Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What Would it Mean to "Win" the "War on Terror"?

This is exactly right.

I've had my share of heated debates with conservatives who claim we are winning the war on terror because we haven't been attacked since 9/11. But only those with a myopic view of the conflict can make such a claim. Limiting the definition of success solely to the physical safety of Americans fails to take into account that the goal of al Qaeda is not merely to cause death, but to cause a destruction of the very thing that defines us as Americans: our freedom.

As the President said the day the towers fell, "our way of life, our very freedom" was attacked. And how have we responded in the past five years? Not by preserving our way of life, not by zealously gaurding our freedom, but by surrendering.

Read the whole thing.

In a previous post I said I wasn't afraid of terrorism. I was in Washington, D.C. on the morning of 9-11 and since I work for the federal government, which presumably remains a terrorist target generally, and since I commute to work in D.C. via the metro rail system--as likely a terrorist target as any in the area, I think I have as much right as anyone to speak for those of us most likely to be affected by future terrorist actions. And I ain't afraid. And I ain't moved by conservative bullying to surrender my first and fourth amendment rights to pacify their own fears or satisfy their authoritarian ambitions.

John Kerry was criticized by fear-mongering right-wingers for saying during one of the debates that he hoped or looked forward to the day when the threat of terrorism would be merely an inconvenience. But Kerry was right to say that, however it may have offended the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.

Democrats basically let Republicans use fear as a baseball bat during the last two election cycles. At the same time, there have been some leading or at least high profile Democrats (Peter Beinert, the DLC) who have stressed the need for Democrats to convince the public they are "serious about national security" and will protect them, and thereby played into Republican hands. That tactic has been a political as well as substantive failure and abdication of the party's responsibility to uphold and protect the Constitution. Here's hoping Democrats have learned something and have the courage to push back on the conservative fear meme.

1 comment:

Judas said...

Amen!