Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Invisible War

Booman says we're bombing Yemen.  The Guardian says we've carried out 8 strikes in the past two weeks.  Given the information we've been hearing about attacks originating from Yemen, this hardly seems surprising.  Some nitwit at Salon was writing that the whole "terrorist threat" was created to silence the media over the Snowden revelations.

There is a natural tendency towards conspiracy theories.  This is especially true in the Arab world.  Read what the Egyptians are saying about the US today.  Chances are they see Obama behind the Mubarak regime, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the violent squelching of the Brotherhood.  And you can likely get that from one person.

Generally speaking, I'm very leery of conspiracy theories, because they rely on complexity.  I'm a devotee of Occam's Razor.  The idea that the NSA cooked up a threat in Yemen and then the CIA and US military began striking targets in order to justify domestic wiretaps, when the NSA and CIA are NOT claiming that the intercepts they got were domestic... where is the logic in that?

Now, the question as to whether assassinating Al Qaeda members is the appropriate response to this threat is - I suppose - open for debate. Assassination - for lack of a better word - is not an illogical tactic to take against a widespread, non-state actor.  But it does represent a change in American values.

As for the fact that it's drones doing the assassinating, whatever.  Would it make everyone feel better if the missile strike came from an F-16?

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