Posts Tagged ‘war on terror’

Look, I get it. A big majority of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq, independent of any UN inspections. Congress voted with substantial majorities to authorize the use of military force.

But I can’t help but notice a similarity among the names touted for key administration positions: every single one favored the invasion of Iraq in 2003. John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Michele Flournoy, Susan Rice — they all supported the initial invasion. Yes, there are lots of reasons to pick someone for a job, especially one running a large bureaucracy. And I also dislike litmus tests generally; a good nominee will necessarily have some flaws.

Still, were there really¬†no Iraq War opponents available? None? Zero? Couldn’t find anyone?

21 Senators opposed the AUMF. Were they just not “serious” enough? Want to appoint a Republican? How about Brent Scowcroft? Want to appoint someone with military experience? Maybe former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Hugh Shelton is more your speed.

Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in no small part because of his opposition to the Iraq War from the beginning. It gave him liberal credibility against Clinton, and signaled a clear break from the Bush administration policies of preemptive war and a national security state run amok.

Instead, he has shown himself to be, on the state of our military and national security state, to be of a piece with his predecessor. Worse, he has shown that the only way for a Democrat to be taken “seriously” on national security is to be a hawk.

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We don’t have all the details yet, but the attacks in Norway today appear to be politically motivated.

They also do not appear to be connected to international terrorism, at this point. (This could change; there’s tons of speculation right now.)

I want to note, though, that attacks like these make the “war on terror” ideology rather incomprehensible. Regardless of ideological leanings, domestic politically motivated attacks and internationally-directed politically motivated attacks cause just as much damage and create just as much psychological impact. It doesn’t matter whether the perpetrators are Muslims, Christians, Hindus or otherwise.

And yet, when we discuss “the war on terror” in the West, we are almost always discussing a single type of terrorism:

One thing is certain, however and that is the perception in Norway’s security services that Islamist terrorism is a bigger threat than the almost unheard domestic terrorism, despite the existence of far right and anarchist groups who of late are alleged to have improved their international contacts.

Battling extremist groups will never be effective if we only focus on one type.

UPDATE: a photo of the arrested suspect:

In online debates marks Anders Behring Breivik as well read, and one with strong opinions about Norwegian politics. He promotes a very conservative opinions, which he also called nationalist. He expresses himself strongly opposed to multiculturalism – that cultural differences can live together in a community.

Breivik has had many posts on the site Document.no, an Islam-critical site that publishes news and commentary.

In one of the posts he states that politics today no longer revolves around socialism against capitalism, but that the fight is between nationalism and internationalism. He expressed clear support for the nationalist mindset.

Anders Breivik Behring has also commented on the Swedish news articles, where he makes it clear that he believes the media have failed by not being “NOK” Islam-critical.

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