So, we heard some hopeful talk by Republicans and Republican-types (hi Joe) last week that the arrest of terror suspects in Britain would bring people into the GOP fold again. Well, maybe that’s happening and maybe not. But I’d like to address a meme that Bush used in 2004, and has even raised its head here: that counterterrorism is primarily a military issue, not an intelligence-and-law enforcement matter.
That’s horsehockey. In the US, we don’t have Hezbollah lobbing rockets at civilians from across the border; THAT’S a military problem, as well as a diplomatic one. For us, preventing terrorist attacks and keeping the public safe is primarily about infiltration, monitoring, intelligence-sharing and arrests. That’s what the British did for us. That’s what would have saved us from 9/11, as Colleen Rowley has told us.
Mr. Bush’s campaign in 2004 told us that John Kerry fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the threat. Well, it’s frankly easier to talk about “war” when you’ve got the world’s strongest military (or what once was) at your disposal. And sure, we took out the Taliban … or maybe not. And now, can anyone reasonably argue that military action in Iraq has made us safer from terrorism? That’s a joke, right? So if you’ve got a hammer, every problem is a nail. And we didn’t have good law enforcement before 9/11, but we did have a good military — so we’re in a War.
Bush’s and AG Gonzales’s comments last week struck me as fascinating: There was no cool professionalism, no stiff upper lip, no “don’t panic”, no exhortation to eternal vigilance and courage against our common enemy… none of that old-fashioned stuff which unites and encourages people. The message was: Be Afraid:
[Gonzales]: As we have stated many times before, we are a nation at war. Today’s actions are a stark reminder that the threat is real and that we have a deadly enemy who still wakes every morning thinking of new ways to kill innocent men, women and children, and dreams every night about wreaking the destruction on freedom-loving countries.
With these guys, it’s the Cuban Missle Crisis every day — and they’re trying to cash in on it. How can you trust people to keep you safe when they’re so busy trying to make political hay at the same time? It’s another sign of how deeply unserious and unprofessional this administration is. Hey Alberto: Just do your damn job and spare us the spooky election year BS.