June 5, 2007
As the would-be presidents continue to polish their messages we begin to see a clear delineation between the parties. Two nights ago we saw the democrats speaking about ending the endless war campaign of George Bush, concentrating on our own problems in THIS country. Talking about long-forgotten priorities such as healthcare, education and civil liberties. Supporting the troops by insisting they come home alive.
Then the nine neo-cons and Ron Paul took the stage tonight and presented the other side. The delusional side. The fearful side. The dark side. These were not politicians tonight. They were snake oil salesmen, selling the only product they have left to win elections anymore, fear. I exempt Ron Paul from the gang of nine, because he was the only sane voice in the cloud of testosterone in New Hampshire tonight. He was the only true conservative voice again, talking about less government and a non-interventionist foreign policy. The only person who seemed to get it; that you cannot force democracy through the barrel of a gun.
Unfortunately, the remaining candidates were simply merchants of fear tonight. Desperately trying to cast Iraq as the central war on the vague concept of “terror”, the death-traders continually tried to justify this failed war of choice. Playing fast and loose with the facts and with history, they have again proven that the clear choice in 2008 will be between continuing to have our sons and daughters come home in body bags or come home alive. Fear is a powerful weapon, wielded skillfully by the Bush administration for the past six years.
I fearful populace doesn’t stop to think about the decline in education in this country. A fearful populace doesn’t stop to think about the disastrous state of healthcare in this country. We forget that this war was sold to us on lies. That the entire premise of the war is false. That hundreds of thousands of people are dead because of it. People who are afraid do not notice when the president decides to ignore over 800 laws as his party stands silent. They are too worried to notice when 9 out of 10 would be presidents think that the treasonous outing of a covert CIA operative is cause for a presidential pardon.
The gang of nine mocked the democrats for daring to suggest that the Iraq War needs to end now; the prevailing opinion of an overwhelming majority of Americans. You want to know all you need to know for the 2008 elections? While the democrats were talking about your needs as Americans, 90% of the republican candidates were talking about tactical nuclear strikes against Iran. That is what you are voting for next year. Do you embrace the future of this country or cower to the politics of perpetual fear?
For forty years we were told to fear the communists. We had air raid drills, where children had to hide under their desks, mimicking a nuclear attack on the country. Communists were evil and hated us because of our freedoms. Personal freedoms were curtailed, wars enflamed, and Americans died. They died all for the industrial war machine. Defense budgets skyrocketed and the deficit ballooned. Things like healthcare and education took a back seat to the primary ideological struggle of our time. It was such a good model that it lasted for forty years. Fear reigned supreme and the citizenry remained controlled. But a funny thing happened on the way through the Cold War; it ended. The Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its own failed economic policies. That’s right die hard repubs, Reagan had very little to do with the collapse of the USSR. He just happened to be there when the wheel came around.
The 1990’s were a wasteland for the old-school defense mongers. Their power was receding, their money was dwindling, and their relevance and very existence was threatened. Like a cornered animal, they fought back after 911. They realized they did not have to reinvent the wheel; they just needed to replace the communist, with the terrorist. It is the exact same model. You now need to be in continual fear of the terrorist. What is great about this version of the model is that there is no primary country to target. It has become a mobile model. It started in Afghanistan and when we wanted to blow Iraq up; we simply said that was the new front in this fictitious war. Never mind that Iraq under Saddam hated al Qaeda and vice-a-versa. Never mind that they had no connection to 911. All we have to do is invade the country and call anyone who is willing to fight for their country and insurgent, or a terrorist, and voila, Iraq is the new central front on the war on terror. It is a war that never has to end either. Once Iraq is spent, we can shift it over to Iran, maybe Syria. The truth doesn’t matter because the enemy has no face and no home. They are a generalized idea. They are a generic concept. They are of some Middle Eastern descent, or Islamic fundamentalist in nature, or hate our freedoms like the communists before them.
It is the perfect blueprint for election platforms too. Just mock anyone who claims the danger is not real. Scoff at the notion that maybe we can concentrate on THIS country for a change. Trump up any minor incident to be the impending end of life as we know it. You saw it tonight as the gang of nine repeatedly referred to the recent JFK and Fort Dix plots; what I like to call dumb and dumber. The facts surrounding these cases are eerily similar. Both deal with informants setting up the accused. Both are dealing with plans that are so far fetched there never was any danger to begin with and both were trumpeted from the rooftops as proof that there is a war on terror and that we are “winning.”
Never mind that winning is never clearly defined and when it is the goal posts simply get moved. Whether it was capturing Baghdad, capturing Saddam’s sons, capturing Saddam, electing a parliament, Iraqi’s with purple fingers voting, standing down as the Iraqis stand up, troop surge number one, or troop surge number two. It doesn’t matter because you can always change the benchmarks; you can always change what “winning” means. All nine tonight spoke eloquently about winning, but never had a clue what winning actually meant because the real concept of “winning” is the continuation of the war, not the ending of it. It is just fear on a repeating loop and tonight you met the merchants who would continue to sell you death.
I pray to God that you are no longer buying it.