Dog Bites Man

Liberal dementia once again takes over the editorial page of The New York Times. PowerLine once again brilliantly documents the errors. It’s hard to understand how the editors can “look at America” and feel nothing but “horror” and a “sorrowful sense of estrangement.”

5 thoughts on “Dog Bites Man

  1. Oh I get it, when someone prints the truth about what has happened over the past seven years under the Bush Regime, you and others like you have a hard time accepting it.

    Did you know by your own theory that George Bush is a strong leader because there has not been another terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11, this same theory could also be applied to Bill Clinton who after the 1993 WTC bombings jailed the 5 responsible and not another attack happened? Huh? When did the next one occur? Oh that’s right when George Bush & Dick Cheney were in charge. They had plenty of warning that an attack was coming using our commercial airliners, but did Bush act like he cared on the morning of 9/11 when these airliners were being used as missiles? Nope!

    The American Taliban (the GOP/republicans) are the party of Hate. Remember that.

  2. Kay,

    I’m not sure what your second paragraph is responding to—I’m pleased that there hasn’t been a major terrorist attack (though there have been small ones at the LA airport, in San Francisco, and in Chapel Hill, for example), but I don’t draw any major conclusions from it, and I’ve never criticized the Clinton administration on these grounds. There was intelligence that terrorists might coordinate an attack involving airliners available to both administrations, but no one knew where or how; I blame no one for failing to envision what, for almost all of us before 9/11, was almost inconceivable. (In fact, the intelligence suggested that there would be an attack during the summer; by September 2001, when it hadn’t yet happened, officials were starting to doubt the intelligence.)

    I find the rhetoric of the rest of your comments grossly out of proportion. For holding a handful of people at Gitmo, for holding Padilla, for waterboarding three high-level terrorists, and for, in a very limited way, monitoring funds transfers and communications involving people outside the United States with terror connections, you speak of the Bush administration as a “Regime,” comparing them to the Taliban and referring to Republicans as “the party of hate”?

    I find all the above administration actions justifiable, but let’s grant for the sake of argument that I’m wrong about that. It’s still absurd to treat those things as if they’re morally equivalent to denying women the right to education or to work, executing teachers, gays, and others, punishing rape victims for adultery, murdering political opponents and moderates, intentionally targeting civilians in terror attacks, refusing to hold elections, beating men who shaved and women who did not wear the burqa, and conducting indiscriminate massacres such as that at Mazar-e Sharif, where, according to Human Rights Watch, “thousands of Hazaras, mostly males, were killed in front of their families in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of the anti-Taliban alliance in northern Afghanistan…. [Y]oung men over 16 had their throats slit, while younger boys and women had both hands chopped off at the wrist.”

    Let’s see—three terrorist leaders having water up their nose for about 35 seconds, some terrorists imprisoned, some emails overseas monitored, versus thousands of brutal murders, unjust executions, and other savage punishments. I’m sorry; I see no moral equivalence here.

    I’m not sure why some Americans on the left have, since 2001, treated the defense of human rights—intellectually as well as militarily—as an expression of hate. It’s a remarkable inversion, and it’s induced what I can only describe as moral blindness.

  3. It seems like at every presidential election, the pundits and press frame the question as: vote for change or vote for the end of the world. I, presumably like you, have generally found these dire predictions to be, well, just interesting press. America still survived, despite it all.

    I don’t know whether I’m getting older or just more bitter, but I’m not so confident about the course America is going. I don’t think the world is going to end by any stretch of the imagination, but Bush has taken us down a course that I’m not so comfortable with.

    Now, as a former Republican, I just find it really disturbing how Bush and his administration have made a mockery of the constitution and certain international treaties. Look, I don’t think Bush is the devil but some of his policies are quite outrageous. Extraordinary rendition. Guantanamo. Waterboarding. The CIA’s destruction of tapes.

    Sure, Bush is an easy target. After all, we’ve all heard and seen him speak. It can be downright embarassing. But its not simply Bush, but the institutions surrounding him and the environment that let it happen.

    I’m afraid that the american public doesn’t really care. Out of sight, out of mind. . .

  4. Mr. Cheeseburger,

    I can understand your concern about various Bush administration policies. I share some of them. The Bush Doctrine to bring democracy to the Middle East is a serious attempt to deal with a serious problem, but it’s always been a high-risk strategy. I doubt that the administration itself believes in it anymore.

    The various things you mention are attempts to construct a framework for fighting a new kind of enemy. The previous paradigm of law enforcement doesn’t work, and led to 9/11. Constructing a rigid barrier between domestic law enforcement and international anti-terror efforts in this era of porous borders leads to disaster. Democrats generally sound as if they want to go back to that, which strikes me as disarmament in the face of the terrorist threat. But Bush’s policies aren’t the only alternative. I would have hoped that people on both sides of our political divides would have recognized the novel character of these problems and tried to propose viable options. Unfortunately, they’ve mostly used these issues to formulate slogans to throw at their opponents.

    In that sense, I agree with you—our political institutions have allowed this to happen by failing to act with seriousness in a very serious time. The policies that might have emerged from a serious, statesmanlike consideration of these problems might have looked a lot like Bush administration policies, but they also might have looked very different. Since that consideration has never taken place, it’s hard to say.

  5. Thanks for the comment. We disagree politically but I respect your views . . . which in the end are not too different.

    I know we are facing a new kind of enemy. But what bothers me is the way the administration — and especially its lawyers — have taken that and pushed the limits of what is acceptable, both to our constitution and international treaties. There has to be a way to combat it that doesn’t offend the principles set forth by our founding fathers. And you are right that the “other party”, i.e., the democrats, have combated it in a manner that just seems an attempt to score political points.

    That’s one of the reasons they couldn’t win in 2004 (yes, I know, there are many other reasons). Fine, the democrats can cut down a policy but hey, they’re not simply bloggers, they’re a party that wants to run the country. So: what’s the alternative? What can we do to fight this ‘war on terror’ in a manner that is conformity with the rule of law?

    And another thing, too. What happened to the republican party? Maybe I’m getting older but they just seem a hell of a lot different than before. Remember Ronald? The meaning of republican and conservative had a much different definition then than it does now. As you point out, circumstances have changed after 9/11 . . . but the rules haven’t. I think that’s something the new republicans and conservatives have forgotten.

    Anyway, I think they should get rid of some of the knucklehead lawyers the administration has working for them now. . . .

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