Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Awarded for Attendence

It was "demeaning to the nation," Senator Dole argued at the GOP 1996 convention, to be governed by people "who never grew up, never did anything real, never sacrificed, never suffered and never learned."

And now he is supporting Bush? Bush has made his whole life about making appearances, or in the case of the TX National Guard, not making them. This man is staking his reelection (according to last night's speakers) on showing up to ground zero a couple days after 9/11, despite Secret Service grumbles and giving our troops a fake turkey last year for Thanksgiving. Or getting Pakistan to join us on the War on Terror, which he decided yesterday on the Today Show isn't winnable (he had as recently as the 21st said it was winnable). That is all pretty pathetic.

Slate's Will Staletan makes basically this point in his piece. But the meta-point here is that anybody could have comforted the rescue workers on 9/14/01 or given troops fake turkey last year or even (with a half-decent State Department) gotten Pakistan to join us in the War on Terror.

But it takes a real brave man to send others off to an optional war waged under knowingly false (or at the very least, wantonly misleading) pretenses. Soon, one thousand American soldiers will have died because of George W. Bush's actions. Sure, Saddam is an evil, crazy man. But Osama Bin Laden (and Al-Qaeda in general) and Mullah Omar (and the rest of the Taliban) are much more pressing threats to this country than Saddam ever was, and yet they are still at large. Moreover, they are in a much stronger position to recover even if Bush manages to find them, because they have had 3 years to delegate control and set up contingency plans should one of them die/get captured.

If anything, Al Qaeda is harder to pin down (maybe not stronger) than they were before the War in Afghanistan, because we pulled out troops and intelligence services to go find imaginary stuff on Saddam and wage war on him.

America, let's not reward George W. Bush for attendence; let's punish him for his inattention to fighting the terrorists and truly keeping our country safe.

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