Tom Hayden (remember him?) believes that it is a bad idea for us to take on the people responsible for the September 11th attacks by augmenting our military presence in Afghanistan. I have some reservations on the specific nature of the Obama plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan but I am all in favor of winning the actual war. Hayden, however, chooses to be daft. I mean, read this:
The hard choices are laid out very clearly in writings by the CIA’s former point man on Osama bin Ladin, Michael Scheuer, who also ran the agency’s rendition program and still supports it. Scheuer is a tough guy, in other words, who says the options are either to kill all the jihadists, make it quick and withdraw (not a real option), or begin pursuing an agenda that addresses what he calls Muslim issues: the American military and civilian presence in the Arab Peninsula, the unqualified US support for Israel, US support for states that oppress Muslims (China, India, Russia), US exploitation of Muslim oil and suppression of its price, US military presence in the Islamic world, and US support and protection of Arab police states.
Such an approach would create an option to violence for many millions of jihadi sympathizers and potential recruits. It would create an incentive not to inflict terrorism, blow up airplanes and hotels, or deploy a nuclear bomb in a suitcase. It would disturb the multinational oil companies and the Israel lobby but open a better path to stability than wars against the Muslim world.
I don’t know what’s worse, the false choice presented through the mouthpiece that is Michael Scheuer, or the belief that we ought to follow Hayden’s strategy of not using the military at all simply because it would be nice to “disturb the multinational oil companies and the Israel lobby.” The naïveté is astonishing, but ever-so-predictable. And then there is this:
Don’t Escalate, Negotiate
Diplomacy and Development, Not Predators and Prisons
What about the Home Front?
No matter what goes on in the world, Tom Hayden remains unchanged and unchangeable. One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.