Monday, January 3, 2005

The Long War

Robert Parry at Consortium News sees no end in sight, except for Democracy:
George W. Bush’s vision for America’s future is coming into clearer focus following Election 2004: For the next generation or more, it appears the American people will be asked to sacrifice their children, their tax dollars and possibly the remnants of their democracy to what a top U.S. commander now candidly calls the “Long War.”

While Central Command’s Gen. John Abizaid defines the “Long War” as the indefinite conflict against Islamic extremism around the world, Bush and his supporters have already opened a second front at home, determined to silence or neutralize domestic dissent that they see as sapping American “will.”

Not only has Bush continued to purge his second-term administration of even the most soft-spoken skeptics, but his disdain for criticism has emboldened his supporters to routinely refer to public dissenters as “traitors.”

Take, for instance, this letter from a Bush supporter who was infuriated when USA Today’s founder Al Neuharth suggested in an opinion column that U.S. troops should be brought home from Iraq “sooner rather than later.”

“This is war and you should be put in prison NOW for talking like this,” wrote someone by the name of Mel Gibbs. “You give aid and comfort to our enemies and aid them in murdering our proud soldiers. You people are a disgrace to America. Your families should be put in prison with you.”

Oh yeah? Call me a traitor, motherfucker, and watch what happens.
Similar sentiments, of course, can be heard on right-wing talk radio or from commentators, such as best-selling author Ann Coulter. To many Bush backers, extremism in defense of W. is no vice.

Good point. Not defense of the country, the Constitution, or home and hearth, but rather defense of Bush like he's some kind of tin god. It makes be sick.
But the challenges posed by the Sept. 11 attacks could be viewed quite differently. Indeed, investigations of the terror attacks have revealed that al-Qaeda’s daring blow was somewhat a lucky punch that landed in part because the newly arrived Bush administration rebuffed warnings from Clinton administration holdovers.

The Bush newcomers believed the Clinton team overemphasized dangers from Islamic terrorism while underestimating the threat of missile attacks from North Korea and other “rogue states.” Bush didn’t even convene his counter-terrorism experts in August 2001 when the CIA sent him a warning, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the U.S.”

Though the answer will never be known, a strong response to the CIA warning might have disrupted the attacks that killed 3,000 people.

Ya never know, but it mighta been worth a shot, especially since the President is supposed to defend the country.
Just as the long Cold War gave rise to the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned against, the Long War against Islamic extremism will put the United States on a course toward a more militarized society, a form of government more like an Empire than a Republic.

I think we're well on our way unless the American people wise up pretty quick. Go read.

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