When the president famously confused the Taliban of Afghanistan with the Al Qaeda of Iraq at a White House press conference, it wasn't a slip of the tongue. It was a telling insight into a lazy man who uses as little of his brain as is necessary to get by.Besides providing fodder for late-night TV comedians, this inherent laziness, coupled with an also legendary lack of curiosity, has serious ramifications.
Writes Newsweek commentator Michael Hirsh:
The Bush administration has fought the "war on terror" as a series of Jerry Springers, one lunatic leap of logic after another based on unreliable sources, linking up enemies that had little to do with each other. The White House's failure to understand counterinsurgency inMore here.
is, writ large, its failure to understand the radical Muslim enemy as a whole. The president has used Al Qaeda to gin up the threat from Iraq , just as he is now conflating Hezbollah and Hamas with Al Qaeda as "terrorists" of the same ilk. Actually these groups had little connection to one another—or at least they didn't until Iraq decided to make itself their common enemy. America
Al Qaeda was always, in truth, the only "terrorist group of global reach" in the world—which is how Bush accurately defined things back in that long-ago fall of 2001. Both Hezbollah and Hamas had publicly disavowed any interest in backing Osama bin Laden's goals. Al Qaeda was Sunni, Hezbollah is Shiite. Even within the Muslim world these groups had scant support . . .