February 7, 2008

God Forbid

I happened to catch a bit of Glen Beck on CNN while flipping channels and heard him say:

If there is, God forbid, something that happens in national security right before the election and Obama is on the other side, liberals will say “we need John McCain and if Rush hates him, he must be OK.” McCain should French kiss Rush.

I get the impression that he feels conservatives need terrorism to get elected.

I agree!

God forbid we might catch McCain French kissing Rush, and God forbid the Republicans regain the White House. Outside the conservative ideologues, Republicans are offering the country the opportunity to give in to fear by weaving it into our politics.

We could experience an attack during a Republican or a Democratic presidency. We had a pretty big incident during a hawkish Republican presidency. Neither party can offer you 100% insurance against terrorist attack.

What we know about the Republicans (because we have lived it) is that their reaction to terrorism is to consolidate their political power and use it to unrelated ends (like the Iraq war). There are people who agree with that reaction, and I don’t doubt that those people will vote Republican this time around.

But I feel that using fear like that is an extension of terrorism. This predictable reaction to terrorism is part of the cycle of terrorism itself. And I find it disturbing that terrorism can become so central to an American political party. Romney, in his concession speech today, said he’d stop at nothing to fight al Qaeda.

What that seems to have meant in practice in the Republican party is that nothing is valuable enough not to be sacrificed to the idea that fighting is now a way of life for the country. Even the things that you think make America “America” are up for grabs to continue fighting, not necessarily in the most sensible or in the most effective way but in the most aggressive way we can manage, and not always in the right way or for the right reasons.

Instead of being willing to sacrifice anything at all, including what’s important, how about being willing to sacrifice what’s necessary to preserve what’s most important?

God forbid we expect something better for our future than perpetual war, overreaction and aggression.

Posted by James at February 7, 2008 7:19 PM
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somehow we've all managed to forget that 911 happened on their watch. That's right, the pentagon got plane-bombed hours after two planes flew into the towers, no mobilization, nothing. I can give them the planes at the towers, those were a surprise, and in quick succession. But the pentagon? I remember when it happened be very angry with the government - the government of the mighty military power, unbounded military spending, obsessed with 'national security' overseas - that they couldn't protect their own headquarters from a plane.

I also remember reports on the news (erroneous apparently) that there were over 30 airplanes that were in flight and unaccounted for after the towers were hit. I remember being terrified by that thought and assuming that they had planned a hit on all the major cities in the US. And still there was no mobilization. It's inexcusable. No one lost their job over that blunder. No one.

We should not forget, either. that the Clinton administration had submitted documents detailing the terrorist threat that came to pass. Documents that were ignored by the Bush administration. The Clinton administration had also largely reined in the North Korean nuclear threat through diplomacy and money. The Bush administration pretty much threw all of that out, cut North Korea off, and well, now they have nukes. The administration went on to prove that they could not even protect its citizens from standing water (Katrina) There's no question that the world is a more dangerous place for Americans now, and we have the Bush administration largely to thank for that.

Republicans apparently think that this is a great way to run a country as long as they still make tons of money and have low taxes.

I don't know what is to be done about it, a new president isn't going to help matters. (Impeaching the old one might have, why he remained in office is enough of an indictment on how corrupt our country has become) Democrats are neutered and have no center. What choice do we have? It seems we have the choice between one corporate sponsored crony party or another. Both functioning under the same set of ideals. For all practical purposes there is no difference between these two parties.

Until Americans really pay attention to this fact, and become outraged by it, things will not change.

Boy that was a rant, wasn't it? :)

Posted by: Rui at February 8, 2008 2:49 PM

Comparing the last 7 years to the 8 that preceded them, I feel there is a difference between the two parties. I feel I can say that without the Democratic party is perfect, but I'd rather have someone from that side of the aisle running things.

They say sometimes that the perfect is the enemy of the good. And I think that the idea that the two parties are the same helped get Bush into office in the first place.

In any case, if we can only improve things a little bit, I still want to see that little bit of improvement.

Posted by: James at February 8, 2008 3:16 PM

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