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October 17, 2004

Thank God Our Leaders Are Complete Different From Etc., Etc.

It really is peculiar, and more than a little terrifying, to see the degree to which America's leaders share the worldview of al Qaeda and/or Saddam Hussein. See here, here, here and here.

For more, here's a quote from a new book about al Qaeda and its strategy:

The sheer audacity and magnitude of the massive blow struck against the United States was designed to galvanize undecided Muslims by convincing them that the Islamist militants were irresistibly powerful and that the United States, the arrogant protector of apostate regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, was abhorrently weak.

With sides reversed, this of course was a large part of the American rationale for invading Iraq. Our shock and awe was supposed to show the Muslim world (as well as our recalcitrant allies in Europe) that we're "irresistibly powerful." Or as Richard Haass, Colin Powell's former deputy put it:

"...if there was a hidden reason, the one I heard most was that we needed to change the geopolitical momentum after 9/11. People wanted to show that we can dish it out as well as take it."

The importance of "geopolitical momentum" was put most starkly by Osama bin Laden himself soon after the 9/11 attacks:

"When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse."

This grotesque misunderstanding of human nature was immediately endorsed by our side's psychotics. The only difference is that we're going to out-strong horse bin Laden.

Here's Daniel Pipes, just after the invasion of Iraq:

As bin Laden himself put it,“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." An allied victory will establish who the strong horse is.

And here's J.D. Hayworth, a Republican congressman writing in National Review a year ago:

Iraq further showed that we were willing to put lots of Americans on the ground, in harm's way in the heart of the Middle East, to protect our interests... the U.S. revealed itself to be the strong horse, a perceived reversal of fortune that has had positive repercussions throughout the region.

And here's Judith Miller, just as right as she always is:

"And as for the Arab street and the root causes, I think I will have to quote Osama bin Laden himself, "People prefer a strong horse." The United States is emerging as the strong horse."

My favorite thing about Daniel Pipes is that George Bush appointed him to the board of the U.S. Institute for Peace. Too bad there's no Islamic Institute for Peace for bin Laden to belong to.

Posted at October 17, 2004 08:51 PM | TrackBack