Thursday, May 28, 2009

Conversations With A Conservative.

If you've been wondering where Elroy has been lately, well, the answer is hard at work going undercover in Wingnut World to bring you authentic and real, first hand rightie logic through a series of conversations with his chum Hawkeye® over at View From Above. Hi, Hawkeye®!

They canvassed many subjects – the War on Terror™,, OBL, capitalism, Iraq, Israel, Islam – and so without further ado, here is the first of a few...

On 9/11.

HAWKEYE®: Was it the conservatives in the MSM that blamed Bush for 9/11?

ELROY: No, it wasn't – conservatives blamed OBL.

HAWKEYE®:And they were correct in their assessment.

ELROY: Not according to the FBI or Dick Cheney

HAWKEYE®: The world is an ugly place for sure. But it's not ugly because one man in the White House made tough decisions on how best to prevent another 9/11. It's ugly because guys like Osama bin Laden plot and plan about the best way to kill tens, hundreds, or thousands of innocent people – was it our "arrogance" that caused Osama bin Laden to order the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans?

ELROY: Well, if we allow that it was Osama, I submit that he did it to get the US out of Saudi Arabia, and guess what – it worked!

HAWKEYE®: OBL didn't perpetrate 9/11 "to get the US out of Saudi Arabia", but let me get this straight. On the one hand you want me to believe that OBL used the excuse of U.S. troops in Mecca (which they weren't) to justify 9/11 in order to get the troops out of Saudi Arabia, which you claim forced Rumsfeld to pull our troops out.’

Then, on the other hand, you want me believe that OBL wasn't behind 9/11, even though he admitted to it on several occasions, and which is contrary to your previous assertions. Which is it? Can't have it both ways.’

ELROY: I don’t need to have it both ways – I don’t want it both ways. Here's what happened – following the first Gulf War, US troops were stationed in Medina and Mecca, Saudi Arabia – this is pretty hard to deny, because it’s true. OBL and his Al-Queada buddies demanded their removal – it’s on their web site – then 9/11 happens, OBL gets blamed, the War On Terror™ ensues and US toops are pulled from Medina and Mecca.

However, this doesn’t mean that OBL did it – just that it was assumed he did. Was OBL the fall guy? We know he was a CIA asset. Was removing the troops from Medina and Mecca the pay-off for taking the rap? I don’t know, but there are many unanswered questions about 9/11. Did OBL admit it? Not definitively. Not beyond reasonable doubt. When? Where?

According to Dick Cheney, OBL didn’t perpetrate it at all! ‘We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11’ said Dick in 2006. ‘That evidence has never been forthcoming.’

And according the FBI, OBL didn’t do it.
FBI agent Rex Tomb let it slip in 2006 that "9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.’

HAWKEYE®: You misinterpreted Dick Cheney's statement that there was no "smoking gun" connecting OBL to 9/11 as proof that Cheney said "OBL was not responsible" for 9/11.

ELROY: I didn’t misinterpret anything. I quote Cheney as per. It seems pretty clear to me.

He said nothing about a ‘smoking gun’ – that’s YOUR misinterpretation. What is there about ‘We’ve never made the case that somehow OBL was directly involved in 9/1’ that is ambiguous?

Which words in ‘We've never made the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11’ are open to interpretation?

HAWKEYE®: But that is not what Cheney meant.

ELROY: Well what DID he mean then? Do you know? Have you asked him?

HAWKEYE®: Lack of hard evidence does not necessarily constitute lack of culpability…

ELROY: No, but it doesn’t prove culpability either, yet this is the standard of proof being used for OBL. 

HAWKEYE®: …although it does make prosecution rather difficult…

Well yes, thank you, it DOES make prosecution rather difficult, doesn’t it?

HAWKEYE®: …and to suggest otherwise is intellectual dishonesty.

ELROY: As is suggesting that it does. If you walked into a court of law as a prosecution attorney and said, ‘Well, we don’t actually have any hard evidence as such, you honor, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do it!’ you’d be up on contempt charges. Not that it stopped Dick, Don and Georgie-boy any! Evidence? Pah! Who needs it? And so we have Afghanistan.

HAWKEYE®: There is plenty of anecdotal and circumstantial evidence to tie OBL to 9/11.’

ELROY: ‘Anecdotal’ evidence is not permissible in a court of law, and any case built solely on circumstantial evidence would collapse. But that’s why Bush went to war I suppose – he didn’t have anything on OBL.

Don’t you think that if Bush et al had even the barest skerrick of evidence they’d sing it from the highest hilltop? And what, pray is this ‘circumstantial’ evidence anyway?

And if not OBL, who? I am, however, glad to see you admit there is no evidence for OBL’s complicity in 9/11 –there’s hope for you yet! It’s glimmers of sense like this that make it all worthwhile! 

HAWKEYE®: Although OBL initially denied any involvement; he later claimed responsibility for 9/11 on at least two occasions. For example, in videotape shown on Al Jazeera, October 29, 2004, he said:

‘God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but... As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way (and) to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.’

