I just have a .45,a slug of meat & mushrooms,and 3 cans of Budweiser out on the porch.
The CIA does its job by making friends with individuals amongst our enemies. This is done by a toolkit of money,drugs,charm,hope,political influence & assassinations… all the Dreams of America. There’s more to this intelligence "failure" than George Bush and the War in Iraq. We’ve set up the various factions of Kurds and let them slaughter each other & die at the hands of Saddam in the decade prior at the hand of Clinton. This hurt the ability of the CIA to gain trust in aiding any kind of revolution against the hostile dictatorship of Saddam. This image of America is broadcast around the globe to every would-be semi-democratic militant with the notion of a moderate revolution. But Republicans who support the staunch idealism of the Bush Doctrine and Neocon foreign policy care little for such fluffy,feminine qualities such as "image" and "reputation" and "feelings" of this country. We do what’s right, they say,and call it tough love – the kind of love a child needs to learn what’s Right from Wrong…
Our image is brutish and dumb, and as Iraq continues to throw itself into further chaos whether at the hands of Shiites,Sunnies,Al Queda,or the Armed Forces,that great American icon will become the face of death for many. We’ve shown our contempt for civilian lives,our ignorance of culture,our lack of international community. We watch as our Rich & Powerful continue to balk at Al Gore,and laugh at the prospect of a slow Armageddon, having faith in Jesus that we (read: someone else) will take care of it. And He always comes through in this country.
The most dangerous countries in the world are filled with complex social and religious groups,with many many clear fissures and subtle crevices between them. Even the most hardened regimes have dissenting voices and hidden agendas,and this is the space in which the CIA operates. Not in a particular region,but in a particular psychology… working with people involved with corrupt government factions,to make friends and gather the nature of what’s going on… offering the United States a questionable ability in foreign influence. Where direct military involvement would destroy the underlying good it hoped to foster.
But the Bush supporters have no patience for this sort of delicate balance. There is Right and there is Wrong,and there is Weak and there is Strong. They believe Bush reaffirms that the world is some safer place as half this country collectively reclines back in their comfortable,secure,and wire-tapped living rooms,watching fierce hatred bull-god iconographic mouthpiece at top volume on Fox News tell them that our country is under siege. They feel safe because there are young kids with guns being fired off somewhere else,far away, protecting their wives and homes and cars and investments.
They feel safe because the story-book enemy has been killed; if only we could kill the rest of the gallery of foes. As simple as that.
Meanwhile, the CIA can no longer operate by talking to our half-enemies. We can’t find that knife-edge between ethnic groups in Waziristan/Pakistan* to get a handle on even a cell-phone photo of Bin Laden. Our intelligence community is focused on the musings of retired policy wonks. Under the knife of both sides of the aisle for something the analysts and agents never controlled in the first place… Which accentuates the pass-the-buck un-accountable blame routine pioneered by Bush and carried out by every politician except maybe Edwards. This world is made up of 6 billion people,each one with a subtle shade of hope just out of reach. The world of George Bush is made up of 300 million Americans and its enemies.