What I’ve Been Sayin’

9 comments February 16th, 2007at 11:23am Posted by Eli

Here’s me, 14 months ago:

Bush’s claim that he had to take extraordinary measures to fight terror is at odds with his resolute unwillingness to take ordinary measures against terror.

And a couple of days before that, talking about “the discrepancy between the level of anti-terrorism commitment the Administration pretends to have, vs. the level of commitment they’ve actually demonstrated thus far”:

Bush claims that the War On Terror is so important that he has to break the law in order to wage it effectively. But if that’s true, why hasn’t he put his foot down that Homeland Security funds be allocated on the basis of need, and not used for air-conditioned garbage trucks or police dog body armor? Why doesn’t he buck the nuclear and chemical industries to force them to improve their plant security? Why has he ignored all the recommendations of the 9/11 Committee?

As with torture, it looks as though Bush and the Republicans are only interested in “anti-terror” methods if they are illegal. For me, it begs the question: Is preventing terror attacks the end which justifies the means of violating individual rights, or are those violations an end unto themselves?

Glenn Greenwald yesterday:

One of the most notable aspects of the rhetoric used by Bush followers — particularly their shrill insistence that the Global Epic War of Civilizations/World War III/World War IV (or, as Gaffney called it in his column, The “War for the Free World [that] began on September 11, 2001”) — is how obvious they make it that they do not actually believe their own rhetoric.

They oppose any real sacrifice that would enable us to “fight the war” much more effectively (such as a draft or increased taxes), oppose virtually every counter-terrorism measure that does not involve either fun new wars or fewer limits on presidential power (such as the boring proposals for more rigorous port inspections, which these advocates of the $8 billion-per-month Iraq war have the audacity to oppose on grounds of cost), and worst of all, their constant prioritizing of relatively petty concerns over their vaunted “terrorism war” (such as Orrin Hatch’s recent demand that Alberto Gonzales devote more FBI and other law enforcement resources to combating the Evils of Online Pornography rather than, say, hunting down all the lurking Al Qaeda cells about to unleash radiological bombs in our children’s school houses).

They only get excited about their Grand Global War of Civilizations Which is More Important Than Any War Ever when it can be used to justify starting wars, blowing things up, increased surveillance on Americans, and breaking laws. Everything else — genuine measures to combat terrorism — bores them, and true counter-terrorism measures always are subordinated to their other priorities, whether it be tax cuts or the Drug War. The hallmark of an inauthentic belief is a refusal to sacrifice for it. When it comes to their Glorious War, the Bush administration and its followers ooze nothing but a refusal to sacrifice.

Great minds, and all that. I wonder how many more months it’ll take for the Democratic party to pick up on this. They don’t read my blog, but hopefully they read Greenwald’s.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Iraq,Politics,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture,War


  • 1. karmicjay  |  February 16th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Ya, One can only pray they do. You sire have been quiet prescient I have to say.

  • 2. Eli  |  February 16th, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    The Democrats have an abundance of material, really. But they use only a small fraction of it. They really need to use the more telling and undeniable stuff like this and Donohue/obscene death threats against the Republicans.

  • 3. charley  |  February 16th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    that guy who wrote Black Hawk Down had some salient comments about this on tweet’s show yesterday.

    quite obviously the whole plan since 9/11 has been to rachet up the tension, and wire down the dissent.

    well, it’s obvious to me.

  • 4. Eli  |  February 16th, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Fear + Lack Of Dissent = POWER!

  • 5. Rob  |  February 16th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Lately, I posted about the completely idiotic decision the Bush administration made w.r.t. nuclear power.

    The whole thing is, the gutting of the Constitution was on their agenda before 9/11, but not to target foreign terrorists but rather Americans. The whole terrorism thing is an excuse.

    Does anyone remember, back when Bush became President, some claimed a “good idea” would be to run up the budget to the point that we HAD to cut back on social programs and enforcing civil rights and protecting the environment? I think the Bush admin has done a wonderful job of that. Just in time for a Democratic President comes the budget catastrophe requiring painful cuts in social programs.

  • 6. Eli  |  February 16th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Preachin’ to the choir, Rob. I’ve ranted repeatedly about the Republicans’ valuing the financial comfort of the nuke and chem industries over national security.

    Ditto for shredding the Constitution: like Iraq and probably Iran, it’s something that was on the agenda all along, and 9/11 just made it possible for the crazies to finally realize their fever dreams.

    And the “starve-the-beast” approach to taxes and government has been around for a lot longer than Bush’s presidency. I also share your concern about a Democratic president getting left holding the bag, and bearing the brunt of the national backlash against the unpopular policies that will be needed to put the country back together again.

  • 7. Sunrunner  |  February 16th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Gorgeous new site Eli!!!!!

    I remember watching Colin Powelll’s presentation for the case to invade Iraq on TV & thiniking that his *evidence* did not seem all that convincing. But I was also paying close attention to El Baradi, and well, he did make sense, in that they had not found convincing evidence that Saddam was capable of unleashing a nuclear or chemical nightmare on the US.

    But even if Iraq had been in possession of chemical or nuclear weapons, it still did not make sense to go to war. After all, what nasty weapons they did have could not’ve held a candle to what the Soviets had held, and they were successfully held at bay with MADD (a Republican strategy btw).

    Shorter version, you cannot convince me that Al Quaeda types are more of a military threat than the old Soviet Union was. Or even pre-WW II Japan, for that matter.

  • 8. Eli  |  February 16th, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks, Sun! Too bad my photo galleries are broken at the moment.

    I think it’s telling that no-one wants to be out in front presenting the fake evidence this time around.

    Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, none of them were ever even *close* to being an existential threat, except in the sense that they may cause the U.S. to commit suicide.

  • 9. Multi Medium » Danc&hellip  |  February 17th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    […] The Edwards fiasco, and Glenn Greenwald’s recent echoing of my observation that the Republicans do not appear to be very serious about what they claim to be serious about both highlight something that I’m very frustrated about. What’s bugging me is that, with a few exceptions, the Democrats always take everything the Republicans say at face value, rather than as cynical political manipulation. […]

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