I was ready to let September 11 go. You know to each his or her own. Remember and learn, move on, or exploit it for the umpteenth time, what ever spins your props in the land of the once free, but then I read this piece from David Sirota: Even on 9/11, neocon chickenhawks can’t refrain from straw men attacks
In case you thought the anniversary of 9/11 would tone down the rhetoric and the dishonest creation of straw men that don’t exist, think again. Over the last week, we’ve been treated to some good ol’ fashioned McCarthyism – that is, attacks on unnamed groups of people who supposedly advocate for signing a peace treaty with Osama bin Laden, and who supposedly think President Bush is a greater enemy to our country than terrorists.
Then goes on to site two what would seem unlikely bed-fellows, Rush Draft Dodger Limbaugh and Marshall Wittman of the DLC as examples of the brave souls who can in fact be counted on to only win against monsters and straw men that don’t exist. Hugh Hewitt at Townhall blog drags out a who’s who of quotes from the shrill soup of chickenhhawks. Like most of the dainty dilettantes of the Right can’t seem to get straight who the terrorists are, despite Bush’s recent assertion that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 insists on conflating the two. Hugh admits defeat in the face of an enemy he never gets around to naming. Keeping in mind we’ve been in Afghanistan and Iraq for over three years, Monday, September 11, 2006, The New Realism, Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 9:01 AM
Five years from now I expect the same debate to be raging within the US even as the war goes on around the globe, perhaps in places like Mogadishu, perhaps with strong allies not just in Israel but also Iraq. We simply cannot see as, say, Americans could see in 1942 that the pain of Guadacanal was absolutely necessary to defeat the attackers of Pearl Harbor.(emphasis mine – Note right-wingers and their history, its GUADALCANAL and the battle was against the
If we add the three years that we’ve already been in Iraq and Afghanistan plus Hugh’s prediction of another five, that will be a total of eight years, enough time, as long as we’re doing comparisons to defeat the Nazis and Japanese nationalist twice over. So conservatives cannot offer America victory in Afghanistan or Iraq or against non-state terrorism, only a limitless unfocused war. A war that the Right doesn’t think can be won because of Michael Moore. Hewitt is usually good for a laugh,
There is a slice of the Democratic Party which appears genuinely unhinged post 9/11, and so furious as to intimidate the part of the Democratic Party that ought to know better. The impact of this legion of deniers is to discredit the Democrats in the eyes of the center, and thus the left has become the practical ally of the right in allowing the right to guide the war.
Hewitt’s hinge broke off long ago either when he was bending himself into a pretzel juggling all the contradictory dead-end insights into who we’re fighting and why or when he and his like minded reactionaries thought that the best way to fight transnational terrorism was to attack the secular state of Iraq and do everything they could to undermine America’s freedom amd moral standing. Bush-Hewitt have to some degree accomplished what Bin Laden could only dream of, undermining 200 hundred years of American values and ideals.
Five years out and the country has avoided another attack because of the superb competence of the military and the strategic vision of the political leadership. Of course there have been tactical set-backs and missed opportunities, and the loss of nearly as many in combat as died on 9/11 is a terrible price to have paid for the security their sacrifice has purchased. (my note – Bush’s Iraq Report card, read it and weep)
Hewitt needs to remember to take his meds if he thinks that American troops in Iraq or the over sixty thousand dead Iraqi civilians have died preventing another 9-11. Is it his assertion that al-Queda and related groups couldn’t spare a few guys to attack us because Bush has kept them so busy in Iraq. Hewitt probably also believes that those shiny quarters he finds under his pillow come from the tooth fairy and always makes sure to put his clown nose on his bedside table before he goes to sleep at night. If conservatives want to be taken seriously they might want to start acting and comprehending the world like a coherent adult.
Over at uber conservative blog Captains Quarters, Posted by Captain Ed at September 11, 2006 05:24 AM, Poison Pregnancy
He sees our defeat and/or surrender in Iraq as the first step towards our economic ruin. Iraq has assumed that position because it signalled our resolve not to abandon the region to terrorists and genocidal dictators. Of all the post-9/11 developments, they fear Iraqi democracy the most. It would light a beacon for freedom that eventually would spread through the region, and that specifically rejects the kind of theocratic fascism that Zawahiri has planned for the ummah. Defeating us and driving us from the region would allow them to take over in Iraq, Zawahiri believes, and take control of the world’s oil supplies in an eventual drive across the entire region.
Would the Captain be referring to the emerging democracies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Iran, Egypt, or Syria. All totalitarian to authoritarian and at least for now old Cap may want to pray they stay that way. If they held free elections tomorrow they’s all look more like Iran then Massachusetts. al-Queda was and is held in contempt by most of the Iraqi people. If we left Iraq a few scenarios could play out, but no rational person that has taken a few minutes to study the regional and tribal tensions at work thinks that Iraq would become a haven for Al-Queda. Cap and his clones want this bizarre and completely fabricated view of what is happening in the middle-east to prevail because to do otherwise is not to admit they fundamentally do not understand what they’re talking about, so it is little wonder he supports administration policies that are headed nowhere. Cap and his beloved president refuse to do what is best for America and put aside rabid allegiance to the neocon acid trip and do what is right. Are they even capable of distinguishing right from pig headed. A clean slate would be great, but since that isn’t possible we need leadership that will start making productive changes in how to handle roque groups that are scattered around the globe. That will never happen with conservatives steering our foreign policy, conservatives who in pre-election spin mode suddenly want to put us in a time machine and send us back to Midway.
