Standing With Osama?
February 19, 2003 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Standing With Osama? "Some of the more bilious right-wing pundits... have taken to describing those who oppose the invasion as 'siding with Saddam.' But if such sleazy rhetoric is allowable, then maybe we should say that those like our President, who seem to have ignored Osama’s decrees, or like Powell, who are hawking a Saddam/Al Qaeda connection based on overblown evidence, are standing with Osama." Is this accusation fair? If so, is it productive? I doubt it, but I'm not certain. Rohan Gunaratna, the author of "Inside Al Qaeda," warns that an invasion of Iraq would undermine the international campaign against Al Qaeda and give terrorist groups a new lease on life. Oh well, at least it's funny. [Via Cursor.] [More inside.]
posted by homunculus (21 comments total)

 
A possible example of the conflict between conflicts: the current Qatari Minister of the Interior, a member of the royal family, has been giving aid to Al Qaeda for years, and even helped the mastermind of September 11 evade capture in 1996. But the administration does not seem to want to pursue the issue at this time.
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on February 19, 2003


good issue. i hope it passes the iraq/new post test.

arianna's column today does a nice job of providing some plain speak about our number 2 man and his uncomfortable closeness to and benefit from business in iraq prior to his - suprise suprise - self appointment as vice president.

more on the subject here

and here

and here

true conservatives should be screaming about the connections between this administration and "evil doers"
posted by specialk420 at 2:03 PM on February 19, 2003


To answer the FPP's question, no, it's not a fair accusation to say that hawks are siding with Bin Laden. It's exactly as simplistic as the accusation that those who oppose the war are siding with Sadaam. That said, if anyone tries the use the latter argument on me, I will surely respond with the former.
posted by Gilbert at 2:09 PM on February 19, 2003


Is this accusation fair?

More so than the accusation that my viewpoint of Iraq-Ataq being BAD for American interests is siding with Saddam (which makes no logical sense at all). There is NO evidence that Saddam has the ability to sponsor or aid terror against America. Meanwhile Al Qaeda rebuilds ...

If so, is it productive?

In my opinion, not at all. Bush isn't listening, he doesn't care. Those who know what's best for us must rise and save us from ourselves, or some such drivel.

No offense, homunculus, but this argument is threadbare. Its been hashed and hashed, and there's nothing left to show that will be listened to. We no longer have an international campaign against Al Qaeda; we have a looming war against Iraq. George the Second has already said he's going to insure our security against this vile dictator, regardless of contrary opinion. I'm so happy, until the next bomb goes off in a shopping mall, or disco... Until that happens, this is just another MeFi argument with no result.

(Poopyhead!

No You're The Poopyhead!)

posted by Wulfgar! at 2:12 PM on February 19, 2003


It's ugly rhetoric, either way. Tired as I am of being accused of "siding with Saddam," I think fighting fire with fire in this case would just end up with, well, more flames.
posted by ook at 2:16 PM on February 19, 2003


"But if such sleazy rhetoric is allowable, then maybe we should say that those like our President, who seem to have ignored Osama’s decrees, or like Powell, who are hawking a Saddam/Al Qaeda connection based on overblown evidence, are standing with Osama."

Somebody out there needs a few lessons on logic and shameless fallacies.
posted by 111 at 2:27 PM on February 19, 2003


And the Captain's name is Johnson,
And he'll work us 'til we fall,
And if he see's us a shirkin'
then it's God preserve us all!

Heave away upon the capstan,
Give a hand to heave the trawl'



I, for one, am so very tired of the endless debate that goes nowhere. I really wish tha Bush would just get it over with, so that we could put our energies to reacting to the fallout. The rhetoric is ugly, and we work too hard for it, when the choice has already been made. Maybe we should look at this post as a warning of what to look for instead of a cry for prudence?

(Or was that the intention all along?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:31 PM on February 19, 2003


Bush isn't listening, he doesn't care. Those who know what's best for us must rise and save us from ourselves, or some such drivel.

AMEN.

But... the fact that we HAVE to expend energies 'reacting to the fallout' for the current admin's Unsound Methods cheeses me off in a major fashion. This is what happens when you give a mongoloid child the controls to a roller coaster.

The horror... the horror...
posted by Perigee at 2:36 PM on February 19, 2003


Not all the news about Iraq is dark.

The US Navy has deployed sea lions to the Persian Gulf to help defend its ships against terrorist bombings a la the Cole. Of course, because of tactical concerns, Rumsfeld will not reveal exactly how many sea lions have been deployed.

Yes, I'm aware this is off topic. I didn't think this merited a FPP.
posted by gsteff at 2:43 PM on February 19, 2003


If they find [a terrorist], the sea lion will come to surface to raise the alarm, Frey said. The handlers can then give the sea lion a clamp attached to a line that the animal can fix to the suspect's leg, marking him with a surface buoy and letting troops on the surface haul him in like a fish.

