Thursday, September 8


More evidence that the Bush administration has learned nothing about combating terrorism since 9/11. A comment from the New America Foundation conference, “Terrorism, Security and America’s Purpose: Towards a More Comprehensive Strategy”:

What was so bad about Mr. Zarate’s speech? In a nutshell, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism conveyed both explicitly (by what he said in his speech) and implicitly (by what he failed to say) that he has ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE about “combatting terrorism.” It’s frightening to consider, but apparently the Bush Administration has learned nothing in four years. Apparently, the only thing it has to offer on “combatting terrorism” is a Tarzan-like “us good, them bad, we kill bad terrorists” pablum. But then again, they already knew all the answers even before 9/11, didn’t they?

Anyway, all we got today from Mr. Zarate was the usual Bush Administration propaganda about how we’re “rounding ‘em up and hauling ‘em in,” how we’re systematically destroying the ability of Al Qaeda to operate effectively, and basically how we’re winning winning WINNING!!! I guess the theory is that if you repeat the same lies enough times with enough fake enthusiasm, maybe someone will believe them? Or at least you can convince yourself that you’re doing the right thing?

What I also found extremely jarring - and disturbing — about Mr. Zarate’s speech was that he — and, by extension, the Bush Administration — hadn’t listened to one word that had been spoken over the two days of this important conference. And Mr. Zarate certainly didn’t stick around to find out, almost literally running out the door without taking any questions — as almost all the other speakers did during the conference. His excuse, of course, was that he had to get right back to the White House. Yeah, I’m sure he did…nasty “war on terrorism” to fight and all. And tough, nasty questions from the mean audience of “experts” awaiting him if he stayed.

The bottom line is that, four years after 9/11, the Bush Administraiton shows no sign of having learned a damn thing about America’s vulnerabilities, its enemies, its first response capabilities, or pretty much anything else. As far as I could tell from today’s speech, there’s not even a glimmer of comprehension as to what we’re facing, who we’re fighting, where we’re headed, or just about anything else related to the “war on terror.” And the Bush Administration certainly show no sign of having listened to any serious terrorism or national security experts the past four years, if Mr. Zarate’s speech is any indication.

What’s so truly frightening about all this is the fact that — like it or not — the Bush Administration (barring impeachment) is in charge of our country’s national security for the next three years. Unfortunately, if Mr. Zarate’s speech today is representative, we’re in deep, deep trouble. Personally, I recommend that you batten down the hatches, stock up on food and water, get yourself some Cipro, and hone your personal escape plans, because this could be a really bad three years.


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