The Big Shmear
Roger Simon doesn’t like George Soros:
I’m beginning to think that George Soros has the greatest case of Jewish guilt of all time, even though the numbers posted for his 527 donations at opensecrets.org barely put a dent in the multi-billionaire currency trader’s fortune. Still I would imagine those donations constitute a fair proportion of the financial support of moveon.org, an “org” whose allegiance to the truth is the rough equivalent of Dan Rather’s and whose latest propaganda effort at least contains no Bush=Hitler slurs.
The new moveon.org ad contains the sad but hardly startling fact that more than 1000 US soldiers have died in Iraq. Needless to say no mention is made that those same people were predicting casualties in excess of Vietnam before the war or that many of the deaths were accidental and could have happened at home. They are what they are – horrible. I suppose Soros, one of a nation that lost six million in World War II, is rightly concerned by each individual death.
But still, one wonders about his motivation in all this.
At this point you would think that Simon would look into why Soros dislikes George Bush so much. It isn’t hard, one of his commenters even provides Roger with a link.
Whatever the justification for removing Saddam Hussein, there can be no doubt that we invaded Iraq on false pretenses. Wittingly or unwittingly, President Bush deceived the American public and Congress and rode roughshod over the opinions of our allies. The gap between the Administration’s expectations and the actual state of affairs could not be wider. It is difficult to think of a recent military operation that has gone so wrong. Our soldiers have been forced to do police duty in combat gear, and they continue to be killed. We have put at risk not only our soldiers’ lives but the combat effectiveness of our armed forces. Their morale is impaired, and we are no longer in a position to properly project our power. Yet there are more places than ever before where we might have legitimate need to project that power. North Korea is openly building nuclear weapons, and Iran is clandestinely doing so. The Taliban is regrouping in Afghanistan. The costs of occupation and the prospect of permanent war are weighing heavily on our economy, and we are failing to address many festering problemsâ€”domestic and global. If we ever needed proof that the dream of American supremacy is misconceived, the occupation of Iraq has provided it. If we fail to heed the evidence, we will have to pay a heavier price in the future.
Meanwhile, largely as a result of our preoccupation with supremacy, something has gone fundamentally wrong with the war on terrorism. Indeed, war is a false metaphor in this context. Terrorists do pose a threat to our national and personal security, and we must protect ourselves. Many of the measures we have taken are necessary and proper. It can even be argued that not enough has been done to prevent future attacks. But the war being waged has little to do with ending terrorism or enhancing homeland security; on the contrary, it endangers our security by engendering a vicious circle of escalating violence.
The terrorist attack on the United States could have been treated as a crime against humanity rather than an act of war. Treating it as a crime would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. Protection against terrorism requires precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gatheringâ€”all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which the terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would not have invaded Iraq, and we would not have our military struggling to perform police work and getting shot at.
Declaring war on terrorism better suited the purposes of the Bush Administration, because it invoked military might; but this is the wrong way to deal with the problem. Military action requires an identifiable target, preferably a state. As a result the war on terrorism has been directed primarily against states harboring terrorists. Yet terrorists are by definition non-state actors, even if they are often sponsored by states.
The war on terrorism as pursued by the Bush Administration cannot be won. On the contrary, it may bring about a permanent state of war. Terrorists will never disappear. They will continue to provide a pretext for the pursuit of American supremacy. That pursuit, in turn, will continue to generate resistance. Further, by turning the hunt for terrorists into a war, we are bound to create innocent victims. The more innocent victims there are, the greater the resentment and the better the chances that some victims will turn into perpetrators.
But Roger skips over that like a hole in a plot that he can’t be bothered to fix. Immediately after questioning the motivations of Soros, he writes:
Soros is protesting his conviction by a French court last year for insider trading. His reputation for fooling with the value of the British pound is also well known. But now he is financing the most extreme know-nothing do-gooderism. Is he out to impress himself, others or both? He’s obviously a brilliant man, but one also wonders whether he studies the geopolitical situation with the same alacrity he studies the currency markets. I have my doubts. Emotions, not facts, are at play here.
Insider trading…currency manipulation…
Yakov Bok wept.