Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Every time I read an article penned by a Republican, I get this feeling in the bottom of my gut, the same one some people take antacids for. The pain goes away once I put away the gibberish, but while I'm reading it, I am forced to suffer. Suffer? Is this too strong a word?

Witness the unbelievable statement that David Frum made on National Review Online.

"And I recognize too how essential it is that George Bush be re-elected. If he loses the election, the United States loses the war on terror."
Even for an average Republican, this is going pretty far. I can see that the propaganda campaign and constant references to this "War" that doesn't have an end in sight are actually working for Bush. He's getting the support of his nation in a time of need. Without George W. Bush in power, terrorists will all move in next door and begin systematically bombing everyone in the phonebook, beginning with the A's and working towards the Z's. Does anyone really believe this? ("Is this thing on?")

David Frum, I really do believe that you have all the answers. Please explain how Bush is making the world safer and winning the "War on Terror"? By preemptively removing sovereign Arab governments from power? By keeping one hundred thousand or so troops thousands of miles from home? By curtailing domestic civil liberties via the Patriot Act while supposedly "protecting freedom"?

I wouldn't play up the "War on Terror" angle for too long. War creates casualties & even the most hardened generals would rather use diplomats than ground troops. How can you fight a war against a force that has no shape, no face, no flag or official territory? We've been fighting a war against the common cold for years but we still don't have a cure. Imagine if we began barricading ourselves in our homes and putting cold-sufferers in a Guantanamo Bay prison--people would speak up and protest. Instead, due to the emotional carnage that 9/11 inflicted upon America, the Republicans seem to have some sort of moral imperative to "stay the course" and continue fighting these shadows. Nobody wants to offend the survivors of 9/11 so they are letting George W. Bush make a mockery of the U.S. Constitution, and some of the more deluded followers (ie. David Frum, Andrew Sullivan) are saying that voting against Bush is voting for terror. Even if I were lobotomized, I would have a hard time saying that out loud because it makes no sense. Also, I worry that this type of thinking could become contagious in a land where everyone is afraid.

The American Democratic candidates are all claiming to have a unique solution of how to win the "War on Terror" & how to fix the situation in Iraq. Dennis Kucinich's "90 day-plan", which sounds like some sort of infomercial-- "And our troops will be out in 90 days. U.S. out, U.N. in!"--doesn't really sound very realistic, given that the U.N. is punishing the U.S. for acting unilaterally by refusing to send in peacekeepers. Former General Wesley Clark seems to know a little something about security, having led an international force overseas; heck, even Howard Dean couldn't be that bad. Despite his public speaking gaffes (such as the Confederate flag remark), Dean would probably bring America closer to the rest of the world, just by not being Bush.

One good thing about George W. Bush is his consistent incompetence. He makes the wrong decision so often that it would take a real fuck-up for the Democrats to lose this 2004 election. Then again, anything is possible. By sinking the country into a deficit that may leave them penniless in a couple of years, and by losing millions of jobs since Bush came into office, now the Republicans can claim to be raising job growth & productivity. No wonder. It's like cutting down an old-growth forest and claiming the seedlings you planted as political capital. When your economy is in the toilet, there is no way to go but up.

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