Now, with the defeat of neo-con Joe Lieberman, rightwing pundits and politicos are nervous and we all know what that means. TERROR!! Fear-mongers and warmongers are shuffling the deck and talking terror, hoping they can persuade frightened Americans that a vote for an antiwar candidate is a victory for terrorists.
So what will the breaking news story-"Transatlantic airliner terrorist plot foiled in the UK"-do to America's fragile psyche? That depends on the credibility of the Bush Administration.
Obviously, the president's post-911 rhetoric has accomplished little: "...whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done." I'm sure bin Laden is still chuckling over this one. Egad!! I have just watched George struggle through his statement that the thwarted plot "is a reminder that we are at war," that this is about our "freedoms," "that we're still not completely safe," and that "there are people who want to harm us for what we believe in." I'm wondering if his "what we believe in" is "freedom," again, or those policies that rape our planet, destroying the livelihood and hope of people whose countries we manipulate.
I suppose all those ultraconservatives who support George Bush will be saying "foiled," giving the president credit where none is due. Republicans will emphasize their vigilance in the war on terrorism as if they corner the market on caution. Democrats will defend themselves against the charge that they are soft. It is, after all, an election year. Truth is that the blame falls with a thunderous thud on our foreign policy, but we will hear nothing of this from leaders or our failed mainstream media. Nor will we hear talk of examining this policy that gives rise to terrorism.
How does a child grow up to become a terrorist? What makes someone strap on a bomb or board a plane with box cutters, take over the cabin, and fly into a building, committing suicide, killing passengers and crew, and thousands on the ground? September 11, 2001 was an opportunity for us to investigate this-to gather the facts and ask the question: Why are we hated? The answer is not that "they are jealous of our freedoms."
We are hated because we either place sanctions on countries-sanctions which kill thousands upon thousands of children-or we invade and occupy countries, killing thousands upon thousands of children in barbaric acts to claim resources as our own. Because we are filled with greed. Because we Americans have a love affair with our automobiles. Because we think that might makes right. Because, as Americans, we believe that our needs are more important than anyone else's.
We can look this truth in the eye and demand an end to our Middle East intrusion, the making of a "New Middle East" in the words of Dr. FrankenRice. This is imperative if we are to preserve our humanity and our civil liberties. Or we can allow our leaders to continue a foreign policy that causes a wretched existence for those we exploit and serves not only to inspire terrorists but, also, ensures a permanent climate of fear here at home.
Thus, almost five years after 9/11, we have brought no one to justice as George Bush promised. Instead, we have invaded a country that had nothing to do with that day. We've lost almost 2,600 U.S. troops and we've killed tens of thousands of Iraqis. For no reason. We've squandered the goodwill of so many people in other countries who cried with us when the Twin Towers collapsed, the Pentagon was struck, and Flight 93 went down in a Pennsylvania field. Our losses have been enormous.
Tragically, because of our inept government and the lies of George Bush, our gains have been zilch, nada, nothing.