Inert Detritus The Internet's dust bunnies

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.