My blog is titled 'What Dots?' for a simple reason--failure to do so can be extremely inefficient, in terms of time, lives, and money. Wars have been fought for the lack of looking at the big picture--seven generations down the road, in Native American tradition--usually due to the perceived need to save face or preserve individual or national power.
A case in point is the inaptly-named "War on Terror".
I'm not going to enumerate the cost of this war in terms of time, tragedy, or treasure. We're all quite familiar with those details, even if not personally stricken by the physical or emotional pain. What strikes me is the deliberate--it can only be intentional and strategic--failure on the part of our national leadership over the past eight years to acknowledge that our foreign policy actions have real consequences.
The latest and, perhaps, most graphic evidence for this proposition came yesterday, when it became known that Osama bin Laden had released an audio tape addressed to President Obama on which bin Laden said, "America will never dream of security unless we will have it in reality in Palestine. God willing, our raids on you will continue as long as your support to the Israelis will continue."
How did the administration respond to this statement? According to the story from the New York Times [linked above], David Axelrod, White House senior advisor, appearing on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, said, "that whatever the source [there is some question as to the identity of the voice on the tape-ed.], the message 'contains the same hollow justification for the mass slaughter of innocents'".
Hollow justification? For the mass rage felt by the Muslim world at the "mass slaughter" of Palestinians in Gaza during the Israeli offensive of December and January a year ago?
It seems that the U.S. is joined to Israel at the head. Neither of us can survive without the other. Israel is free to do whatever they deem necessary--out of a raging paranoia festering since the Holocaust--for the preservation of their security and restoration of their "God-given" territory--no matter how heinous, and we, as Americans, must not only provide the materiel but also the moral support.
Also in yesterday's news was a story about Israel's reaffirming its claim to land also claimed by Palestinians. In it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted as saying, "Our message is clear: We are planting [trees--a symbolic act of ownership] here [in the West Bank], we will stay here, we will build here. This place will be an inseparable part of the state of Israel for eternity".
I wonder if the Prime Minister would be so brazenly defiant if he did not know that the U.S. would use its full might to back him up, no matter how many American lives were thereby put at risk? I wonder if an American president would dare to admit to the American people that the real reason we have expended so many thousands of lives and a trillion dollars on two wars on the other side of the world is not to make us secure from terrorism (the acts of terrorism on U.S. soil would stop the day that we suspended our financial aid to Israel) but to pimp for Zionist fanatics?
Axelrod's statement was a cover-up. It was a likely successful ploy to preempt the connection in the American mind of the dots that link Israel with al-Qaeda. Until that line is drawn, we in the U.S. will have to put up with living in constant fear and state of alertness. Our soldiers will continue to die in the Middle East. Our deficit will continue to rise until our economy collapses. Unfortunately, we've never been good at looking at our own motives in relation to the motives of others.