"I know that you do fear you may fail in your long term
objective: to destroy our free society."
These bombers are more than likely only as interested in destroying the western concept of a free society as we are in occupying Iraq. In fact, the bombers pointed out as much, saying that their attacks were meant as revenge for British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan:
"The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader
government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain
committed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
It's fairly simple, in other words--don't attack us and we won't attack you. Let us not forget that Iraq had no WMD, no pre-9/11 links to al Qaida, and was a sovereign nation that had not attacked either Britain or the U.S.
Now, killing innocent civilians is always deplorable and horrible and inexcusable. But we need to get to a point in the West where we can view terror attacks in the same way Chris Rock talked about understanding to a degree why O.J. killed Nicole, listing some provocative things she'd done: "I ain't sayin' he shoulda killed her...but I understand."
The right thinks that view is bunk, but we're already trying it their way with the 'misunderstanding" approach--i.e., invading Iraq and Afghanistan--and that's not turning out so well, so maybe we could try something else (Robert McNamara makes this point exactly in "The Fog Of War" when he recounts how nuclear war was averted by Llewellyn Thompson's suggestion of "understanding" Khruschev, who had actual WMD 90 miles away from us). At least trying to understand your enemy's motives and asking if maybe, just maybe you might have done something to provoke that enemy doesn't get tens of thousands of your own citizens killed and wounded in a desert quagmire.
Speaking of which, another soldier from my neck of the woods ,was killed this week, leaving behind a wife and two children. He was the same age as me and his family learned of his death just hours after receiving an email from him inquiring about the family's July 4th plans.
Once again, I'll point out that this morning's explosions blow a car-bomb-sized hole in Bush's argument that fighting terrorists in Iraq keeps us and our allies from having to fight them in our own streets. If anything, as these bombings illustrate, fighting in Iraq makes it even more likely that we'll have to deal with terrorist attacks here.
And 36 soldiers from my home state have had to die to disprove Bush's theory. Enough is enough--troops out now, send aid, apologize, throw Bush and Co. in jail (don't forget the Downing Street memos), develop renewable energy sources posthaste, and spend money and manpower improving our schools, hospitals, and lives.