Monday, July 04, 2005

Some Perspective on Rove v. Durbin

Let’s Set the Record Straight.

Karl Rove: “Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks, and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers.”

“Why that dirty bastard. He just called half of the country a bunch of cowards! A bunch of traitors! Therapy and understanding for terrorists? That’s not what I believe!”
-Fictional and Imaginary Liberal Source

What DO you believe? This is all about birds of a feather, trying to color the Democrats as being the same as the people who fund them and support them. After all, the Democrats do that all the time with the Republicans, right? Democrats say the GOP had that segregationist in our party, Strom Thurmond, therefore all Republicans are segregationists. So the nature of Rove’s comments is political, indeed is business, not personal. What is surprising is the response of Democrats who have been behaving as if they were slapped. I guess this merits further investigation on my part.

‘prepare indictments’

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of the United States of America and of countries around the world, appeal to the President of The United States, George W. Bush; to the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson; to the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi; and to all leaders internationally to use moderation and restraint in responding to the recent terrorist attacks against the United States. We implore the powers that be to use, wherever possible, international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction.

The preceding is the opening paragraph in its entirety from a petition for peace, created days after the 9/11 attacks. It is sponsored by the founder of (now or some such lawyer nonsense). This is what Karl Rove is talking about, liberals wanted ‘moderation and restraint’ as well as ‘to bring justice to those responsible for the attacks.’ Now I recognize that the American military has managed to kill many of those involved in Al-Qaeda and many of the senior leadership, yet they have not yet brought justice to Osama bin-Laden. Nevertheless, a logical analysis proves that depending on the Taliban to hand him over would have been at least as fruitless, without the satisfaction of killing so many of those terrorists right where they were hiding. Plus we’ve hopefully established a Democratic government there! We’ve already established capitalism, unfortunately the kind that flourishes in Columbia as well, but it’s a start.

‘therapy and understanding’

It is easy to appreciate the sentiments in the photo, but it is also important to be open to learning something about those we consider the enemy.

The book's author [Michael Anthony Sells]: "'There's a large undercurrent out there that did not believe President Bush when he said Islam is not our enemy,' Sells said. 'We don't need to condemn those people, or dismiss them. We should talk with them and really talk this thing through…'"

The only real question about this stuff, and that website is chock full of baloney, is does it reflect the liberal ideology?

Perhaps that is the real question in all of this. Ever since the election of Ronald Reagan, liberalism has disappeared. Whether politicians have distanced themselves from it, whether Rush Limbaugh has too successfully demeaned it as a ‘tax and spend’ ideology, or whether there are any liberal ideologues arguing its strength. The last man I heard asserting his liberalness was George McGovern, and I don’t think he remains a force in national politics.

Clearly there are people out there who do not support the war on terror; who did support utilizing therapy, understanding, and indictments as the solution to the September 11th attacks. What do these people believe? Even assuming they all voted Democratic, that doesn’t make them liberals. Or does it? Conservatives are all over the airwaves proclaiming their ideology and their beliefs, support for the war on terror, support for President Bush, and support for Karl Rove’s remarks. The problem arises when Democrats are silent in regards to anti-war remarks made by their members. This creates an environment in which they are vulnerable to being associated with the indictments, therapy, and understanding crowd.

The other big problem is Howard Dean’s presence as the DNC chair. This guy came to power largely because of the support of liberal groups like Moveon. Here is a collection of his recent attacks on the Republican Party, apparently because they are out-fundraising him…

The GOP is "pretty much a white, Christian party"

Most Republicans "never made an honest living."

"brain-dead" Republicans

"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for,”

“Dean has suggested that [Republicans] are "evil." That [Republicans] are "corrupt."”


I don’t remind you of this because I am a big Dean hater or a big Bush backer. I do it to clarify these things. These remarks, whether Dean, Clinton, Pelosi, Durbin, or Rove are all politics. They are business, not personal. Unfortunately, because these people are important leaders of this nation, these remarks are widely reported. When this occurs, the individuals slighted ARE personally affected. Republicans don’t like being told they have never worked, are evil, or brain dead any more than Democrats like being told they are sissies or treasonous. The problem is when Durbin compares our troops to Nazi’s; the Islamic fundamentalists use it as proof of their righteousness in attacking American soldiers. I realize it would be impossible for Democrats to think about what Osama might think before launching into a tirade against the administration, but I think they could stop and think about the soldiers.

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings," –Dick Durbin from the floor of the Senate

People have told me that Rove’s comments are 500 times worse than Durbin’s. Rove implies Democrats are traitors and sissies that want to placate terrorists. Durbin implies our soldiers are imprisoning Muslims in Soviet-style gulags or exterminating them in Nazi/Khmer Rouge death camps.

1) While Democrats can run to CSPAN, ABC, NBC, CNN, and FOX demanding apologies and retractions, our soldiers cannot demand a Durbin retraction through the media.

2) While Republicans can defend/refute Rove’s charges before the Congress, our soldiers cannot demean Durbin as a corrupt and self-serving politician.

3) While the American people are free to support the war or protest against it, our soldiers are stuck in Iraq fighting it.

On the day after my 18th birthday I went to boot camp to begin my 6-year Navy enlistment. I’d love to say that I served under Presidents that I agreed with and that made good decisions regarding foreign policy and the future. Sadly, I served from Oct. 1992 until 1998. I recall with great clarity the deal Clinton made with North Korea, granting them Nuclear technology and fuel for a promise to not build Nuclear Weapons. I did not need hindsight to know this foolish treaty would only guarantee difficulties for our future. Fortunately for Clinton, the North Koreans waited until after Clinton left office to own up to their nuclear weapons program. Even though I disagreed with both the man and the policies of my Commander in Chief, I still fulfilled my obligation. When my aircraft carrier flew escorts to assist in the bombing of Iraq, I wasn’t protesting or refusing orders, I obeyed because it was my duty to do so. Had the bombing of the USS Cole instead occurred to my ship, causing my death, I would have died for an administration and a policy that had failed me. That doesn’t mean that I signed up for that administration or that policy.

Our soldiers who are fighting and dying in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world do not need Durbin demeaning them. There are plenty of people in the Bush administration for Durbin to attack. Rumsfeld perhaps? Indeed, many of our soldiers in Iraq may oppose this war, so please don’t demean them as the mindless robots of past evil regimes, because they do not deserve it. They are simply fulfilling their duty as they swore an oath to do, in many cases long before the War on Terror.

The reason conservatives attacked Durbin wasn’t because he is a self-serving politician (he is), it is because even if everything Durbin accused the troops of Guanatamo Bay were 100% accurate, they do NOT reflect the actions of ‘Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others.’ The AC left on too long doesn’t bring the temperature down to the level of a Siberian winter. The AC turned off doesn’t result in the temperatures of the Nazi furnace that incinerated the remains of millions in the Holocaust. Being forced to listen to rap music isn’t quite the same as the mass executions committed by the Khmer Rouge.

Dick, please save your moral equivalencies for things that are at least in the same ballpark. Even My Lai, a massacre of perhaps 504 Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers doesn’t even come close to the murders committed by Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Ze-Dong, or even Saddam Hussein. Especially considering those regimes supported and desired those foul murders and the United States of America, even the Bush administration, does not.


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