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Terrorism has been worse under GOP regimes since 1980

By       Message Len Hart     Permalink
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Bush's overall approval rating drops to 33 percent [Ap-AP-Ipsos], declining in nearly every issue but primarily -the lost war in Iraq and his ham-fisted foreign policy. Bush lost ground even in the GOP friendly South where some 19 percent of those who supported Bush in 2004 now say they will vote Democratic.

The old 911 magic may be gone forever. It was in those days, as you may recall, that Bush boasted: "Lucky me! I just won the trifecta". 911 propelled Bush to the heights of public approval amid promises that he would smoke out Bin Laden and bring him to justice, that he would treat the nations who nurture terrorism as terrorists themselves. In fact, he's done none of those things.

In fact, Terrorism has been worse under GOP regimes since 1980. Terrorism grew worse over the two years Ronald Reagan waged his great "war on terrorism". The number of terrorist attacks on US interests increased significantly over a period of about two years, a pattern that is repeating under Bush. [See: Total Acts of Terrorism in the U.S. 1980-98, America's Response to Terrorism, The Brookings Institute (Based on FBI Statistics)]

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There are two possible explanations. One, Reagan's war was not well thought out and was simply impotent and ineffective. It may even have been counter-productive, a rallying cry to legitimate critics of US imperialism as well as terrorists.

On the other hand, the GOP loves to pretend to be fighting terrorism; but, in fact, GOP policies may be the cause of it. The relationship between Republican administrations since 1980 and the so-called "terrorists" is a symbiotic one. The GOP provides "terrorists" with a cause celebre while terrorism provides the Republican party with a Nazi scare tactic designed to keep the populace obedient and compliant. Such policies, of course, endanger American lives and, indeed, anyone who happens to get in the way. International terrorist attacks against the US declined under Clinton!

Bush's "War on Terrorism" is a miserable failureThe attack and invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the "war on terrorism". There was never any evidence to support the Bush conclusion that the US was killing terrorists in Iraq, but real terrorists might have said with credibility that they were killing Americans in Iraq. Because Bush is a liar, Iraq -temporarily knocked off the front pages -remains the scene of chaos, civil war, brutality, and, most of all, meaningless and needless death. What Richard Nixon said of Viet Nam must be said of Iraq:
Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively, and if after all of this time, and all of this sacrifice, and all of this support, there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past.

-Richard Nixon [as quoted by Buzzflash]

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Bush isolated the US at the very moment in its history when it most needed the good will of the world. Cold War "liberals" were "internationalists" who sought to involve the United States positively in world affairs. But for a period of some 30 years, we have withdrawn, perhaps succumbing to Viet Nam syndrome. Clinton's good points aside, our current situation must surely be traced to the fact that the US has not had competent, "internationalist" leadership since Jimmy Carter managed to broker the Camp David Accords. The security of the world absolutely depends upon the US strengthening its ties with Europe, working throughout the Middle East as a truly honest broker, eschewing the temptation to prop up unpopular, puppet regimes with CIA skullduggery, death squads, and coups d'etat!
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Len Hart is a Houston based film/video producer specializing in shorts and full-length documentaries. He is a former major market and network correspondent; credits include CBS, ABC-TV and UPI. He maintains the progressive blog: The (more...)

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