Principalities & Powers

The Great Crackpot Crackdown

Within a few days of the American conquest of Iraq, it was obvious that the Bush administration’s “War on Terrorism” was a monumental flop that has probably endangered the United States and Americans abroad far more than it has protected them.  Not only were American soldiers being slowly picked off by snipers inside Iraq but terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco showed clearly that the conquest of two countries since the September 11 attacks had accomplished nothing toward the destruction or incapacitation of the international terrorist network.  Rather ignominiously, the administration was obliged to declare the country at the “threat level” of “orange” (“high risk”) and close the U.S. embassy in Riyadh.  For all the triumphalist chest-thumping, cheerleading, and self-righteous crowing from the President himself down to the lowest stomper of Dixie Chicks albums, it was transparent that the United States was in retreat, not the terrorists.

Unable to catch, kill, or defeat any real terrorists, the administration has simply selected phony ones to harass as much as possible, and the most accessible fake terrorists are the “extremists” of the far right.  Many of them are, in fact, extremists by any reasonable definition, and not a few are downright repellent.  Nevertheless, the government—for all its “crackdown” on them...

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