Saturday, July 08, 2006

Worthwhile 7-Minute Listen: War on Terror

Mike Scheuer is a former CIA-operative and one tough SOB, once charged with tracking Osama bin Laden, who thinks any administration "moral cowards" for putting other interests above killing bin Laden when we could have, even though it would have involved killing women and children as well. And, "Better a dead Iraqi than a dead American," he says.

So this guy's no diplomtic "peacenik." And yet even he echoed many of the points made in Nicholas Johnson, "Perspective on Military Murder and the Mission at Hand," Iowa City Press-Citizen, July 2, 2006, in an interview July 7, 2006:
  • we're losing the "war on terror,"
  • no one (politicians, media, academics) has explained to the American people what it's really about,
  • there's no solution unless we're willing to change the foreign policies that most anger Muslims,
  • this is not a problem that can be solved militarily,
  • America is bin Laden's enemy only because "it's in the way,"
  • it's put itself on the bull's eye, and we have no real national interest in doing that.
Owen Bennett-Jones, "The Interview" (Mike Scheuer), BBC World Service, July 7, 2006 (listen especially to the last 7 minutes of the 25-minute interview), available now (until July 14, 2006, and probably searchable thereafter) at

Curious as to why, if all that is true, we continue to wage wars anyway? You might want to watch "Why We Fight," a 99-minute movie available from Google Video, This film of Eugene Jarecki's won the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. It is also available as a Sony Pictures Classics DVD.

See also, generally, Z-Facts, (for a variety of interesting, relevant material).

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