Well you get the idea of the price range of conservatives wares sold in memorial or celebration of 9-11, I can’t tell which it is from reading the most prominent blogs on the Republican side of the aisle. Though there is a post script so to speak, saving the best for last a conservative blogger called Broadsword, Monday, September 11th, 2006, Five Years On ( Linked to with high praise from a Republican blogger called Watcher of Weasels, The Path From 9/11, Posted by Watcher at 11:57 PM). Well Broadsword thinks that where we’ve gone terribly wrong in the last five years is not going nuclear,
On September 12th, 2001, I rationally argued along with a very select few others, that we had to use a nuclear weapon to retaliate against Bin Laden. I wrote (not on this blog, as it didn’t exist back then, but online at various other places) that we had to target his known locations, and fire away with a nuke or two. That would have settled it. The world would have instantly turned their tears into outrage, but we would have saved ourselves the agony of having to fight this war on the ground in so many places. We would have terrified the terrorists and their supporters. They would have understood, once and for all, that they had nowhere to hide. They would have given up their fight because it would have instantly been clear that to go against such a raving dog would have been a losing proposition. Perhaps the world would not have backed us on that date in such an action, but five years after we would probably not be having these discussions. Saudi Arabia would no longer be the same place it is today. Bin Laden would be expired four years and 364 days ago. The Palestinians would have pissed in their pants after celebrating our “defeat” just a day before. There wouldn’t be a nation on the face of this earth that would have harbored these people any longer, just because they would have known that we really – really – meant business.(emphasis mine)
Maybe the bodies of innocent men, women, and children burned into dust by a nuclear blast is the new doublespeak definition of rational. For some reason I don’t get invited to the little right-wing shindigs where these things are decided. One assumes those “raving” dogs would have been the rabid reactionaries that would even entertain such a notion. Maybe President Clinton should have nuked Oklahoma after the Timothy McVeigh love fest and taught those right-wing militia-christian identity groups a lesson they wouldn’t forget. Think of the hours of manpower that The Big Dog wasted by rounding up the bad guys up and putting them on trial. Though one has to give credit where due, Mr. Broadsword gets the nod for best conservative memorial post in honor of the anniversary of 9-11. It takes a lot to make Hugh Hewitt and Rush Limbaugh look marginally sane, but B.S. managed to do it.
There is some degree of disagreement on the Right on whether we’re safer now or the world is safer, but that disagreement is odd. It seems to be over the degree of force and how much should be used, not whether it is being used in the wrong place (Iraq), in the wrong way, or on the wrong people. The Terrorism Index
The experts also have serious concerns about the effectiveness of the U.S. national security apparatus and sharply criticize the U.S. government’s efforts in numerous areas of national security, including public diplomacy, intelligence, and homeland security. They give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a score of 2.9 out of 10 in its functions related to national security, and more than 80 percent of the surveyed experts characterize efforts at intelligence reform to date as “fair” or “poor.”
The major correctives suggested by the experts for defeating terrorist networks and enhancing U.S. national security are increasing the budget for the Department of State (87 percent), reducing dependence on foreign oil (82 percent), and improving intelligence capabilities (76 percent).
Furthermore, specific U.S. policies are cited by experts as contributing to our lack of progress in winning the war against terrorist networks. Majorities believe that the war in Iraq (87 percent), the detention of terrorist suspects in Guantanamo and elsewhere (81 percent), U.S. policy towards Iran (60 percent), and U.S. energy policy (64 percent) have had a negative impact on our national security.
Of course the respondents in this survey were well known for their expertise in terrorism and U.S. national security and weren’t as rational as Mr. B.S. I can’t speak for the entire length and breath of the center-left, but it would be fair to say many think that our problem is that there are some pretty bad characters spread around the world and it is in the best interests of America and the world that they be stopped. It is not in our interests to have such a sweeping unfocused war where the enemy is not clearly defined except in the fetid imaginations of right-wing bloggers, it is not in our best interests to have open ended conflicts based on lies and distortions, and it is actually helping and emboldening terrorists groups when our leaders do not know how to best use our resources and as a result get so many innocent people killed. The Right used to occasionally throw out the old canard about going to Iraq to save the Iraqi people and even an occasional plea for the future of peace and stability for the people of Afghanistan, in the ever shifting sea of rationales all these people have just become unfashionable and disposable collateral damage, so to express concern about killing so many innocent people in the quest to ferret out the bad ones is now probably passe.