Friday, November 21, 2003

Events Have Taken Me Elsewhere

On Wednesday I planned on coming back the next day and expanding ideas regarding human rights, transparency, accountability, and the freedom of information. I got sidetracked. I'm currently out-of-town, but did manage the redirect post from yesterday (next one down).

Hopefully I'll be able to post a little later, but, if not, will do so during the weekend. The latest bombings in Turkey are disturbing, and show the ability of Al Qaeda to plan their attacks in order to steer media attention away from the leaders of the U.S. and Britain.

It seems Michael Jackson also has this ability. Such a combination, Michael Jackson and Osama Bin Laden, surely had never come to the mind of anyone, including myself (or either of those guys). In all fairness, this isn't really about Michael Jackson, in terms of the media timing, but the District Attorney of Santa Barbara.

With this in mind, I would like to encourage everyone to pay little or no attention to the Michael Jackson case, and maximum attention to Al Qaeda's ability to (not so) randomly conduct suicide bombings with (seeming) impunity.

In this light, it's obvious what our foreign policy focus should be in America - countering Al Qaeda, and the question of how to do this is unclear. Military adventures seem to be a non-starter, since we have no way of predicting where or when Al Qaeda will hit, or, if we have some hints beforehand, surely not enough information to prevent them from occurring.

Most importantly of all, we must continue to wonder why we chose to spend so many resources in Iraq, in bringing regime change there, when Saddam Hussein seemed to be the least of our worries. To me, it begs the question of the wisdom of our current leaders, and their fitness for that position.

With the invasion of Iraq, and our conduct in justifying it, we've managed to knowingly and intentionally divide the world, and this after Al Qaeda had shockingly and unprecedentedly brought it together in the aftermath of 9/11. We crucially need to do whatever it takes to bring ourselves and our allies back together again.

This means equinamity in the war against Al Qaeda, since we have no claim to superiority in this type of effort. Indeed, only by working together will we overcome this great challenge, through sharing intelligence and showing united strength and will. This process should begin by surrendering control of the occupation of Iraq to the UN and NATO. Judging by the events of the past days and weeks, there is no time to lose.