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27 September 2006 @ 8am

Election-Year Politics and Half Truths

Both the Democrats and Republicans are guilty of it. They pass certain bills so they have a gift to give home districts while campaigning. They pass meaningless amendments, in hopes that they can portray those who oppose it as being in the wrong on the issue.

I’m tired of it. The Democrats dog-piled when the recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said that Iraq has made terrorism worse, and the United States less safe. The Republicans responded by selectively declassifying the best portion, and apparently the best they could do was a section that said, “If terrorists ‘lose’ in Iraq, they may become demoralized.”

I was hoping that Bush would actually declassify the entire document, but I should have known better. It’s election year politics at its worst. Selective disclosure and half-truths are always the worst in an election year, especially one where the Republicans face the prospect of losing seats in the House and Senate. It makes me sick.

And what about the NIE?

From The Washington Post, I’ve gathered two things:

  1. It’s what we had long suspected. We put our collective nose into a bee’s nest. We weren’t prepared for it, we didn’t think it through, and we’re paying dearly for it. Iraq will get worse before it gets better.

  2. The blind acceptance by either side of their dogma as truth is costing the United States soldiers, money, and world favor.

Terrorists have new recruiting material. We’ve made no real headway against al-Qaeda in five years. 2,700 men have been killed, and thousands more wounded. The war has cost, monetarily, a huge amount to the American economy, in the form of mismatched employees, high budget deficits, and falling trust in the government.

The Democrats are too spineless to pick a side, and too stupid to create a platform which lets them decisively expose the Republicans for what they have become: tax and spend, war-mongering, big government advocates, and morality police. They’ll lose in November.

The Republicans are too blinded by the thought of a “global struggle” to even consider that they misstepped in Iraq. Meanwhile, hawks are pushing us towards a Syrian and Iranian struggle in the near future. They’ll win in November, and the nation will continue its downward spiral.

How in the world did we end up with politicians, long known to be the stupidest and most useless of men, in charge of the dearest processes and principles we hold in this country? And how can we get it back?

1 Comment

Posted by
Jeff Harrell
27 September 2006 @ 8pm

Well, in all fairness, the White House said it could only declassify the parts of the document that don’t compromise our security our intelligence agencies. That makes sense to me, in the abstract. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want the part that says “Satan’s housekeeper, who has been spying for us since 1979, says that the Prince of Darkness wears dirty underpants” posted on the Internet.

Of course, since the parts that are still classified are, uh, still classified, we can’t know what they said. We have to take it at face value.

I think it’s kinda silly to assert that we’ve made no headway against al-Qaida since 2001, though. If you compare their pre‑9/11 track record to their post‑9/11 track record, you can clearly see that they’re a hell of a lot less effective as a terrorist organization today.

But yeah, your gist is right. We’re caught between two groups that refuse to back away from their chosen positions. The Republicans insist that we’re absolutely right, and the Democrats insist that we’re absolutely wrong, and they’re BOTH nuts.