Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Playground Diplomacy

by Drek

In a recent interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, we were treated to this question and answer:

You have accused the Democrats of self-defeating pessimism. And the whole question about what is "cut and run." And given the conversations that have been taking place here at the White House over the weekend, looking for new strategies, have you redefined what that means, "cut and run?"

I would define it in terms of what the strategy is of our opponents. Keep in mind that --I think, Gen. Casey made this point this morning in his briefing -- we've never been defeated in a stand-up fight in Iraq in over three years. What the enemy's banking on is that they can break our will, that the American people don't have the stomach for the fight. And Osama bin Laden's believed this for years. He goes back and cites the experience of Beirut in 1983, where after we lost 240-some people, we then withdrew from Beirut and so forth. He cites these examples to validate his strategy. When we see the Democratic Party recommending that we withdraw from Iraq, that basically is validating the al-Qaida strategy. It says, "Yea, Osama bin Laden's right. The American people don't have the stomach for the fight." We can't afford to let that happen.

This is an interesting way to put things. It suggests that by remaining committed to Iraq we aren't "fighting terrorism," in the sense of reducing the prevalence of terrorists, which is the usual way it's portrayed, but rather are fighting the perception that we're vulnerable to terrorism. By blowing the snot out of a country that had nothing to do with September 11th, we're demonstrating our commitment to standing up for ourselves. You know, when it's put like that, it almost sounds like compelling logic.

Along those lines, there's this hot story:

Osama bin Laden has released another videotape harranguing the United States. He has reiterated the al Qaeda commitment to destroying American imperialism and promises that there will be another "massive attack" on the United States in the next several months. He also had a great deal to say about the character of the United States in general. He stated that the U.S. is "weak and corrupt," and lacks the political will to, "make their women wear burqas," and that he, "Double-dog-dare[s] the United States to invade China."

Vice President Dick Cheney responded to these allegations saying, "This video drives home the necessity of fighting terrorism both here and abroad. Our patriotic American women must make the necessary sacrifices to demonstrate our resolve to Osama bin Laden." When asked about bin Laden's comments on China, Cheney answered, "He double-dog-dared us! We can't just let that pass! If we do, everyone else in the international community will think we're chicken and we'll never get to play on the monkeybars at recess!" Sources close to the Pentagon suggest that the 101st Airborne is being flown to Taiwan.

I love a good reason for carnage and bloodshed. As soon as the Republicans come up with one, I hope they let me know.
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