Today as we learn more about the terrorist plot foiled by the British, we are also learning about the Bush Administration's plot to once again use the issue of our own security as a device for political gain.
The New York Times this morning correctly characterized the cynical efforts of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in an editorial. (free, but registration required)
It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation's trauma for political gain.For details on what the Bushies did, see this piece by
Olivier Knox of Agence France-Presse. Here's the heart of the article.
His (Bush's) remarks came a day after the White House orchestrated an exceptionally aggressive campaign to tar opposition Democrats as weak on terrorism, knowing what Democrats didn't: News of the plot could soon break.The Bushies like to create a straw-man -- a false -- debate. They frame the issue as they do all issues as us vs them. The "us" are the strong, resolute Republicans who will kill keep America safe by killing all the terrorists. The "them" are the gutless, stupid Democrats and leftist who won't stand up and fight the bad guys.
The issue isn't whether or not we fight terrorists. The issue is HOW we do it. What will actually work? This is an honorable and vital debate, yet Bush and friends refuse to engage in it. The Bushies have totally failed in fighting terrorism. To put it in their terms: They are losing the war on terrorism.
Oh yes, Bush has killed a lot of people. Many of them may have even been terrorists. However, he has also created many more terrorists by casting the United States in the role of occupier and torturer.
The war against terrorism can't be won in the same way as World War II, yet Bush and the neocons seem to have no understanding of that fact. You simply can't kill every terrorist. At some point, you have to win the war of ideas with the people who support terror groups.
And then, of course, there's the teeny fact that the Bush approach hasn't even bagged the one person we really want to catch: Osama bin Laden.
I applaud Britain for stopping what appears to have been a plot with horrifying consequences.
I call on Bush and all of his people to stop playing politics and to learn how to actually win the war on terrorism. After all, the first duty of any government is to protect the people, or has that fact gotten buried under an avalanche of fear over what may happen in the November election?