Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kansas newspaper calls Iraq War "disastrous" & pleads for serious debate

By Diane Silver

Wichita, Kan., has got to be one of the most conservative places in the country. Surrounded by ranches and farms and next door to McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita is rock-solid Republican. Its political and social life is dominated by the ultra-conservative churches of the Religious Right.

All of this means that George W. Bush, the Republican Party and, yes even Democrats, might want to pay close attention to today's editorial in The Wichita Eagle. The newspaper calls the conclusions of the newly disclosed National Intelligence Estimate a "bombshell" that can't be "ignored or easily dismissed." The Eagle writes:

To some extent, it's obvious. By declaring Iraq the "central front" in the war on terror, President Bush has found a convenient way to retroactively justify this disastrous conflict to Americans.

But clearly, as the report argues, the war has also provided a training ground for terrorists and a ready-made recruitment poster for jihadists around the globe, who point to U.S. occupation as proof that Western "crusaders" are intent on conquering the Middle East for their own ends.

The war is not just attracting bad guys -- it is creating them, possibly faster than we can rally resources to oppose them....

In light of this report, Americans must demand of the leaders of both parties a more specific, nuanced and honest debate about Islamic terrorism and how best to fight it.

Oh yes.

Meanwhile, Bush just announced that he is releasing part of the Intelligence Estimate.


Jamie Lynk, Sarasota,FL said...

My mom and dad live in Wichita, KS [they moved there about 8-years ago to be closer to my brother (who moved to Wichita for a job) and the grandkids]. My parents are life-long Democrats and have often felt “out-of-place” in Wichita despite finding the city beautiful and a very nice place to live. My dad (a WW-II & Korean War vet, who was called to active duty during the Berlin Wall Crisis, and who retired as a Chief Master Sargent from his full-time job with the Missouri Air National Guard) is rabidly anti-Bush. We often share our dismay and anger about what’s happening in America. Finally, in Wichita a “ray of hope” for the American tradition of democracy.
Since 2000, I’ve watched the “Dubya-ing” of American. I have so often been reminded of Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. When the Department of Homeland Security was first created after 9/11, I said to myself, “Boy, does that name sound like something the Nazi’s would have created.“ Little did I know of the assault on the Constitution and the assault on the “Rule of Law” --including The Geneva Convention -- which was to come.
I often think about Eric Fromm’s 1941 book ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM. As a native German who came to the US in 1934, Fromm wrote this book to try and understand how and why Nazisim succeeded in Germany. He came to the conclusion that “freedom” requires a great degree of individual responsibility. When people choose to escape from responsibility -- they also escape from freedom (i.e.: they lose their freedom).
For more correlation between ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM and the current political situation in America -- please access any of the following:

1. “An Escape From Freedom*: reflections on the development of an American dystopia” which is a four-part article by Mark W. Anderson in his blog The American Sentimentalist. http://www.thesentimentalist.com/archives/000091.html
2. “Rolling Back the 20th Century” by William Greider in the May 12, 2003, issue of The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030512/greider
3. Dialog International - a blog of German-American Opinion: Politics and Culture. http://dialoginternational.typepad.com/dialog_international/2006/01/_last_week_pres.html

The Nazi’s used the Jews and the Communists as scapegoats. Dubya-ites use “terrorists & the threat of terrorism” and the Fundamentalist Religious Right’s non-approved elements in American society [liberals, gays & lesbians, Catholics (except when they want to marshal anti-abortion demonstrations)] as scapegoats. Remember what Martin Niemuller (an anti-Nazi German pastor and victim of the concentration camps) said,
"In Germany, they first came for the Communists,and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."

People: It's time to demand serious debate -- It's time to question -- It's time to SPEAK UP!

Jamie Lynk, Sarasota, FL said...

Web addresses didn't carry over.
Let's try again:


Dialog International commentary which mentions Escape from Freedom

THE NATION (magazine)

THE NATION - William Greider's article "Rolling Back the 20th Century" in 05/12/2003 issue

THE AMERICAN SENTIMENTALIST (blog) with Mark W Anderson's 4-part commentary, "An Escape from Freedom: Reflections on the Development of an American Dystopia"

JUAN COLE'S "INFORMED COMMENT" (blog) Cole is a History Professor at University of Michigan and provides knowledgeable commentary on the Middle East,

Nancy Jane Moore said...

Jamie, I really like it that you brought individual responsibility into this discussion. That's one of those concepts that has been distorted by the right in their attempt to get rid of government social service programs. We are each responsible for standing up to protect not just our rights, but the rights of others, because if we just sit quietly by while others are mistreated, our own freedoms will disappear.