Occasionally, someone will send me a link to something that I'm simply compelled to pass along. Since this weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Gulf War II, I wanted to share the online archive of Tony Blankley (Newt's former press secretary and the current op-ed editor for the Washington Times). Blankley certainly has a talent for soundbites, but I find his relentless cheerleading for war nauseating.
Blankley's comment in "George W. Bush: Grand Strategist" that Bush "boldly rejected the constraints of an outmoded international system" is a spectacularly sycophantic assertion. Violating the UN Charter (which, as a treaty to which the US is a signatory, is "the Supreme Law of the Land" according to Article 6 Section 2 of the Constitution) by pre-emptively invading a sovereign nation that posed no imminent threat (even Kuwait didn't favor the invasion, and they should know...) wasn't a noble dissent against a recalcitrant majority, it was merely might-makes-right disguised as patriotic duty. (The false patriotism of this administration's chickenhawks during the past few years is more than enough to last for the remainder of my life, and you already know what I think of Congress's abdication of their Constitutional responsibility to declare war by granting Bush unwarranted war powers.) Bush's bellicose flouting of international law isn't "bold," it's reprehensible.
"Elections in the Age of Terror" was no better, although his repetition of phrases such as "maximum danger," "supreme danger," and "doomsday horror" certainly achieve their intended purpose. After years of this sort of fear-mongering, America is now so frightened of a two-bit demagogue cowering in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan that we've succumbed to a police-state mentality and ignored the far more dangerous rapaciousness now unleashed in Washington. Going after the terrorists and their weapons is certainly the right goal, but going after their money never seems to have crossed anyone's mind. (Maybe because the administration's oilmen wouldn't want to implicate their former business partners?) Vast WMD stockpiles weren't being made in caves, tents, or tractor trailers; the necessary large, sophisticated, and expensive manufacturing facilities are as illusory as their "program activities." Freeing the Afghan and Iraqi peoples is one thing...but why is there no comparable concern for the Saudi citizenry living under the repressive monarchy that is responsible for the bin Laden fortune? Why the year-long detour (with continuing casualites and no end in sight) in Iraq while bin Laden still hasn't been found? Why is there so much misdirection in Washington, and so few straight answers?
Blankley is right about one thing: "[t]he national media is burdened with a heavy responsibility to direct the election debate," but their responsibility is not to parrot the status quo and support the current administration, right or wrong. Their charge is to shine a light in all the dark places and show we the people what is being done in our name.
Quote of the Day:
"Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America's] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she does not go abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. [...] She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. [...] She might become the dictatress of the world. She would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit!"
(John Quincy Adams, 1821 Fourth of July Address)