As everybody knows, there is no such thing as a global war on terror anymore. Instead we live in a harmonious world of interfaith comity with only the occasional criminal act that is quickly and competently handled by law enforcement officials. As a result we can cut our defense budgets and get on with the real business of life, which is to say watching TV, going to the mall and voting to re-elect the strategic geniuses whose wise decisions and firm but thoughtful leadership gave us this tranquil world order.As we celebrate this new age of peace, understanding and joy, here are a few stories that might matter if we didn’t have such a wise and level-headed government in Washington that was bent on soothing and quieting what might otherwise be an aroused and worried public opinion.The office of the Director of National Intelligence is both confirming that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was deliberately planned in advance and excusing the White House for getting the story wrong. Officials are trying to determine if a mysterious, little known organization called “Al-Qaeda” had something to do with the attack. This doesn’t seem likely, as Al-Qaeda was reported dead or at least in what former Vice President Cheney would have called its “death throes” in Pakistan last spring, but you never know.....The President of Yemen, meanwhile, is thanking the United States for its support for his efforts in his country’s ongoing anti-crime effort against randomly motivated groups of violent criminals in developments that have nothing in common with superficially similar movements anywhere in the world. In what was obviously a slip of the tongue he linked the criminals with “Al-Qaeda” and implied that some sort of international network was engaged in the violence in his country but such crazy talk by a man under a great deal of stress is best ignored. Only rampant paranoia with perhaps a touch of Islamophobia could link events in Yemen to anything warlike or global.
Lies that will certainly be revealed as lies is no way to govern. Although it may win you an election in a few weeks.
Indeed.When, after months and years of denial, events suddenly pop up (like a pre-planned 9/11 attack on an American diplomatic outpost) that look very much as if the war on terror was still happening, millions of Americans begin to ask whether their leaders are just stupid or if something else is going on. If you want to stoke McCarthyism, deny that domestic Communism is a problem after domestic spies have sold our nuclear secrets to Stalin. If you want to stoke Islamophobia, don’t level with the people about the nature of the problems we face.