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ZNet - No “War on Terror”

ZNet - No “War on Terror”: "One of the most telling signs of the political naiveté of liberals and the Left in the United States has been their steadfast faith in much of the worldview that blankets the imperial state they call home. Nowhere has this critical failure been more evident than in their acceptance of the premise that there really is something called a 'war on terror' or “terrorism”[1]—however poorly managed its critics make it out to be—and that righting the course of this war ought to be this country's (and the world’s) top foreign policy priority. In this perspective, Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than Iraq ought to have been the war on terror's proper foci; most accept that the U.S. attack on Afghanistan from October 2001 on was a legitimate and necessary stage in the war. The tragic error of the Bush Administration, in this view, was that it lost sight of this priority, and diverted U.S. military action to Iraq and other theaters, reducing the commitment where it was needed.
Of course we expect to find this line of criticism expressed by the many former supporters who have fled from the sinking regime in Washington.[2] But it is striking that commentators as durably hostile to Bush policies as the New York Times's Frank Rich should accept so many of the fundamentals of this worldview, and repeat them without embarrassment. Rich asserts that the question "Who lost Iraq? is but a distraction from the more damning question, Who is losing the war on terrorism?" A repeated theme of Rich's work has been that the Cheney - Bush presidency is causing "as much damage to fighting the war on terrorism as it does to civil liberties." Even in late 2007, Rich still lamented the "really bad news" that, "Much as Iraq distracted America from the war against Al Qaeda, so a strike on Iran could ignite Pakistan, Al Qaeda's thriving base and the actual central front of the war on terror."[3]

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