Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pulling a Bill

Apparently feeling a bit froggy from a Viagra high, Bill Clintoon became defensive in an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace:

"That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," Clinton said in the interview. "They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try, they did not try."

Clinton accused host Chris Wallace of a "conservative hit job" and asked: "I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, 'Why didn't you do anything about the Cole?' I want to know how many people you asked, 'Why did you fire Dick Clarke?"'

He was referring to the USS Cole, attacked by terrorists in Yemen in 2000, and former White House anti-terrorism chief Richard A. Clarke.

Wallace said Sunday he was surprised by Clinton's "conspiratorial view" of "a very non-confrontational question, 'Did you do enough to connect the dots and go after Al Qaida?"'

"All I did was ask him a question, and I think it was a legitimate news question. I was surprised that he would conjure up that this was a hit job," Wallace said in a telephone interview.

He told Wallace, "And you got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever, but I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it, but I did try and I did everything I thought I responsibly could."

I think the former president's reaction to this benign question says far more about him and his guilty conscience than it does about Wallace or his "conservative" hit-man proclivities. As for Wallace's smirk, it's a perpetual fixture on his face; I've never seen him without it, and I dare say his own wife wouldn't recognize him sans smirk. It's laughable and pathetic that Clintoon brought up Bush's eight months, in which he could've blasted bin Laden to smithereens. Please, Bill. You had eight years, and never managed the task, or even manifest all that much interest in it. I realize that killing terrorists while simultaneously tripping over one's dropped trousers is daunting, even for a president.

Going off on somewhat of a tangent later on, Clintoon said: "It's not just that there's an unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict. Osama Bin Laden and Dr. al-Zawahiri can convince young Sunni Arab men, who have - and some women - who have despairing conditions in their lives, that they get a one-way ticket to heaven in a hurry if they kill a lot of innocent people who don't share their reality."

Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri don't have to do all that much explaining. As I've said a bajillion times before, killing "infidels" in the name of Allah has a time-honored tradition in Islam--going all the way back to Muhammed. Regarding "despairing conditions"--a sizeable number of terrorists come from well-to-do families and educated backgrounds, not poverty-ridden cesspools of hopelessness. So calling his reasoning simplistic is a generosity. It is their religious beliefs that spur them on, not pulling subpar wages at Mahdi's falafel stand. This is just more of the same tired rhetoric we hear from both sides of the political aisle--that Islamic terrorists and their mentors represent an extreme, twisted form of Islam, not mainstream Muslim thought and practice over 1,400 years.

Believing that poverty or squalid conditions cause terrorism is the same as accepting the notion that poverty instigates crime. For those convinced that the truth of these statements is axiomatic, here's a question: During the Great Depression, how common was the self-detonation of American citizens on the White House lawn or in the breadlines?

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