Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Republicans: democracy loses because of democracy
"If Democrats who hate Bush and who hate the war in Iraq win, the insurgents win. I'm sorry but it's true. America will set a date to get out and Jihad will have carried the day."Let us consider the utter vapidity of this sentiment, a sentiment that has gained increasing traction amongst that class so very desperate to keep control of the Congress in Republican hands. According to this reasoning, George Bush is responsible for leading this nation into a pre-emptive war, the outcome of which will determine the very survival of western civilization as we know it. To "lose" in Iraq is to allow Jihad to carry the day. I suspect if this actually is the case one must wonder how it is that we have arrived at such a seemingly intractable pass.
I contend that we have been brought to the point that our Republican leadership has handed militant Jihad a victory on a silver platter, and now find themselves resorting to blaming the Democrats who had next to no say so in the conduct of the policy. The current state of affairs in Iraq has ZERO to do with American domestic political dissent. The failure of Iraq has much to do with rightwing fantasy nation building being based on misconception and political cronyism. Indeed if Iraq is to be deemed by history to be a victory of militant Islam over democracy history will point the finger of blame squarely at those who promulgated the policies that led to the disaster.
It simply is not tenable to stake the very success of our democracy on a policy that must succeed, but is doomed to failure based upon the possibility of changing leadership in Congress, or the Presidency for that matter. If the leadership of this nation had had any notion in 2002 that the path they were embarking upon would lead through violent occupation even through the 2004 election I am convinced they would have reconsidered the entire affair. It was Rumsfeld after all who sought to convince us very early in the war that military action would not likely last 6 months, and Bush's "mission accomplished" speech will be noted as one of the greatest gaffes in the history of Presidential 'misunderestimation'.
Policies that determine the success or failure of the nation as a whole nearly by definition must be bi-partisan in nature. Do not give me this business that so and so Democrat voted to allow the President the ok to go at it with Saddam. That vote was called during the heat of the 2002 midterm election for an obvious reason. The coming war with Iraq was used as a campaign issue to show Democrats who did not support the war as being weak and somehow supporting terrorism. The vote for the war by most Democrats was a political calculation from fear of being called weak.
The very divisive nature of the Iraqi war on a global scale was apparent from the beginning. For so much to be staked on an enterprise, engineered from the start in such a way as to antagonize our formerly stalwart allies, can only be labeled foolishness. The west opens a front in the war on terror where no hostilities were necessary, and in so doing alienates most of the rest of the world. The nature of the war on terror calls upon us to strengthen these international bonds, not cast them aside.
Why is it that in such time of crisis that the President and his party insists upon dividing this nation one from the other based upon political parties. Can you imagine Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor insisting the only Democrats be allowed to form policy and have a voice in the war that followed. Lincoln saw the ugliest politics that can be imagined used against him, but he welcomed those Democrats who could help see the nation through the civil war. Dividing along political party lines in time of great crisis does not strengthen us. I am a true believer in the absolute need for the west to win the 'war on terror'. It is this deeply held conviction that leads me to the conclusion that in buildling political empire Republican leadership has harmed the interests of this nation, and will be judged harshly.
So now Gibson and his rightwing brethren in arms threaten voters with imagery that invokes the specter of victorious Jihadists bringing death and destruction to our very way of life, should voters exercise their democratic right in the "wrong" way. The Republican National Committee as we speak is running an ad featuring the words and imagery of Al-Qaida. Keith Olbermann's masterful rebuttal of that ad is truly inspiring. Osama walks hand in hand with Ken Mehlman in bringing fear to our televisions.
Make no mistake on this question of partisanship in time of crisis. After 9/11 this nation was united as never before behind the leadership of George Bush. The President saw fit to use this political capital as the platform to lead this nation into the quagmire of Iraq, and to attack Democrats in the crass pursuit of political power. It is his partisanship and insistence on devotion to his wrongheaded view of the world by any who deal with him that has lead to the current state of polarized affairs.
It seems obvious to me that any enlightened leader who saw the stakes as such that the very nature of our democracy was to be determined by the outcome would reach across the aisle for unity. Insistence that the other side agree with you in the face of incontrovertible evidence that you are wrong does not constitute bipartisanship. Scaring voters in an attempt to influence the very fundamental expression of democracy (voting) by claiming the democracy they live in is in danger should they vote for the other guy hardly speaks well of the course you have set this nation upon. If the stakes are that important, to allow the entire enterprise to be brought low because of political blundering and partisanship, can only be considered the infliction of a grievous injury on American interests by the Presidents own logic.
We have finally reached the point that Republicans must resort to threatening us with ruination if we exercise the fundamental right of democracy. How sad is that?
What happens, then, is that we are battered by an incessant current of fear until we no longer respond. We then either need higher and higher doses of a stimulant (fear, violence, horror, porn etc...) or we become senseless. Or both.
There's a book out you have to read. It's called THE NEXT OSAMA, by J. Acosta. It's at wwww.jodere.com and the whole galley is up online (for a while) for free. It's awesome fiction about 4 small lives that are tossed into the mass media slipstream and, because of fear, tumble out of control and eventually, right into each other.
There are real threats out there, Mr. Bhfrik. I'm not in full agreement with everything you have to say. I think there are things we should be afraid of. Where I do agree is that its use as a political sword is not only malicious and foolish, it's dangerous to the security and well-being we crave most.
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