Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Presidency of Terror

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Fear John Kerry. Fear new leadership. Fear our allies. This is the Republican Party Platform. When did the War on Terror become a War of Terror?

The constant message throughout the convention, the message the Republican party stayed almost robotically on is that Kerry is unfit to command, and not loyal to his country, that he’s too sensitive with the terrorists, and cannot be trusted to fight with resolve against our enemies. Their message is that if we fight wars against Islamofascism abroad, we will not have to deal with it here at home.

If we want to know why this is Bush's strategy, lets ask: When's the last time you saw the terror level at blue or green?

Let us contemplate that for a moment. Not every point in Farenheit 9/11 was all that new or all that fair in my view, but one question that really disturbed me was that one. The question is, when has the terror alert ever been that low? And what exactly does that alert mean in the first place? What information does it convey? It's vague, it's threatening, and it relates none of the efforts that are being taken in order to deal with the threats in question.

The platform is all like that. Full of vague messages, achievements they can't tell you about, achievements they will tell you about, but won't tell you everything about.

They'll tell you the Patriot Act will save us from terrorists, even as they teach law enforcement to bend its rules against common criminals at home. People wonder why whatever abuses of civil liberties in the act are so important, and I say this- because they will do their best to apply it to you, regardless of the law's intended targets. There should be sensible, strong legislation to combat terrorism, but it should not be legislation that betrays our fundamental values for the illusion of security. The Patriot Act must be replaced by more fundamentally American, and fundamentally constitutional anti-terrorism legislation.

They'll tell you that fighting terrorism abroad has meant we won't have to fight it here. That is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. Al Quaeda is no foreign army that vanishes with the countries that supports it. It is an international organization, decentralized more than most that, with cells set up here in the US, and in other countries of the west and far east. Make no mistake, the War on Terrorism must be fought on both fronts at once, or else it will be lost on all fronts. Right now, we are not winning.

Oh dear, did I say something shocking, something pessimistic? Did I forget to look on the sunny side of the street? Or the Sunny side of Bush?

It's funny how Republicans pick and choose their Commander in Chief's words of strength. They choose the "The people who brought these buildings down will hear all of us" but not Osama Bin Laden, wanted dead or alive. They will tell us what a wonderful war we've had deposing the tyrant and closing his rape rooms and torture chambers, they'll tell you it's part of the war on terror, but they won't tell you where the WMDs are hidden, and they can't give you any proof that the terrorists who trully posed a danger to us were actually supported by Saddam Hussein. They can tout Libya's cave in, admittedly (though we're not sure who did most of the work), but what about North Korea's or Iran's? Weren't those the countries we were worried about?

They'll tell you we took down a tyrant, but they won't tell you that they originally sold the whole deal on the idea that Iraq actually posed us a real threat. Otherwise, they can only say that it was an elective war to take out an unfriendly, oppressive regime that could one day threaten us. Not threaten us right now, which would be the condition for an actually pre-emptive war, but some years in the future instead.

I'm all for ridding the world of tyrants. I felt a joy at Saddam's capture, at his fall. But we could have come up with an excuse that didn't involve leading Americans to believe that the cause was more urgent than it was, and we could have waited to deal with Saddam until others were sufficiently dealt with.

Even then, The Republicans have the gall to accuse Clinton of not having pursued the terrorists or faced down Saddam. They themselves excoriated Clinton for having the temerity to fire cruise missile at him, though, and question why Clinton thought this was a big defense issue, as opposed to Rogue states and missile defense. You in the Red Column, I challenge you to go and find all that support for the war on terror Clinton was supposed to have from your party. I mean, seriously, weren't your people the ones who said that Clinton was just firing the missiles off to distract from their all-important investigation of him and Monica Lewinsky? One wonders what could have been done with either one of those problems, had the president not been fighting for his political survival on matters so sordid and so separate from the function of his office.

In a week or two, we will commemorate the third anniversary of 9/11. Three years in which the president, given the opportunity and the resources of the greatest nation on this planet could not find and root out the man most responsible for the deaths of almost three thousand of our fellow Americans.
It is no surprise that in the GOP convention there seem to be so many elephants in the room. So many things that the Republicans will not speak of, even lie outright to avoid mentioning. They will tell us Kerry cuts all these weapons programs, but they won't tell us Cheney did the same on two-thirds of them. They will repeat the lie that Kerry did not vote to support our troops when he had his own version of the bill in hand to replace one he could not vote for. They will tell us that it is a good sign we haven't been attacked again in three years when the last attack on our soil by foreign terrorists took place eight yearsbefore 9/11.

In short, the Republicans will tell us to ignore their candidate's failings and overestimate his strength on faulty evidence and scare us out of seeking a better candidate by telling us the sky will fall if we don't have George W. at the helm. Well, I for one am not afraid, and I will not be emotionally blackmailed into forgiving errors that Bush will not admit. I will not be frightened into re-electing a man who did not do the job right the first time he had the chance to.

So be afraid Bush, be very afraid, because many of us will not be.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 3, 2004 10:12 AM