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The Phony Outrage Base

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Message Randy LoBasso

The Neo-Conservatives knew they had something back in 2004 when they got people fired up about statements John Kerry made over 30 years ago – which were correct, no less.

The Phony Outrage base was born.

So, on Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted to “condemn” the MoveOn.org ad in the September 10th New York Times, which asked the question: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”

And, like clockwork, during his press conference where he referred to Nelson Mandela as “dead”, President Bush said the Democrats “are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like MoveOn.org, or more afraid of irritating them, than they are of irritating the United States Military.”

It’s almost as if we’re dealing with pure insanity.

I’ve always believed that the highest form of protest during the Vietnam era was abandoning the service you promised your country. Bush went AWOL while Kerry was shipped into the jungle. Yet, during the Bush-Kerry election, there wasn’t a peep out of the Democrats, who are consistently scared to strike back.

If we can publicly condemn a website’s advertisement, why can’t we condemn the privatization of the war and the Security Firm Blackwater opening fire on Iraqi civilians, killing 11, an incident Prime Minister al-Maliki called “a criminal act”? And where’s the public condemnation of Haliburton, who was still closing deals with the Iranian government years after Bush declared them part of the “axis of evil”? Where’s the outrage against Project for a New American Century, which had the Iraq War planned years before 9/11 and Weapons of Mass Destruction was used as phony rationale?

The truth is, the right gets their Phony Outrage Base to pounce at every opportunity. They’ve condemned everything from the “War on Christmas” to the Terri Schiavo ordeal to botched jokes to scarves sold at Urban Outfitters. Neo-conservatives pretend to get angry at an issue and, in doing so, make the Democrats look weak. (That’s why the Iraq war resolution was supported by a bi-partisan consensus in the first place. No one was allowed to look at the intelligence objectively. If you didn’t vote in favor of the invasion, that meant you didn’t support the troops. Or better yet, you were inviting another 9/11.)

It’s obvious at this point that our entire government – from Bush, Cheney, Rumseld, and Powell, all the way down to local and state representatives – knew Iraq posed no threat in 2002. Even Alan Greenspan wrote in his memoir that the invasion of Iraq was for oil. But no one was allowed to say anything about it. Because the rationale is if we don’t support putting our troops in harm’s way for no good reason at all, it’s just as bad as calling them traitors. Even if the mission is unwinnale (as well as undefinable) pulling out would be like spitting on the soldiers. It’ll be like Vietnam all over again, right?

The thing is, with this MoveOn condemnation, the right is back up to its old tricks. This time, it got the public to ignore Petraeus’ statements during testimony. When asked by Republican Senator John Warner, "Do you feel (The Iraq War) is making us safer?" Petraeus responded, “I don’t know.”

Billions of dollars. Thousands of lives. And the head general on the ground doesn’t know if we’re safer.

So, where’s the outrage?

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Randy LoBasso lives in Philadelphia, PA, where he does a bunch of freelance writing. He wrote for OpEdNews in 2007/2008.
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