In an audiotape posted on the Internet in May 2006, OBL said: "[Zacarias Moussaoui] had no connection at all with September 11... I am the one in charge of the 19 brothers and I never assigned brother Zacarias to be with them in that mission."

ELROY: But are we 110% sure that these are OBL? Really? On what basis? Is the circumstantial evidence you speak of? Furthermore, it could be argued that because OBL had figured by 2004 that the whole world had declared him guilty, he might as well take the rap and get whatever out of it that he could. It’s all possible…

HAWKEYE®: Osama bin Laden wanted to be a Muslim super-hero. He thought he could do that with the 9/11 attacks. He didn't anticipate that GWB would go after his sorry butt.

Yeah, how’s that ‘gonna catch him dead or alive’ going? What did George say? ‘We don’t really think about him much anymore?’ Yup, y’all really got his sorry butt.

HAWKEYE®: Now he's the super-hero that's hiding out in a cave.

ELROY: Oh, is he? Is that a fact? Or just something you made up? Anyhoo, he was in a cave before 9/11 – maybe he just likes caves. Not that y’all were that interested in catching him anyway – "The goal has never been to get Bin Laden."
—General Richard Myers, chairman, US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

 ‘I don't know where he is. I just don't spend that much time on him.’ – GWB.

HAWKEYE®: From his own lips, he vowed to kill any and all Americans long before 9/11... "To kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it."

ELROY: Hardly ‘from his own lips’ – this letter has many authors and it was written, not spoken, but anyway…the interesting thing about this document is what it goes on to say after ‘…possible to do it…’ which is ‘in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip’ which, on the 29th of April, 2003, is exactly what happened. 

According to OBL, OBL didn’t do it. Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks’ – CNN.
’I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks.’— Usama bin Laden, September 17, 2001 from, as you say, his own lips.

ELROY: Rummy announced the US withdrawal from SA the day before ‘Mission Accomplished!’ and it was that, if anything, that stopped 9/11 from happening again. Who said the US won’t negotiate with terrorists? And who said negotiation doesn't work?

HAWKEYE®: I hereby appoint you Elroy to negotiate with al-Qaeda. Let me know how that works out, OK?

ELROY: That job’s done, buddy – see above. And in any case, Al-Qaeda is the least of your problems right now – the Taliban taking Pakistan, now THAT’S a problem.

However, even if was pulled off by OBL, KSM or the tooth fairy, 9/11 was not an act of war; it was an act of terrorism, a job for Interpol and not the Pentagon.

HAWKEYE®: Shooting somebody on the street is a job for Interpol.
Hijacking an airplane is a job for Interpol. Killing thousands of innocents is "war".

ELROY: No, it’s an act of terrorism. ‘War’ must be declared by a nation state, and neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked, nor declared, war on the USA, but you are right – killing thousands of innocents is "war". The US has sadly proved this true.

HAWKEYE®: The US treated terrorism like a police matter from 1972 until 2001, and what did it get us?

ELROY: Looks to me like it got you 29 years of relative peace. You caught some bad guys who are now in jail. Life went on.

If a serial killer is on the loose in, say, New York, what do we do? Catch him by police work? Or carpet bomb Manhattan? Have you any idea what the chances of being killed by a terror attack actually are? Less than dying in a car accident, walking across the street, drowning, fire, falling or by being murdered. 5,000 people die in America each year from e-coli poisoning due to the meat industry’s successful lobbying to have abattoir standards relaxed, but is there a war on meat? No.

However, let’s have a look at what this change in policy has wrought – 4,000 + US military dead, hundreds of thousands more maimed, injured and insane, 1 million + dead Iraqis and Afghans, 4 million + Iraq refugees, a completely de-stabled ME, a US occupation with no end in sight, Islamists a home run from Pakistan’s nuclear armory and a bill of 3 trillion dollars and rising.

HAWKEYE®: It got us 9/11.

ELROY: Did it? Haven’t we already ascertained that there is no way to prove this hypothesis?

HAWKEYE®: Now with the potential for terrorism using WMDs, the stakes are much higher. We cannot wait until an American or European city is smoldering in ruins to start looking for fingerprints. By then, it's too late.

ELROY: You have little choice – you can’t run around nuking whoever it is you think might be wanting to have a pop at you. But no one ever wanted to use WMD on the USA in the first place – this was a fear planted and generated by Bushco in order to go to war, so your wars have increased the chances of the very thing y’all wanted to avoid. Good result!

There are only way to police this eventuality – reduce the rest of the world to pavement or work out why anyone would want to reduce an American or European to smouldering ruins and act to head it off. People, you might be interested to know, do not do these things for fun – they have reasons.

So, did anyone win? Or lose? or is more true to reflect that a conversation is not a winning/losing proposition but it is an activity by which we stimulate our thought processes and get to question both our own assumptions, beliefs and prejudices and those of others, an opportunity to defend positions we hold to be true and to concede them when they are defensible no more? Well?

Whatever, don't forget to tell, or ask, Elroy™!