instead, he's rattling his massive saber at Iran, a Theocratic state that has some level of democratic representation. We should be patting Iran on the back, not scolding them for trying to get a nuclear bomb. After all, Israel has about 300 of them and the U.S. has another 32,000 nukes ready to vaporize any nation that nips at American heels. I am against nuclear war but as long as we have the weapons, other nations will seek to gain equality with us.
Bush's comparison between Al Qaeda and a corporation doesn't hold water and I would venture to say that it's because he doesn't really care. I've seen more nuanced arguments for war in Marvel comic books. He wants Americans to feel that he and his Administration are doing the "right things" and keeping the homeland secure. It doesn't matter if he's oversimplifying the War on Terror because that allows him to lead the debate and make it appear that the Good Guys are winning. It is an election year and Bush polls well regarding the War on Terror, virtually his only strength in the battle for the Whitehouse.
He also seems very certain that America will be attacked before the election. Perhaps he's received another one of those famous alerts, like before 9/11 when he received a report warning labelled "Islamic Extremist Learning to Fly". Maybe this is just a means of keeping his citizens in a state of perpetual fear so that they'll support his doctrine of perpetual war. What's next? Perpetual Presidencies? There is a way to reduce terror in the world and it's not by threatening Iran for trying to join the Nuclear club. The answer lies with the American populace. They must vote for John Kerry in the fall, or all is lost.
- Current Terrorist Threat Level (Homeland Security Dept.)