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IN MY VIEW
Bush has alienated moderate Muslims
TERRORISM IS A TACTIC NOT AN ENEMY
Op-Ed to The Bulletin
by Robert Speik
April 16, 2004
“At no time in our history was the world more supportive of our nation than
in the months after 9-11. Unfortunately, our misled attack on Iraq squandered
the world’s support for America and also ended any possible mainstream Muslim
support for moderate dialog.”
TERRORISM IS A TACTIC NOT AN ENEMY
Terrorism is a tactic not an enemy. We should not be misled. Fundamentalist
religious extremism is the enemy, not the brainwashed bombers who kill innocents
and themselves while acting as the tools of zealot leaders.
The horrific attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11 must have caused
mainstream Muslims to question the humanity of their extremist fundamentalist
Islamic leaders. A dialog could have led to a worldwide mainstream Muslim
withdrawal of support for the use of terrorism as a fundamentalist tactic to
force social change.
Al Qaeda was identified as the master terrorist organization. The forceful
removal of the fundamentalist Taliban regime from power in Afghanistan
succeeded, however, all our American efforts to capture or kill Al Qaeda’s Bin
Laden, failed because the local population protected him. Afghanistan became and
still is a barely controlled shambles of a Muslim country.
Unable to win the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan, the Bush administration sought
to blame Iraq for enabling extremist terrorism.
We were misled by the Bush administration. There were no weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. There was no immediate threat from Saddam Hussein. The
unprecedented pre-emptive US attack on Iraq was arrogant and has proved to be
There was no Al Qaeda connection. Women who lived in Saddam’s secular Iraq were
educated, liberated and often powerful. Women living under the Al Qaida
supported fundamentalist Taliban regime, were enslaved in their homes. Saddam
Hussein and Bin Laden were at opposite ends of Islam. Both were harsh regimes,
but we all tolerate even more brutal governments in the world today.
At no time in our history was the world more supportive of our nation than in
the months after 9-11. Unfortunately, our misled attack on Iraq squandered the
world’s support for America and also ended any possible mainstream Muslim
support for moderate dialog.
This President misled this nation, and a very few other nations, by using the
specter of terror to facilitate his attempt to impose an American style
democracy on what was once an oil rich, ineffective, secular Islamic
dictatorship. The real reason for Bush to invade Iraq was not the pursuit of
terrorists, it was to seize control of Iraq’s oil and re-construction contracts
by the United States.
Iraq is now in anarchy. Let us be truthful. Americans live in virtual blast
bunkers. More people are injured and killed day by day. This misled War for oil
and influence has resulted in the destruction of thousands of human lives,
American wealth and prestige and it has destabilized the region.
It is ludicrous for us to believe the Bush administration can succeed in
establishing a constitutional democracy in Iraq. Bush’s stated purpose is to
create a showcase democracy to influence the citizens in the Arab world to
overthrow their traditional governments. Does Bush actually think the stable oil
rich monarchies, theocracies and dictatorships surrounding Iraq will tolerate an
American style democracy in their midst?
People will say that we cannot talk to terrorists, but America, through the
United Nations, absolutely must engage in a positive dialog with world wide
mainstream Islam. Iraq may become a fundamentalist theocracy founded on hate for
the western world.
Fundamentalist Islamic clerics interpret the Koran and preach doctrines that are
clearly un-acceptable in today’s enlightened world. They teach Muslim women to
be the servants of men and to be invisible outside the home. This view and
practice is not accepted in the modern world. We must support Islamic women in
their quest for education and basic human rights. Muslim men are taught to
persecute questioners of their leader’s fundamentalist religious doctrines
through intimidation, physical retaliation and killing. This behavior is not
accepted in the modern world. Basic universal human rights cannot be violated in
the name of Allah, or God.
Terror is being used also, to justify the ongoing imposition on all our American
citizens, of the Bush administration’s conservative coalition formula for a
Without a doubt, our own civil liberties, our pure science, our clean
environment, our public schools, our fair tax system that focused on the rich,
our treasury surplus, our valuable public lands, our national health care
system, our social security system, our great middle class, and our skilled
American jobs are being further compromised daily by the Bush administration in
its zeal to satisfy the wealthy special interests that support it, and its
overwhelming political desire to be re-elected at any cost.
Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz and Rowe have been
exposed repeatedly for clearly and solemnly misleading this nation. They are
dangerous scary people.
The Bush administration’s “War on Terror” fails because it misleads the nation
away from the real opponent, worldwide fundamentalist religious extremism. Let
us be truthful.
Robert Speik writes about his active
retirement outdoor adventures for www.TraditionalMountaineering.org
A BETTER WORLD
OpEd to The Bulletin
by Janet Whitney
Published on Sunday, May 2, 2004
This is a letter of thanks to Robert Speik who wrote so clearly about the
situation in Iraq and the Bush Administration (In My View, April 16). There are
many of us who care so deeply about the road we are traveling, at home, in the
Middle East and in the world and we search our hearts for words that will create
the thoughtfulness and mindfulness among those we encounter in dialogue.
We hold the hope that the world will change, but not as George Bush would have
it. A shift in values – away from greed which embodies domination systems –
would be a step in a healthier world. While we engage in a war to “liberate”
another culture, we are rapidly losing our rights in this country, under this
May folks like Speik keep the word out, and may those of us who believe in
introspection keep listening, and then use our privilege of voting.
--Janet Whitney lives in Bend
you very much, Janet Whitney. The prisoner abuse just now revealed to the world
is a symptom of this Administration's subversion of our American values.
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