Shouting Back at the Fear Mongers
[This is a rant. You can tell by all the capital letters. I did not include links for all my statements which are pretty much common knowledge for anyone paying attention. If you want links for anything, leave a comment and I'll consider it.]
The recently disrupted plot to blow up airplanes flying between the UK and US has launched a new round of fear mongering from BushCheney and his loyal choir. Once again, Americans are served warnings of dire threats and the need for strong resolute action to protect us. Following close on the heels of Ned Lamont’s victory over Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary, this event gives our national security wankers yet another opportunity to tar everyone who questions their policies as weak on national security and SUPPORTERS OF TERRORISM.
BushCheney and his Republicans lost no time in ramping up the verbiage. America is under attack yet again! No matter that THE PLAN WAS IDENTIFIED AND DISRUPTED. We must remain in fear. THEY are still out there, always looking for ways to attack us because they hate freedom. Any one who thinks otherwise is living in a “pre-9-11" world and would disarm America, leaving freedom at the mercy of Islamic fascists. Only BushCheney and the Republicans will save America.
WHAT FUCKING RUBBISH! The lies and distortions are so egregious and willfully obtuse, it’s hard to know where to begin. As blindingly outraged as I am, I’ll start logically and see if I can keep on track.
First off. BushCheney is correct when he says America is threatened by terrorists. I do not dispute that. Actual attacks and foiled plots leave no doubt that individuals and organizations mean us harm. From there, however, I disagree with BushCheney. Terrorist don’t hate us for our freedoms; they hate us for what we do, for what they perceive that America and her allies have done in their nations to “their people”, their co-religionists, tribal members or countrymen. Their grievances spring from what they see as imperialism by a superior power and they fight back as only the weak can, using assymetrical tactics that often involve terror attacks. This does not make them right but it does explain their motives. In simplest terms, the rich and powerful (whether they be nations or individuals) will never be secure as long as many are poor, weak and disenfranchised. This is nothing new. The French bourgeoisie learned that lesson in 1789 and their Russian cousins over the next 128 years.
Second, the BushCheney War on TerrorTM is a sham. Although terrorists pose a real threat, BushCheney and his echo chamber fail to grasp–or rather, willfully ignore–is that strong intelligence and effective counter-terrorism techniques are far more suited to fighting these terrorists than massive military power. Military force has its place in taking out training camps and headquarters but, given the nature of the threat, these targets are few and far between. The British have just demonstrated how to fight terror cells. In fact, IF BUSHCHENEY HAD BEEN PAYING ATTENTION IN 2001, HE MIGHT WELL HAVE STOPPED THE 9-11 ATTACK. I mean, much of the intelligence was out there: a known terrorist on our watch list returning to the US from an Al-Qaeda summit in Indonesia, student pilots learning to fly aircraft well beyond their capabilities, memos from the FBI, the very real threats issued by Osama Bin Laden and previous attacks on the World Trade Center and American embassies. BushCheney was not paying attention.
Third, BushCheney was not paying attention because he was looking elsewhere, to his dream–fueled by neo-conservative fantasies of regime change in Iraq–of muscular military power asserting American dominance across the globe. Worrying about clandestine cells of fanatics lacked the cachet of geo-strategic ambitions worthy of “the world’s only superpower”. As a result, America was sucker punched by a bunch of guys armed with box cutters (!). Undiscouraged, BushCheney took advantage of the opportunity to crank up the fear factor–the Patriot Act, domestic surveillance and repression–and to launch his war of choice against Iraq, all in the name of “making America safer”.
Fourth, these policies have been an abject, miserable failure. AMERICA IS NOT SAFER! Hear that? AMERICA IS NOT SAFER! About the only “success” BushCheney can claim is that America has not been attacked since 9-11. That is a misrepresentation, pure and simple. No attacks have occurred on US soil but there have been attacks aplenty. The terror bombings in Bali, Madrid and London were proxy attacks. The disrupted plot in Britain was aimed at the US. The absence of attacks on the American mainland is as much a failure of imagination on the part of the terrorists (who have not yet exploited the obvious weaknesses in our seaports, industries and transportation systems, all of which have been ignored by BushCheney) as any achievement by this administration.
Fifth, the Iraq war plays directly into Bin Laden’s strategy of bleeding America to death. He clearly stated his purpose was to attack the US in the same manner as he did the Soviets in Afghanistan, where his guerillas forced another superpower into a humiliating withdrawal. You’d think America would understand the risks here since another rag-tag army did the same to us in Vietnam. (Oh, wait, BushCheney was AWOL for that lesson so it doesn’t count.) Not only does the Iraq war weaken America’s military and squander its treasury, our complete inability to deal with Iraqis and ignorance of their history and culture leaves us far too reliant on our weaponry which produces civilian casualties that will generate hatred for generations to come.
So don’t tell me that Liberals are on the side of the terrorists. If anything, BushCheney, his neo-conservative cabal, the legion of pundits and apologists like Joe Lieberman who echo this disinformation are the terrorists’ best friends. Ned Lamont doesn’t ignore the terrorist threats. Nor do I. Nor do the 60 plus percent of Americans who believe the Iraq war is a terrible mistake or that simply surrendering two centuries of Constitutional government is an equal if not greater disaster. Terrorism is a problem and has been for a long, long time as any student of history should know. An even bigger problem is the cynical politicians who lie and distort information to frighten a gullible public into passive acceptance of totalitarian government.