Sunday, January 9

American Values, Gonzales, and Our "So-Called War on Terrorism"

From The New York Times:
If the United States were to look into a mirror right now, it wouldn't recognize itself.

The administration that thumbed its nose at the Geneva Conventions seems equally dismissive of such grand American values as honor, justice, integrity, due process and the truth.
One has to wonder if the author even believes that such values ever existed.

Our friends at Powerline sum this up nicely:
I hate to devote two posts to a single Bob Herbert column, but I want to make a point about his very first line: "If the United States were to look into a mirror right now, it wouldn't recognize itself." Coming from a leftist like Herbert, this "fall from grace" story is worse than disingenuous. Except perhaps for the harrowing Carter years, the American left doesn't believe that the U.S. has ever experienced a period of grace. What is Herbert's line on the World War II internments or our conduct of the Vietnam war (just ask John Kerry)? What did Herbert and his fellow leftists think we looked like in the mirror during the Reagan era, when we "created" the homeless class while engaging in a reckless arms build-up and unilaterally attacked the likes of Libya and Granada? Or, a few years later, when we went to war with Iraq the first time to protect, as the left would have it, our oil interests?
And more from the glory that is the NYT:
His judgments regarding the detention and treatment of prisoners rounded up in Iraq and the so-called war on terror have been both unsound and shameful.
If you live outside of the traditional liberal elitist centers like Washington DC, NYC, or Boston, you might be thinking: "WTF is the 'so-called War on Terror'?" Well, this phrase is common among Europeans. For those of you that have DirecTV, you can here about the "so-called War on Terror" on Link TV (Ch 375). The Channel is like a propaganda arm for the Marxist Stalinist Left. Basically, people who use the phrase "so-called War on Terror" are people that believe the War on Terrorism is a "construct" created to impose the "Imperialism of America" on the world. Note, many of these same people are the crazies that believe that 9/11 didn't happen or that it the US government orchestrate it.

Again the folks at Powerline with some insight:
This is one of the main reasons why I continue to believe that the Democrats will be making a mistake if they push too hard on this issue in connection with the Gonzales nomination. Since 9/11, the Democrats have suffered two major electoral defeats. In both elections, I believe, the main reason was the American public's doubts about the Democrats' seriousness when it comes to fighting terrorism. And these doubts are certainly the major common feature of the two elections. Even Herbert recognizes the problem, sort of, when he states "the Democrats have become the 98-pound weaklings of the 21st century." Unfortunately, Herbert doesn't realize that the Dems have become weaklings because the voting public already views them as such.

The first day of the Senate hearings seemed to confirm that the key Senators opposing Gonzales don't take the war on terrorism very seriously. Democratic Senators (along, unfortunately, with Republican Lindsay Graham) kept arguing that our use of debatable interrogation tactics puts our soldiers in harm's way because it means that when they are captured they are more likely to be tortured. There is some truth to this argument, but it would have been nice if one of these Senators had acknowledged that our actual enemies will behead any American (soldier or not) that they capture regardless of what interrogations tactics we use. It would also have been edifying if Gonzales' opponents had recognized the possibility that information obtained through aggressive interrogation can save lives. But, again, if you don't think the war on terror is real, this point is easier to lose sight of.
In other words, as long as Dems and their leaders see this war as a "so-called war," they are going to lose elections.