Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Know Your Enemy - Or Not
MR. RUSSERT: Do you see him as a very formidable enemy?
MR. SCHEUER: Tremendously formidable enemy, sir, an admirable man. If
he was on our side, he would be dining at the White House. He would be a freedom
fighter, a resistance fighter. It's--and again, that's not to praise him, but it
is to say that until we take the measure of the man and the power of his words,
we're very much going to be on the short end of the stick.
Read the whole interview. It contains some very interesting comments, and sheds some light into why he is no longer with the CIA.
The thing is, I think he's right on the money - Bin Laden is exactly the sort of person that would be admired by our side if he were fighting against, say, the Soviet Union. Can you imagine the reception he would have gotten in DC had he pulled-off a 9/11-like attack against the Soviets in the '80s? For that matter, many men like him were welcomed with open arms during the Afghanistan war for their actions against the Great Enemy.
Without understanding what Bin Laden means to his followers, and without understanding how men like him came to power in the region, I don't think we've got a shot at winning this War on Terrorism. It's too bad that some want to equate this sort of frank discussion with treason.