OK, this story is really from The Onion, right? Or Weekend Update?

Oh, wait a minute, it's from the same government that's expecting us to buy everything else they're shilling these days. So of course we'll believe that a terrorist will just dog paddle in place while a sea lion wraps a clamp around his leg. Hookay.

If it's true, as an animal lover, I have one more reason to be opposed to the war. (Truly, it does make me ill to think of cool animals like sea lions and dolphins being, uh, co-opted ... Now let's all join hands and sing a chorus of Born Free.)
posted by NorthernLite at 3:35 PM on February 19, 2003


Remind me to make a "If we invade Iraq, the terrorists will already have won" sign for the next rally....
posted by Raya at 3:51 PM on February 19, 2003


The terrorists have won the battle, not the war. As Rummy said this is the war that keeps on going and going and...

(didn't somebody photoshop the energizer bunny with a 50 cal? That would be appropriate right about now,)
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:57 PM on February 19, 2003


It's exactly as simplistic as the accusation that those who oppose the war are siding with Saddam. That said, if anyone tries the use the latter argument on me, I will surely respond with the former.

Word.
posted by y2karl at 4:29 PM on February 19, 2003


The word "pundit" should just be abolished for its overuse.
posted by Quixoticlife at 7:30 PM on February 19, 2003


friedman today: "it's time for the Bush team to shape up — dial down the attitude, start selling this war on the truth, give us a budget that prepares the nation for a war abroad, not a party at home, and start doing everything possible to create a global context where we can confront Saddam without the world applauding for him." (via gulfstream)
posted by kliuless at 7:49 PM on February 19, 2003


little hints here and there that al queda is (was) just a rag tag - piss pot bunch of extremists - that the bush administration has turned into the perfect global bogeyman for its own purposes. and the military budget all of a sudden balloons to to over 50% of the total US federal budget ... how about a voluntary war tax? those how want the war in iraq - get to pay for it. id prefer to send my tax dollars to family planning clinics in karachi - bombay - manila - phoenix and indianapolis.
posted by specialk420 at 9:03 PM on February 19, 2003


Tired as I am of being accused of "siding with Saddam," I think fighting fire with fire in this case would just end up with, well, more flames.

Liberal: someone who is so fair-minded that he can't even bear to take his own side in an argument.

Nobody wants to take the side of someone who argues like a pansy.

Some people in the pro-war camp are so lacking in self-awareness that they need their own idiotic arguments shot right back at them before they figure out the fallacies behind thm. And even if it doesn't do any good, it will make you feel better and make people who sympathize with your views less embarassed to agree with you. Somehow, the conservatives seem to understand both these points much better.
posted by deanc at 9:34 PM on February 19, 2003


Yeah, you're right: 'cause there's such a mountain of evidence right here on this very site that "shooting idiotic arguments right back" at someone is a dandy way to convince them of the error of their ways. What better way to change someone's mind, than to tell them they're terrorists and traitors? I mean, look how many liberals Ann Coulter's converted, and she doesn't even read metafilter!

Look, I could care less if that makes you embarrassed to agree with me now. What I do care about, is I'd rather not look back on all this five or ten years down the road, and be embarrassed by what an asshole I turned into during that whole stupid Iraq thing, because I let my temper get the better of me.

You may have no respect for someone who "argues like a pansy." Fine. Tell you what: I have no respect for people whose best or only arguments are soundbites and moronic slogans. That includes a lot of people in the pro-war camp. (Not all of them.) But it includes more than a few on "our" side, too. (And before you go digging into the archives to triumphantly pull forth examples of my own mudslinging and stupid soundbites, yeah, sure, they're there to be found; I lose my temper as much as anyone. It's something I'm working on. You should see how many four-letter words I deleted from this comment, for example.) "Siding with Osama" is a slogan on an intellectual par with "I'm rubber and you're glue." It's maybe funny once, because it points up the absurdity of "siding with Saddam," ha ha ain't that a hoot. But trying to use it as a real arguing point is just dumb, playground-level taunting.

I'm painfully aware how much of the rhetoric coming from the pro-war camp, from the President right on down to our own favorite neighborhood wingnut is on exactly that intellectual level; it just thrills the fuck out of me that because I think we're going after the wrong guys for the wrong reasons, people are going to cal me a terrorist sympathizer. Really makes my fucking day, each and every time. But sinking to that level in response won't help the cause, it won't convince anybody of anything, and it sure as hell won't make you feel any better for longer than about ten seconds. It's just going to cause more shouting and stupidity and more closed minds.
posted by ook at 10:49 PM on February 19, 2003


Meanwhile, in Australia: PM denounces protesters for aiding Saddam.
posted by homunculus at 1:48 PM on February 20, 2003


(Poopyhead!

No You're The Poopyhead!)


I have never denied being a poopyhead.
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on February 20, 2003


Al Qaeda's Nightmare Scenario Emerges
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on February 20, 2003


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