Lots of money for terrorists
by Don Williams
One of the unimpeachable truths about our unimpeachable president is that he’s providing lots of money to terrorists, most recently to Sunnis linked to al-Qaeda.
This is the point at which readers of a certain stripe will shake their heads and start calling for mine. Maybe one in ten will double-check my source--famed journalist Seymour Hersh’s latest article in the New Yorker, or his interview with CNN’s Wolf Blizter last Sunday. If you watched, you heard Hersh say something that should’ve been banner headlines. But then, what’s the fate of the Middle East compared to Anna Nicole.
Still, it’s worth noting that Bush is “pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight" into "three Sunni jihadist groups… connected to al Qaeda," in order to stop the Shiites, Hersh said.
A few of those critics mentioned above will consider Hersh’s considerable evidence and reputation and begin to experience cognitive dissonance as they try to square their brand of patriotism, which borders on religious faith, with the reality of how high priests of that faith—Bush, Cheney, Rush, Hannity, Coulter, O’Reilly, etc.--consistently operate, rather like dogs in a dog-eat-dog world. For some, this cognitive dissonance will hold the seed of understanding. And that seed will grow and mature into a better, more complex and ultimately more beautiful conception of the world. Experience has taught me that most, however, will fall back behind the circled wagons of their much simpler dogma:
America is good. Terrorists are evil. Our president is the leader of the Worldwide War on Terror, so he’s obviously good. People who criticize him are therefore lying or twisting the facts.
They will distract themselves from the circular nature of this logic by taking the offensive--mostly by calling me and Hersh and other people names.
Such reactions are to be expected from people who have been spoon-fed patriotic pablum for so long they can scarcely conceive of a more complex world. And let’s face it, that’s what most people dine on. Most long ago dismissed Hersh’s other scoops—the horror of My Lai during the Vietnam War, the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Few even heard of Hersh’s most damning story--that forces under control of the Bush administration not only helped members of al-Qaeda slip the noose at Tora Bora but that bin Laden and much of the hated Taliban were ushered out by our ally Pakistan while we cleared a zone of escape to the Afghanistan border. So why should we expect they would’ve heard how we’re providing funds for Sunnis linked to al-Qaeda?
People who’ve paid attention from the moment Bush and his friends stole the 2000 election—I’ll present the overwhelming evidence for this widely held opinion in a later column, promise--will not find Hersh’s new revelations surprising.
Funding both al-Qaeda and their Shiite enemies is in a long, grand tradition of secret funding of terrorists. Just consider the Iran-Contra intrigues of the 1980s or our government’s secret double dealing during the Iran-Iraq War, when we provided aerial targeting maps to Iraq while selling anti-aircraft weapons to Iran (Newsweek, Nov. 20). How cynical is that?
Starting in 2000, Bush began plucking perpetrators of such actions from the shadows and installing them in his administration, something I can easily demonstrate and promise to come back to.
Of course, even without their help, Bush has funded lots of terrorists, deliberately or not. Consider the rabbit hole of incompetence, graft and unaccountability down which billions have flowed, like the $12 billion that was flown into Baghdad early in the war and distributed from pallets--no receipts required--according congressional hearings earlier this month. Probably tens of billions have been squandered on failed public works projects. Much of that money wound up in the hands of Shiites, who tend not to be linked to al-Qaeda, after all—though many are linked to death squads now ravaging Sunni populations in Iraq.
Then there are the billions that Americans in over-sized cars have essentially paid to Saudis over the past decades. Yes, yes, I know, most of our oil comes from elsewhere, but in the global economy that’s a distinction without a difference. Some of this money no doubt, ends up financing Wahhabist schools that teach Sunni children throughout the Middle East to hate Israelis and Americans, along with more laudable idealogies. And it’s the Sunnis, not the Shiites, that al-Qaeda tends to hook up with. By failing to make us less dependent on oil, Bush plays into the hands of people who hate us.
Such notions should’ve sparked banner headlines long ago, but they didn’t, so why should we expect now to read headlines such as this:
President Bush Secretly Funds al-Qaeda-linked Terrorists.
Listen up, while I demonstrate fairness and balance right HERE. To be clear Bush funds these terrorists, many of whom want to kill us, as a way of fighting other terrorists who want to kill us.
But Bush’s incoherent policies have driven us to this pass.
There are no doubt myriad psychological reasons why Bush invaded Iraq. His main, stated goals were to eliminate WMDs and install a democracy—sort of like swapping out an engine in a ’57 Chevy. You and I know it’s more complicated, but even assuming THAT was Bush’s true goal, the POLICY used to achieve it was incoherent, because—as a few of us tried to point out as early as 2002—if you put the majority in charge of Iraq, you'd end up with a Shiite dominated state. That’s who the majority is.
And that Shiite dominated state naturally has lots in common with Iran, the Shiite dominated state next door that Bush long since labeled part of the Axis of Evil. Bush might well bomb Iran unmercifully before he leaves office, Hersh writes. Face it, Bush and Cheney built a faith-based policy on the unstable sands of Neo-conservative dogma, and they did it with no fallback plan rooted in a firmer reality.
Now the so-called Shiite Crescent, stretching from southern Iraq, through Iran and into Southern Lebanon, is on the rise, much to the chagrin of Israel and the anger of many Sunnis throughout the Middle East. Alarmed by this wholly predictable turn, Bush has accelerated his fight against the Shiites of Iran, which makes the Shiites we installed to govern Iraq angry and nervous. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his sometime-ally, Muqtada al-Sadr, who essentially commands tens of thousands of Shiite militia in Iraq, are no fools. They know Bush and his top advisors made a calculated decision to fund and arm people they can only regard as enemies, including the al-Qaeda connected Sunnis inside and bordering Iran. So why did all the major networks not lead with the earthshaking news that our president is funding terrorists?
I’d wager it’s related to the reason my editors tried muzzling articles like this at my last job.
Cognitive dissonance, my friend. Look it up.
Copyright © 2007 by Don Williams, All Rights Reserved
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