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Boiled Down It Comes to This

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Figure it out America. You have one weekend to make one of the most important choices of your life. Are you going to support the reckless status quo, or are you going to choose a new team to pull us through the next years? The reason this year's Congressional Election is so important is because the Bush administration is so bad, so immoral, so tied to corporations and the rich-and at the expense of the middle class and poor! Another reason is that we are bogged down in an occupation of Iraq and a sectarian civil war has begun there. We are bogged down because of the incompetence of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. There is no one to blame but them. Their plan was faulty to begin with, based on lies, conceived against the best advice of the professionals in the military, and executed so incompetently that they have no idea where tens of thousands of our own weapons are! You can't blame the soldiers or the media; it's definitely Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld.

But, you resist, there are terrorists out there and they want to kill us and destroy our will! Bush has protected us and kept us safe!

Certainly you are kidding! The 9/11 attacks happened on Bush's watch. He had eight months in office to act upon the advice of the FBI and CIA, but did NOTHING! Yes there are terrorists, and yes, in fact, Islamist terrorism is a serious threat to our country AND to most of the modern world, including Muslim countries, as this article by Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe clearly demonstrates. The question is not whether there are terrorists or not, or whether they mean you harm or not; the question is what is the real danger from terrorists and, on the other hand, what is the danger from cowering in your broom closets and potato cellars, handing your birthright freedoms to a corrupt administration for an illusory feeling of security.

The danger from terrorists is, in fact, negligible, even if we were only at the state of readiness that Bush had in place the month before 9/11, which was obviously not enough.

Until 2001, far fewer Americans were killed in any grouping of years by all forms of international terrorism than were killed by lightning, and almost none of those terrorist deaths occurred within the United States itself. Even with the September 11 attacks included in the count, the number of Americans killed by international terrorism since the late 1960s (which is when the State Department began counting) is about the same as the number of Americans killed over the same period by lightning, accident-causing deer, or severe allergic reaction to peanuts.


In other words the threat of death from terrorism in the United States is so small that the only thing to be frightened about is our own government. What is keeping it in your mind, however, is not just the gruesome horror of terrorism the administration has carefully stoked, but the righteous anger you have toward the perpetrators, the Muslims, that hate your God and your religion.

You can be angry if you want to. When you run out of adrenalin give us a call. We are not going to try to discuss anything more complicated than Bud Light v. Miller Lite with you until then. When you get down off your high horse, consider how many times YOU have been angry and, more importantly, why. Does it occur to you that the Islamist terrorists have a cause they believe in and real complaints about the activities of the United States in their part of the world? And, why are you angry at all of Islam, when it is obvious that the number of terrorists (lets exaggerate and say the world-wide number is 100,000 ... it is probably closer to 2,000, but whatever...) One hundred thousand is one hundredth of one percent of all Muslims, hardly a reason to hate an entire population!

You are angry because the rest of Islam is doing nothing to stop the terrorists. How do you know that? What evidence do you have that Muslim countries are doing nothing? How many terrorists do you remember from Morocco, Tunisia, Sierra Leon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Burkina, Benin, Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Western Sahara, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia ... all Islamic or partly Islamic countries? You think you know about terrorists from Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Algeria, Somalia, Lebanon, and Syria perhaps, but in fact the terrorists you know about were from Egypt and Saudia Arabia. The fact is that terrorists are a minutely small percentage of the population of even the most notorious countries of origin, which are ALL centered in the middle east where our foreign policy has been plainly antithetical to the social, religious, and economic interests of the Arabs there.

The fact is that you have been brutally conned by Bush, Rove, and Cheney into thinking that terrorism is going to blow your local Walmart to smithereens. It is utter crap. And, you have to know that Democrats know that it is utter crap. The threat is there, however, but it does not mean that we have to give up our civil rights to protect ourselves ... and deep down you really know that, don't you!

Okay, you say, terrorism can be fought by either party, but aren't the Democrats the weaker willed party? Aren't Liberals squishy and wishy-washy?

I am going to scream! Have you ever heard of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert Horatio Humphrey, John Edwards, Jack Murtha, Barack Obama, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, John Conyers, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and thousands of other Democratic office holders whose "squishiness" was only that they cared about the welfare of people too weak to defend themselves? You have heard of FDR who led us through most of the 2nd World War and Truman who finished it off and then had the courage to stand up to aggression in Korea! "Squishy" and "wishy-washy" are Republican campaign slogans based on their opposite view, namely, that if someone is poor or experiences a business setback or gets hurt at work it is their fault and they are not as good a person as someone born into money. "Squishy" is for caring, and "wishy-washy" is for coming back again and again to protect the next set of people from Republican corporate greed and Republican governmental indifference.

If you are reading this website the chances are you are voting Democratic next week. If you are, then you will understand the tone and substance of this essay. We are sick to death of pantywaist Republican propaganda, criminality, corruption, and might-makes-right bullying philosophy. The political right is fundamentally wrong, now, yesterday, tomorrow, and always. It is wrong because it is based on a false and ugly view of mankind. Liberalism is centuries more advanced than conservatism; it is the evolutionary successor to conservatism, and it will prevail ... but you have to vote for the best candidate available and not sit there whimpering that all politicians are crooks. They are not. It does not take many to make the place smell, of course, but most Democrats are courageous and well-meaning men and women. They carry a heavier burden than do Republicans, because their philosophy and assumptions are more mature and intelligent than the smartassed simpleton notions of the Republicans. Count yourself a thinking person and vote your best conscience.


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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese (more...)

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