Do You See What I See?

Now that Gavin’s gone home and there’s no longer anyone telling me what to do, I’ve started reading literature again but won’t have a chance to write about that at least until tomorrow.

Right now I’m going to take another quick look at this administration that voters found so admirable in the recent elections and wonder aloud how different people can see this administration’s actions so differently.

Here’s a quick link to Oil and Gas International, a site that Shelley Powers also linked to today, one I found while browsing several days ago, but can’t remember where I first encountered it. Last week I said that I thought the Iraqi war was based on more than oil. Reading this article, though, I might have to eat those words. At the very least, though, imagine what such a conference must imply to people in other countries who already distrust America’s motives. What idiot thought that this would go unnoticed by the media (or at least the bloggers), and that it wouldn’t cast America in the worst kind of light?

Even recent government “success stories,” like the assassination of Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, whom US officials suspected of plotting the strike on the USS Cole in October 2000, by the C.I.A. seem to end up showing America in an unfavorable light.

An article in The Christian Science Monitor” says a “… top Yemeni official says US lacks discretion as antiterror partner.” The same people whose underground work made the attack possible end up furious over our government’s handling of the incident. The heart of the story is found in the following paragraph:

They are angry over the way the US ambassador handled both the intelligence-gathering phase of the operation and after the fact, when senior US officials, including Assistant Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, violated a secrecy agreement by taking credit for the Hellfire strike.
How effective is our war on terror going to be if we continue to alienate the very people that make such success possible.

If our handling of the incident wasn’t bad enough, the same incident caused many to accuse America of using a double standard when assassinating El Queda members while still denouncing Israeli attacks on top terrorists. An article at the BBC illuminates America’s dilemma:

'Double standards'
Israel insists that its policy of targeted killings is pre-emptive self-defence, while Palestinians describe the killings as assassinations which violate basic human rights.

But using carefully chosen language, Mr Boucher denied allegation that by staging the Yemen operation the US may be using double standards towards Israeli policy.

Personally, I’m not particularly opposed to assassinating specific leaders, particularly when they’ve claimed credit for a violent act, whether by the Americans or the Israelis, but trying to claim a glorious victory while using the same tactic that you’re condemning in others, then saying what you’re doing is different is the worst kind of cynicism and can only lead to further distrust of America both among its enemies and its allies.

What do you think?