In the Middle: War on Terror

Jeremy Fugleberg

Jeremy Fugleberg

I’m angry.

I would think that after 9/11/01, those on the Left and the Right would forge a real plan to stop those with an ideology that led to the deaths of thousands of Americans. But both sides are so busy staring each other down that they’re missing the realities of terror.

President Bush and his administration did a bang-up job overthrowing the Taliban – using shock troop special forces and regional allies to dominate the rogue government and the stark landscape.

And then, Iraq? Sure, Saddam Hussein was a despot. But Iraq a state sponsor of terror? I didn’t think so then, and I know so now. Bush’s terror-link snow job and poor post-war planning set us up for a pricey failure in Iraq – a failure that hasn’t done anything to stop terrorism.

In the meantime, we’ve severely restricted possible exchange students from the Middle East – those best placed to later spread our beliefs through quiet coffee shop conversations, not the business end of a rifle.

Even worse, now we often support dictators whose love for America is bought by joint efforts against “terrorist” enemies of their states. Suddenly we’re right back into the mess of the Cold War – sponsoring unsavory characters for a higher purpose.

And if we’re not careful, we’ll soon discover we’ve defeated globally-organized terrorism at the cost of building a network of self-contained, market-savvy dictators.

There are fractures in Islam that can be exploited to reduce Islamic extremist terrorists. We brag about our brains, our wisdom and our money. But we hardly know the difference between Sunnis, Shias and Saudis.

Bottom line: This isn’t a Left/Right issue. Both sides have their head so far up their collective ballot boxes that they can’t see we’re quickly strangling any chance to actually reduce terror threats to this country.

If we don’t get to know our enemy soon, we’ll only defeat ourselves.

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