April 29, 2009

Slips out... Bush kept us safe.

In the course of a dishonest (see below) editorial bashing the Bush administration for its supposed torture and brutality, Thomas L. Friedman lets this slip:

...I believe that the most important reason there has not been another 9/11, besides the improved security and intelligence, is that Al Qaeda is primarily focused on defeating America in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world — particularly in Iraq. Al Qaeda knows that if it can destroy the U.S. effort (still a long shot) to build a decent, modernizing society in Iraq, it will undermine every U.S. ally in the region.

Conversely, if we, with Iraqis, defeat them by building any kind of decent, pluralistic society in the heart of their world, it will be a devastating blow. Odd as it may seem, the most dangerous moment for us is if Al Qaeda is beaten in Iraq. Because that is when Al Qaeda's remnants will try to throw a Hail Mary pass — that is, try to set off a bomb in a U.S. city — to obscure its defeat by moderate Arabs and Muslims in the heart of its world....(From A Torturous Compromise - NYTimes.com)

If you think that, Friedman, WHY weren't you giving President Bush warm support in that very effort, hmmm? Why weren't you pointing it out when it would have actually helped?

And that last sentence. If al-Qaeda had attacked us before Obama was inaugurated, would you have called it a "Hail Mary pass" to "obscure its defeat?" Not likely. You would say, "Bush didn't keep us safe! Snivel...whine...snivel." You are just preparing your talking points for the likelihood that Obama's feckless weakness gains us an attack.

Friedman's "torture" bashing is dishonest because it conflates interrogation with all deaths and injuries of detainees. Some of which were crimes, to be sure, but had nothing to do with interrogation. And of course gives zero positive weight to the fact that our guys were detaining, at the risk of their lives, terrorists which less moral groups would have just killed on the spot. Especially since in Iraq a lot of detainees were quickly released by Iraqi judges.

And of course gives zero weight to the fact that our opponents commit war crimes every day. They intentionally destroy those rules of war which protect detainees (as a side effect of their main purpose which is to protect non-combatants). Yet of course the liberal criticizes only US forces. (Why? See here.)

Posted by John Weidner at April 29, 2009 6:49 AM
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