erik lundegaard

Osama + Arnold

Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, surveying the books about Osama bin Laden:

As for the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, most of these books agree that it was a terrible misstep that played into Bin Laden’s hands, fueling Qaeda recruitment efforts and diverting critical military and intelligence resources away from Afghanistan, which in turn led to the resurgence there The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wrightof the Taliban. Peter L. Bergen’s new book, “The Longest War,” provides a devastating indictment of the Bush administration on many levels, from its failure to heed warnings about a terrorist threat, to its determination to conduct the war in Afghanistan on the cheap, to its costly, unnecessary and inept occupation of Iraq.

Both “The Longest War” and Lawrence Wright’s “Looming Tower” give readers a visceral sense of what day-to-day life was like in Qaeda training camps. Mr. Wright, noting that Bin Laden was not opposed to the United States because of its culture or ideas but because of its political and military actions in the Islamic world, observes that Qaeda trainees often watched Hollywood thrillers at night ( Arnold Schwarzenegger movies were particular favorites) in an effort to gather tactical tips.


Posted at 06:31 PM on Tue. May 03, 2011 in category Quote of the Day, Books, Politics  
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COMMENTS

Reed wrote:

I always thought Bush was just dumb. “They hate us for our freedom.” Was repeated again and again. And I thought he really believed that line of bull. Believed that Britney Spears' miniskirt was the reason behind the attack.

But over time I've started to question whether he was actually more nefariously cunning than I thought. Because if you look at the real answer as to why they hate us, well, one has to admit that they at least have a point. But addressing that concept didn't jive with Bush's real objectives. So instead the bunk about different moral values. And that struck the emotional chord in the population who wanted to believe what Bush was selling. “They hate us for our global military presence,” wouldn't have convinced anyone that invading Iraq was a good idea. So instead we got a lot of burqa talk.

Dumb like a fox.

Comment posted on Wed. May 04, 2011 at 06:26 AM

Mister B wrote:

If they really hate us for our freedom, then we should end all discrimination based on age, race, gender and/or sexual orientation tomorrow just to really piss off the terrorists. :)

Gay marriage? Legal nationwide on Monday! You don't like it? Well, then, you're against us and helping them destroy American ideals. :)

The Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping of our citizens? Sounds like we're helping the terrorists on those, too.

Somehow, I believe, the more freedoms we lose as a nation, the more this country turns into the kind of country the terrorists would probably be more comfortable living in.

Comment posted on Sat. May 07, 2011 at 08:05 PM

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