Sunday, November 30, 2003

Now I give you Mr. obtuse Thomas Friedman in another NY times Op-Ed entitled: The Chant Not Heard

I stood on the sidewalk in London the other day and watched thousands of antiwar, anti-George Bush, anti-Tony Blair protesters pass by. They chanted every antiwar slogan you could imagine and many you couldn't print. It was entertaining-but also depressing, because it was so disconnected from the day's other news.
Just a few hours earlier, terrorists in Istanbul had blown up a British-owned bank and the British consulate, killing or wounding scores of British and Turkish civilians. Yet nowhere could I find a single sign in London reading, "Osama, How Many Innocents Did You Kill Today?" or "Baathists — Hands Off the U.N. and the Red Cross in Iraq." Hey, I would have settled for "Bush and Blair Equal Bin Laden and Saddam" — something, anything, that acknowledged that the threats to global peace today weren't just coming from the White House and Downing Street.

Sorry, but there is something morally obtuse about holding an antiwar rally on a day when your own people have been murdered — and not even mentioning it or those who perpetrated it. Watching this scene, I couldn't help but wonder whether George Bush had made the liberal left crazy. It can't see anything else in the world today, other than the Bush-Blair original sin of launching the Iraq war, without U.N. approval or proof of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Morally obtuse? The only obtuse thing in evidence is Mr. Friedman's failure to comprehend that aside from their opposition to the unprovoked invasion of Iraq, many of these protesters believe that the concentration of efforts in Iraq (and the concomittant reduction of troops prematurely in Afghanistan) have detracted from the 'war on terror'. Hence connecting Iraq and al Queda, albeit through a vastly different connection than the Administration continues to intimate. There was widespread support for the Afghanistan invasion and even the Administration's strongest critics offered kudos for that operation. However, the common appraisal has failed to recognize that in the Administration's rush to 'take action', that it's Afghanistan operation suffered from the same deficient planning as in Iraq. I recall early reports of how Taliban operatives were allowed to go free because no provisions had been made for the taking of prisoners. Imagine, you're seeking out an enemy that perpetrated the most vile attack on the U.S. in modern American history and you haven't adequately prepared to capture that enemy. If that's not poor planning ...Perhaps with more time, more planning and more troops, maybe bin Laden would have been caught, maybe we would have had a more crippling global effect on Al Queda. Maybe. Maybe not. We'll never know.

Mr. Obtuse further opines "why the left needs to get beyond its opposition to the war" and why the sign he most hungered to see was, "Thanks, Mr. Bush. We'll take it from here."

Thanks, Mr. Bush? The protestors might have gone along with "Get the hell out of there, Mr. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush. We'll take it from here." If you wish to read more of this man's drivel, be my guest.


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