Eating the Apple

Eve did it. Adam did it. Now it's my turn to take a bite. Why not? Hey! It's delicious.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Osama's Victory

Today I received the latest issue of Vanity Fair. I hardly care about the latest fashions. But I look forward to its remarkable series of insider reports on politics. Vanity Fair was the one that broke the identity of 'Deep Throat', the FBI official who helped Woodward and Bernstein expose the Watergate scandal.

The latest issue of VF tells the history of Osama bin Laden. It starts with an account of Osama's youth, being one of fifty four children of Muhammed bin Laden, and tells of his early adherence to a strict Islamic lifestyle, his involvement in the Afgan resistance to the Soviet invasion, his hatred of Saddam Hussain, the formation of Al Qaeda, his responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, and his escape from Tora Bora.

Most of the information in this article comes from people who knew bin Laden personally. It is an effective antidote to the posturing and spin that comes out of Wasington.

The basic fact remains that Washington never did develop an effective strategy for dealing with bin Laden. The Clinton administration did fire a missle at a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan and another missle at a camp in Afganistan. The bombing of the Cole did little to wake up America.

If the Clinton administration was feckless, the Bush administration did zilch before 9/11. Of the top people in the Bush White House, only Dick Clark tried to raise the alarm about bin Laden. But he was roundly criticized and ignored. Ohers would say, "Dick Clark's hair is on fire."

Even after 9/11 the Bush strategy was feckless. First, the lack of American troops allowed bin Laden to slip out of Tora Bora into Pakistan. Second, the Iraq war energized al Qaeda. The worst thing about the Iraq war is that we did Osama bin Laden's work for him. We got rid of one of his biggest enemies, namely Saddam Hussaain. Also the war opened up Iraq to infiltration by Al Qaeda.

Every day that Osama bin Laden remains free is a victory for Al Qaeda. Every day that Osama bin Laden is a defeat for the struggle against this terrorism. And the only one that George Bush can blame is himself.

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