To the editors:
To borrow liberally from Captain Renault in "Casablanca," I am shocked - shocked to find that the Chicago Tribune has decided to endorse George W. Bush for reelection!
After all, it's not as if John Kerry agrees with the editorial board's stances on things like gun control, women's reproductive rights, privacy, large swaths of environmental policy, and tax cuts for the wealthy
I find it most disturbing that the editorial board's single greatest reason for endorsing Bush - namely his "tough stand" against terrorism - is grounded on his taking the fight to the terrorists. It is true that nearly three years ago we had smoking gun evidence of the Taliban's complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The world was behind us and we were right to destroy their ability to harbor and give material aid to terrorists who would plot against us.
But in Iraq there was no evidence of terrorists connected with 9/11, there was some circumstantial evidence of WMDs, but no "smoking gun." In reality there was only the "Butcher of Baghdad." Now that we've unilaterally cut the head off that monster, our military is engaged in a brutal police action, we're neck-deep in an insurgency that is claiming hundreds of lives a month with no end in sight, and there is no clear exit strategy. Meanwhile, the rest of the world stands back and watches in wonder as we cede the moral high ground. We have discovered again that nature not only abhors a vacuum of leadership, but it also abhors vacuous leadership!
I fear that a second Bush term in office will embolden his neoconservative administration in ways that will foster only greater hatred for and fear of our "superpower" status, thus creating a whole new generation of terrorists bent on our destruction, while at the same time further isolating our nation from the fellowship of those countries that might best help us in taking the fight to the terrorists. It is clear to me that John Kerry understands what Bush is either unwilling or unable to contemplate: That terrorism will only be contained by addressing the causes, not the symptoms. Four more years of color-coded warnings and pre-emptive occupations are not the answer.
I don't even want to go into all of the reasons why a Kerry/Edwards administration would have been far more palatable than Bush/Vader. The two subsequent vacancies on the SCotUS are reason enough. Rather, I want to look at the foreign policy debacle that has been wrought by the neoconservative WHIG cabal's insistence that Iraq is a winnable front in the "war on turr."
13 months ago over a thousand U.S. troops had died in Iraq. In the 13 months since, another 1,000 have died. Civilian deaths there continue at a clip comparable to that before the election. The Iraqi constitution is a sham, their elections have brought radical religious shiites aligned with Iran into power, and have further alienated the Sunnis who are fueling the insurgency.
Radical Religious Islam is not pleased that Hosni Mubarak threw the Egyptian face of their movement into jail for five years because he commited the crime of challenging the status quo. Yeppers, the Bush doctrine is spreading like wildfire!!
Meanwhile, for its part, Iran - as if to counter-balance a perceived threat from the U.S. - has elected a government with a president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) just as wingnutty as our own. Already wearing the "axis of evil" tag as a badge of honor, under Ahmadinejad Iran is actively pursuing full nuclear cycle capability, has a billion dollar contract to purchase surface-to-air missiles from Russia, and wants to wipe Israel off the map, or at the very least move it to Germany or Austria. Israel is rattling its sabre in response, and 2006 could make Bechtel and Halliburton rich beyond the wildest dreams of avarice.
And in a continuing saga of shock and awe, the rest of the world still stands back in wonder as Bush:
- threatened to veto anti-torture legislation.
- signed said legislation, but then stated that it doesn't apply to him anyway.
- has used the NSA in illegal data-mining to spy on U.S. citizens without so much as giving a reach-around to the FISA court.
- nominated one of the architects of the legal rationale behind said spying as an associate justice of the SCotUS.
- withdrew the nomination as it came to light that said nominee had never actually read the constitution.
- threatened to veto anything short of total reauthorization of the Patriot Act, and then claimed that a one month stop-gap reauthorization was a victory.
- Received a nearly perfect failing grade from the 9/11 committee with regards to administration responsiblities in areas like disaster communications, port-of-entry security, first responders funding, etc.
I haven't even brought Katrina and "Brownie" into play, despite the fact that the administration's inability to deal with a domestic disaster (with all kinds of advance warning) can only reinforce a terrorist's belief that a random attack will wreak simliar havoc.
I could go on and on, but time is the tyrant, and some guys have just exited a blacked-out van and are walking to my door.... More later.