Monday, September 24, 2007

On Partisanship In The War On Terror

The A.P. reports on a speech by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (h.t. Truthout) in which Sanchez decried the split in our nations leadership in the so called war on terror.

According to the story, Sanchez would not name names in an interview with A.P. after the event, but fingered the "most senior leadership in our nation".

Sanchez is spot on with his observations, but let me give the conclusion which he felt (probably from a sense of not wanting to seem overly partisan) was best left unsaid. This administrations insistence on using the war on terror as a political tool to gain and hold power is one of the greatest travesties ever perpertrated upon this nation by any numbskulled leader in our entire history.

Longtime readers of this blog are well past sick and tired of the constant harping by myself on the state of America immediately following 9/11. But it bears repeating, which is what I do. The nation united due to the attacks of Al Qaeda as it has rarely united before. The President and his allies saw fit to bastardize this unity, calling any who disagreed with them pro terrorist and un patriotic. The ulitmate bastardization of our national unity was the drive to war in Iraq. To prove how political and divisive was this campaign to open an unnecessary war, the vote to authorize it was held immediately prior to the midterm election in 2002. Bush 1 saw fit to hold off on his vote until the midterm election had passed, out of a sense of wanting to make the policy not seem overly political. His son doesn't have the foresight to care about such nonesense as what is good or bad for the nation... he and Rove just saw a chance to make Democrats look weak on terror.

Remember as we talk about undue partisanship in the war on terror that the 2002 election also saw a Democratic Senator who had given three limbs in service to his nation in Vietnam compared in television commercials to Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. Senator Max Cleland actually lost his seat in the Senate, but not his wheelchair, during that crass and divisive appeal to Americans to vote Republican or face an increased likelihood of dying at the hands of the terrorists. This is one of several well known smears against veterans by Republicans who find themselves on the other side of an election from a military hero. Can you imagine the outrage that would have been generated if Bill Clinton had questioned Bob Doles patriotism in 1996? This is one case in which Clinton did NOT do it too... Yet who doubts that if Dole were a Democrat that Republicans would have been more than happy to smear him as unpatriotic or sympathetic to Osama and Saddam? It's right there in the record and the record is not pretty as far as Republican treatement of veterans they run against is concerned.

So your freaking right we are divided amongst ourselves. We Democrats have always believed that we had the best national interests and ideals in mind as we were pummelled from the right for being weak and pro terrorist, and we are fed up with it. Not only have we been proven right time and again, but the other side continues to posit the same tired, divisive and wrongheaded logic which has been so discredited by past experience. Just listen to their testosterone laden primary presidential debates: Expand GITMO, use trumped up evidence to start a preemptive war in Iran, torture is good, Democrats are evil, and on and on and on. Their Washington leadership governs as if they still hold the unfettered reins of power, that they do so by dint of their inherent correctness, and this is all part of the grand scheme. They seem drunk with arrogance, stumbling hither and yon while insisting they have it all under control. The clarion call of reality raises a dreadful din around them, the signs of their failed policies are plain to see, but the Republicans proceed as if deaf and blind, while disparaging those who have been proven right time and time again.

Here is the ugly truth of the matter. George Bush was selected in 2000 after promising to be a "uniter, not a divider". Yet history shows us that it was Osama Bin Laden that united this nation, and George Bush who has divided us. In the quest to cling to political power just last year he toured the nation in the weeks prior to the election saying very explicitly that a win for Democrats meant the terrorists win. That type of rhetoric is sure to unite the nation George!

We on the left of the political spectrum do long for the day when a national leader can bring all of us together because it would be the best thing for the nation, and that is our main concern. But we have reached the point in our politics that the right insists that those who see things like we do are the same as the enemy, and as long as they hold that point of view there can be no political unification. We will fight those ugly characterizations to the bitter end. We will do our best to see it crushed and repudiated. When the other side can admit that those who hold my views are equally valuable to the conversation and not sympathetic or friendly with the common enemy, then we can start talking about a unified way forward for this nation.

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