Eff's Rambles (Archive)


There's straw in that bush

I did not catch all of the speech but I shall read the transcript off the Whitehouse's page in full later, but the part I heard, which I quote here, reached out at me.

"Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001 -- and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 180 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan. "

He is making a strawman. He gets half the argument right when he says some have argued our presence and actions in Iraq have strengthened extremism. But then he goes on and claims that the argument also states that what we are doing is the reason for the extremism. The correct way to refer to the argument is to say that some believe our actions have strengthened extremism and exacerbated it, creating more extremists. Such a distortion as Bush has made makes me wonder how much attention he gives to the nuances in arguments against his policies. I would hope that his advisors could do a better job, or that Bush could try to pay more attention.

My knowledge of the Russian and Chechnyan conflict is small, but I do suspect that Bush is making a false analogy. If judged by the supposed reasons for Osama, al Qaida, et al, hatred of the US, I doubt the Chechnyan attacks on the school in Beslan was motivated by unwanted US presence, along with other things which are either factual, false or conspiratorial, whose blame is put on the US. If the Beslan school terrorists were Muslim, or proclaimed as such, that seems to me to be the strongest link, that I am aware of. Even if they are connected with al Qaida, I doubt that US troops in or near Mecca motivated them. And there all ready exists another reason, Chechnyan "liberation," or whateverterm is appropriate. Bush's comment can be interpreted as saying that the attack on the school was done more for the purposes of al Qaida than for Chechyan "liberation." While there could be statements supporting that theory, I doubt it was the strongest motivating factor. How much does Iraq and terrorism there really have to do with the Chechnyan and Russian conflict?


  • I believe Bush is saying that Muslim extremists attack non-theocracies who disagree with their movements regardless of whether they have taken military action specifically. He is saying these islamo-fascists would still attack us regardless of our attacking them with force.

    By Blogger Trevor, at 10/08/2005 12:59:00 AM  

  • I am not disputing that. I am saying his example is flawed.

    By Blogger Eff, at 10/08/2005 01:08:00 PM  

  • I honestly am not certain Bush knows what the hell is talking about anymore.

    I don't even know why he brings up Russia/Chechnya, that situation is completely, totally different.

    By Blogger melusina, at 10/09/2005 11:50:00 AM  

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