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Winning the War on Various Uncomfortable Emotions

The Webster Retort
By Stephen Webster
Investigative Reporter
June 23, 2006

Winning the War on Various Uncomfortable Emotions

Did you know that Osama bin Laden said he attacked the United States to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia? Fortunately for him, after 9/11 his whole family was rushed out of the country on orders of the president, and then we withdrew from Saudi Arabia. It was just the start of a brilliantly-conceived, Machiavellian plot to destroy terror and a whole other array of inconvenient emotions. But terror specifically – you know, as a precursor to the War on Frowns.

Did you know that Osama bin Laden also said he wished to do great financial harm to the U.S.? Unfortunately for us, bin Laden successfully flicked this president’s hair trigger. Even though bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were enemies, and there were no safe-harbors for Al Qaeda in Iraq, we went to war there anyway. Because, you know, “This man tried to kill my father” - or - Even though Bush has now twice acknowledged there were no ties whatsoever between Saddam and 9/11, we have willingly fallen into the same tiger trap Osama used to lure the Soviet Union. Our Comrades wasted untold sums and thousands of lives in Afghanistan, back when bin Laden was on the CIA’s payroll. We should take some lessons from history.

Another of bin Laden’s goals was to change the way Americans live from day to day. Unfortunately, we’ve ceded to that demand as well; Bill of Rights, R.I.P. Since 9/11 our liberties have been pried away, one by one, all in the name of safety. Our rights to peaceable assembly, the keeping of well-regulated militias, our freedoms from unreasonable searches and seizures, or that pesky freedom guaranteeing a trial by jury … Like other historically infamous “Prelude to Empire” legislation, rounds One and Two of the USA Patriot Act canceled out part of the first amendment, part of the second, all of the fourth, part of the fifth, all of the sixth, all of the eighth and all of the tenth. That is a pretty big change for just six years.

So now, because of the Great bin Laden Boogyman our CEO has failed to find in the sandbox, we must be okay with people listening to our phone calls, reading our emails and rifling through our trash. We’re paying millions for “spy blimps” to float above our beautiful country, watching everything we do out doors, tracking our movements for whomever. We’ve passed National ID Card legislation, set to take effect in 2008. We will soon be carrying RFID tags in our pockets so they can track us at roadway intersections. Our own Department of “Defense” has a social network of every American, so they know how many degrees separate you and anyone else. Because of Osama Wolf, we must bend over and allow out laws to be circumvented, for a life Free of Terror.

So here we sit: our Fearless Leader has run us aground in Iraq and created a real-time training ground for bin Laden’s recruiters. He has given them a poster, a calling, and all the targets they could imagine. Their failure to anticipate the outcome of an invasion put our soldiers, the most magnificent fighting force in the world, in the middle of a civil war wearing targets on their backs. Best of all, their brilliant victory strategy is … Wait for it … Wait for it …

Stay the Course.

Might as well call it, “Dodge this bullet.” Or maybe just, “Duck!” The only way to win a Civil War is to pick a side. But do we really want to make such a decision? No, we do not.

Has it really come to this? Why fight an endless guerilla war against a shadow enemy, in the back alleys of Mousul and Tikrit and Baghdad, dodging bullets from all sides? Because of the WMD’s! Er, no. Because of Freedom! Because of Al Qaeda! Because we let them get away back in 2001, so we’ve got to find someone else to punish? We send our troops in without adequate equipment or rations, and bring them home to reduced medical benefits and, in many cases, abandon them to cope on their own with the serious, lingering costs of war. The administration’s solution to this mess? Rename the fighting. Welcome, my friends, to “The Long War,” a perfect compliment to the ever-encroaching police state of dystopia.

This hole we have fallen down is both the result of an utter failure of policy and the cunning of a foreign foe. Our soldiers fight and die so we can continue to be “free”, yes, but not in the sense that if we were to redeploy to the border areas of Iraq, America as we know it would come crumbling down. No, the violence there would decrease, international aid workers could move in and not fear death, and we could begin some real reconstruction. We could stop fighting fire with fire and begin the healing process. Iraqis would actually throw flowers in the streets. Greeted as Liberators, for real this time. Mission Accomplished Again, we could say. Second time’s the charm.

After all, Bush did promise that when the Iraqis ask for the U.S. to withdraw, we would. Well, they’ve asked three times, but no sign of us making good on our word. Peace is within our grasp. We can climb out of Osama’s Tiger Trap. We can wrench our country back from his cunning, restore our Bill of Rights, protect ourselves at home in accordance with the law, and WIN this war against a feeling. But to conquer a feeling, specifically terror, the heart and mind shall be our battleground. It is our enemy’s recruitment camp we must shut down. It is their cause we must remove. It is peace and prosperity we must bring. It is alliances we must make. It is our rights we must restore and our national defense we must ensure, should we seek a safer world.

That will never happen until the vision of Martin Luther King Jr., so well-known yet so often neglected, comes to be. “We all have to be concerned about terrorism,” he said with such great conviction. “[B]ut you will never end terrorism by terrorizing others.” No, terror will not be conquered. Neither will sadness or annoyance or malaise. But peace AND victory in Iraq are attainable. It is simply a matter of political will.

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