By Cliff Knizley
Coimbatore Iswaran's Sept. 9 Speaking Out, titled "Bush's actions ensure danger" is a dumbfounding take on the worldwide threat of Islamic terrorism. He ignores history and the terrorist's own words and makes arguments unrivaled in their naivete.
Iswaran's Indian heritage doesn't prevent his descent into the pseudo intellectual drivel of the Western leftist. He quotes obscure poets, cites historical anecdotes and throws around SAT words like nobody's business. None of this saves him from sounding completely detached from reality.
The basic premise is an old one, President Bush's policies have created a proliferation of Islamic terrorism. In Iswaran's world, "Bush's war on terror" has "awakened the enemy and assured the possibility of a dastardly act." One week away from Sept. 11 strikes me as an unusual time to make such a statement.
Iswaran contends that prior to Bush's policies, terrorists "attacked haphazardly." Two rather large craters in downtown Manhattan provide a potent rebuttal to this asinine idea. Those craters were the result of years of planning, not exactly a haphazard attack. The fact that these same terrorists attempted to create those craters in 1993 is lost on Iswaran, who describes the terrorists' strategy as "do not resist the conquerer overtly." He should float that theory by the survivors of the attacks on the Khobar Towers and the U.S.S. Cole. Those attacks occurred years before Bush was president and define the term overt.
Iswaran claims that contrary to Bush's statements, terrorists "love freedom and democracy." No doubt it was this great love that motivated al-Qaeda's decision to set up shop in that bastion of freedom known as Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Perhaps he should read the words of the late terrorist Zarqawi who said, "We are at war with democracy, which allows one to chose their religion and is an affront to God." Iswaran then states, "Terrorism flourishes in lawless societies with weak governments."
This is not a Webster's definition of the terrorist's beloved democracy.
Iswaran takes a typical shot at the Patriot Act claiming that Bush is "curtailing our freedom." He conveniently fails to provide any part of the act or its usage that would support this claim and I doubt it has affected him personally.
He then states that Bush has "deliberately weakened the Iraqi government and refused to strengthen the Afghanistan government." Removing totalitarian regimes and attempting to support constitutional democracies seems like a strange way to "weaken" a country, but then again, I may not have Iswaran's sources.
According to Iswaran, Bush has "managed to polarize America." Maybe he was still in India during the polarizing 2000 election. He also blames Bush for his contention that "as a Middle Eastern looking individual," suspicious looks are often cast his way. Perhaps those democracy loving terrorists who created those craters might have some responsibility as well!
He then blames Tony Blair's position as a "Bush lackey" for the terrorism which continues to threaten Britain. I read further hoping to learn why Iswaran's homeland of India was recently attacked, but was disappointed.
Finally Iswaran claims that "fear is the biggest enemy of civilized society." I'd suggest that terrorists with nukes is a greater enemy, but I've probably fallen victim to Bush's "fear mongering."
Iswaran will not fall victim to fear. So fearless is he, that he refuses to lock his car at the mall. He's concerned he might lock his keys inside.
The fact that he has replaced one fear with another escapes our intrepid hero. But it does yield an interesting analogy.
The car could represent our national security. Israwan's policy to leave his unlocked ignores the reality of evil men with nefarious plans. My policy is to lock the car and hope law enforcement removes criminals from the streets. My car may not be completely safe, but it's certainly more safe than Israwan's. And in the event my car is stolen, would it be due to the fact that it was locked?
Cliff is a good friend and creator of Letters to Baghdad: A Tribute to Our Troops. He's a squared away American.