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Who Are 'These People'?

By Rick Perlstein

President Bush : "These people attacked us before we were even in Iraq!"

05/25/07 "Tom Paine" -- - Can we have a little frankness, please?

The President of the United States is a racist. Or at the very least, an anti-Muslim bigot.

In Iraq, Shi'ites and Sunni are fighting each other to the death. Under what possible logic can they be joined by a common identity?

There is no "these people" except in their common Middle East-ness.

Iran and Iraq fought a decade-long war - Shia against Sunni. They are, to our president, "these people." "They" attacked us. "They" continue to attack us. Iran, Iraq: all the same.

The people who attacked us on September 11 were from a group called "al Qaeda." According to U.S. intelligence, Iraq was one of the few countries in the Middle East where Al Qaeda did not have a beachhead.

In the 1960s, to much of the public, China and Russia were equally "these people." Even as those countries were on the verge of nuclear war with one another. Bad people stoked the equivilance of the two even after they knew better. They did it to keep a monstrous war going, as the American people began to know better.

It's much worse now. Who are "these people," Mr. President? Why are you worse than McCarthy?

 

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