Friday, August 11, 2006

Worried Republicans Taking the Low Road

It should be noted that the latest terrorist plot was not defeated by Bush's war in Iraq, his growing incompetence in Afghanistan, his acceptance of torture, any number of his law-breaking activities or his clumsy efforts at the G8 meeting in Russia this summer: the terrorist plot was defeated by police work.

The idea that Bush knows what he's doing is dead. The idea that "last throes" Cheney is really the one who knows what he's doing is a sad joke. The idea that Rumsfeld knows what he's doing has simply caused a number of high-ranking officers to resign.

Four years ago, The New York Times was wholeheartedly behind the Bush Administration. A number of its reporters, including the infamous Judith Miller, bought the Bush Administration argument for dealing with Iraq, hook, line and sinker. As the facts pour in, as the evidence mounts, as the blunders pile up, the picture today is unavoidably clear: Bush is a failure and not a very honest man. Here's today New York Times editorial (hat tip to The Left Coaster):
It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual.

On Wednesday, when the administration already knew that British agents were rounding up suspects in what they believed was a plot to blow up planes en route to the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney had a telephone interview with reporters to discuss the defeat of Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in a Democratic primary. Mr. Cheney went off on a rather rambling disquisition, but its main point was clear: In rejecting Mr. Lieberman, who supported the war in Iraq, the Democrats were encouraging “the Al Qaeda types.” Within the Democratic ranks, the vice president added, “there’s a significant body of opinion that wants to go back — I guess the way I would describe it is sort of the pre-9/11 mind-set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in.”

The man who beat Mr. Lieberman, Ned Lamont, lives in Greenwich, a suburb full of commuters who work in New York high-rise buildings. They are completely aware of the way international terrorism can come crashing down on an ordinary family, leaving the survivors stunned and bereft. A dozen of their neighbors died at the World Trade Center. They will never be able to go back to a “pre-9/11 mind-set.”

But that did not seem to deter Mr. Lieberman from scoring a cheap sound bite yesterday. Leaving Iraq, as Mr. Lamont advocates, “will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England,” he said. “It will strengthen them and they will strike again.”

Folks, The New York Times is in New York, the site of the worst attacks on 9/11; it is increasingly significant as they call Bush to account for his incompetence and political opportunism. And frankly, as a sideshow, it is an embarrassment that Lieberman has completely lost his way and thrown in with the Republican neocons and Bush.

But there are more comments coming from elsewhere around the country. Here's Jimmy Greenfield of the Chicago Tribune:
Scared yet? Well, you may be soon.

What we almost certainly will see in aftermath of the alleged plot to blow up several planes en route to the U.S. is a thunderous response from President Bush and other Republican leaders.

With the midterm elections less than three months away, they will attempt to scare Americans into re-electing Republicans or risk facing instant annihilation at the hands of an evil and murderous enemy.


Believe it or not, Thursday was actually a good day. Everybody in his or her right mind knows there are always terrorists plotting to attack the U.S., so it didn't bother me that some people were discovered to be doing just that.

What made it a good day was that at least one government, even if it was the British government, knew how to foil a massive terrorist plot.

But back to the fear. President Bush gave a brief speech Thursday on an airport tarmac in Green Bay. In the speech he brought up 9/11, which, of course, for him, is a synonym for fear.

Then he moved on to the real point he was trying to make, which is some people (read: Democrats) think the world is made up of sugar and spice and everything nice.

"It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America," he said. "And that is why we have given our officials the tools they need to protect our people."

Scaring the public has worked so well for so long that you can't blame him, really. Except when you consider that it's immoral and unpatriotic.

If we set aside for a moment the fact that Bush's blunders and reckless actions are weakening America and are potentially very dangerous, Bush's incompetence is neither patriotic or unpatriotic: it's just merely stupid. Bush's ability to create more enemies of America instead of more friends is neither patriotic or unpatriotic: it's just merely stupid. This has to change.


Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Yesiree, fighting them on the streets of Iraq is sure keeping them from being able to attack us here, isn't it?

In fact, the idea Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove — the whole sorry lot of them — know what they're doing about fighting or deterring terrorists is worse than mistaken; it's dangerous.

I'm increasingly convinced bin Laden and other terrorists leaders, keenly aware of Bush & Co.'s incompetence, actively sought to keep Bush and his enablers in Congress in control in '04. I wouldn't be surprised if we someday learn that this latest attack attempt was timed with the intention of affecting upcoming U.S. elections.

No one should be surprised — or unaware — that Bush and the rest of the GOP scourge would try to use this threat for political gain. If one term describes what they're about, it's "anything to win."

12:41 PM  

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