Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Rage, Rage, Rage
I thought that my anger at the Bushistas would probably subside, as things calm in Iraq, and we get back to the business at hand of reviving the stalling economy and fighting Al Qaeda. Never in a million years did I suspect that they would pull a ridiculous stunt like this one. Apparently, they quietly pulled air marshals off cross continent and intercontinental flights (you know, like Boston to LA) to save money (they since restored them, apparently, under pressure from Chuck Schumer, according to this MSNBC report.
Once again, for those who aren't to clear, or didn't click through- the Bush administration tried to save money by scrimping on AIR MARSHALLS! Only an alert Democratic senator saved this insanity from happening. Can someone please explain to me why the GOP is the party of national security.
As if that wasn't enough, another story making the rounds in the left of center blogo(hemi)sphere is about the clear evidence that even before the Iraq war, force repositioning and redeployment was hurting the hunt for Al Qaeda. By the way, can someone tell me why this headline is phrased as a question? "Did war compromise al-Qaida hunt?" Liberal media my ass, as they say! (story via Kevin Drum, among others)
Finally, I would just like to note that in Sept. 2002, Al Gore said that this was the case, and was ridiculed for it. I also said it, but of course, no one cares what I think (and for good reason!). Is there still any doubt that Al Gore is smarter, more dedicated, more perceptive, and more able thank Dubya? Only the most dedicated, know-nothing GOPer can still suggest that Gore would not have done better in the War on Terror. Ridiculous. In case you don't click through, here is the relevant portion of the speech.

To begin with, I believe we should focus our efforts first and foremost against those who attacked us on September 11th and have thus far gotten away with it. The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized. I do not believe that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from this urgent task simply because it is proving to be more difficult and lengthy than predicted. Great nations persevere and then prevail. They do not jump from one unfinished task to another.

We are perfectly capable of staying the course in our war against Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network, while simultaneously taking those steps necessary to build an international coalition to join us in taking on Saddam Hussein in a timely fashion.

I don't think that we should allow anything to diminish our focus on avenging the 3,000 Americans who were murdered and dismantling the network of terrorists who we know to be responsible for it. The fact that we don't know where they are should not cause us to focus instead on some other enemy whose location may be easier to identify.

Nevertheless, President Bush is telling us that the most urgent requirement of the moment - right now - is not to redouble our efforts against Al Qaeda, not to stabilize the nation of Afghanistan after driving his host government from power, but instead to shift our focus and concentrate on immediately launching a new war against Saddam Hussein.

As they say, read the whole thing.
One final thought- A Democratic Presidential contender needs to step forward and scream at the failures of Bush Admin. policy. This is not a hawk/dove or left/right thing. The most fundamental job of the President is to protect the USA against attack, foreign or domestic. If his actions are demonstrably counter to that goal, then he is derelict in his duties. This point MUST be hammered home, repeatedly, AND a concrete plan to fix the mess has to be presented.