Peter Beinart and Bonehead Fighting Liberalism

Peter Ross Range has apparently decided to help Beinart pimp a forthcoming book. This month's issue of Blueprint Magazine features a Beinart article titled Tough Liberalism. A more accurate title would be Bonehead Liberalism: How To Lose In 2006 Without Really Trying.

Beinart begins his ill begotten excuse for military and foreign policy analysis with a nostalgic jaunt down the memory hole of the forties:

When John Kerry lost in 2004, I started in my despair reading about the late 1940s, the first years of the Cold War. That was the last time America entered a new era in national security. It started very fast in 1945 and 1946. And it was the last period where the country trusted liberals and Democrats to defend it.

Beinart introduces his article with a worry wart tendentious assumption that ignores President John F. Kennedy at the very least. Linking John Kerry's loss to the Cold War Worriers of WWII is an imaginative leap of faith. Anyone that thinks Beinart could not possibly stoop any lower in historical revisionism does not know Peter Beinart.

Try this one on for size:

The issue was fundamentally about whether liberal Democrats would define liberalism only in opposition to the right wing or whether anti-communism would be placed at the heart of what it meant to be a liberal.

Beinart revisits that historical canard a little later in his article. There are two implied parentheticals to this argument, as well as Beinart's entire thesis. The first one is that domestic social policy was irrelevant to defining liberalism in the 40's and it is irrelevant today. The second is that the threat of terrorism is equivalent to the perceived threat posed by communism in the 40's, which even ignores the extent to which communism was a hyped up threat both domestically and internationally in the 40's and 50's. In the meantime, Beinart attempts to solve the quandry of how Democrats should approach foreign policy, in light of the unpopularity of Bush's Iraq war, by presenting the reader with a false dilemma:

As Will Marshall has pointed out, if you look at all presidential elections since the Vietnam War, the disturbing reality is the Democratic Party has only won in those moments when the country turned inward. Carter won in 1976, when the country turned inward after Vietnam. It was the first election since 1948 when national security was not the issue that people told pollsters they were most concerned about. Then Clinton won in 1992, in the aftermath of the Cold War.

If Beinart's reliance on a foreign policy analysis by a feckless neo-con like Will Marshall were not alarming enough, a discerning reader can only be horrified by Beinart's superficial analysis of Presidential politics, Beinart glosses over Watergate as a factor in Jimmy Carter's election and ignores the Presidency of Bush 41 to credit Bill Clinton's victory to the end of the Cold War. The absence of foreign policy as an issue in the electoral victories of Carter and Clinton are a very thin reed on which to hang prospects for Democratic success in either 2006 or 2008.

Beinart's next paragraph echoes Rush Limbaugh's early days as a burgeoning force on talk radio, when he constantly informed his listeners "that's the truth" every twenty seconds:

The truth is this: Unless the Democratic Party can change its image on national security, its only realistic hope of winning the White House is the hope that the war on terrorism is a passing phenomenon that will be over in a few years. Unfortunately, most Americans don't believe that. Most experts don't believe that. Most people see this as a generational struggle. And yet, you have to go back pre-Vietnam to find a precedent for how the Democratic Party can respond in a way that will win the country's trust. (emphasis added)

A discerning reader can only admire Beinart for his segue from shallow historical revisionism to a false dilemma. Is hoping that terrorism is a passing phenomenon really the only hope of the Democratic Party? With Bush's ratings in the high thirties, flagrant and pervasive corruption dogging the Republican Party, pending indictments of key Republicans in and out of the Bush administration, the nose-diving popularity of Bush's Iraq war and domestic policies as well, the Democrats don't have any other option? One can only wonder at this stage if Beinart's article is intended as spoof.

In the next three paragraphs Beinart boils down the period from 1946 to 1949 into three succinct and superficial paragraphs of highly questionable, if not deceitful, analysis. Beinart completes his faux historical analysis with a monumental inferential leap from the early 50's to the elections of 2002 and 2004 and the Swiftboating of John Kerry.

Beinart demonstrates he is a student of Donald Rumsfield, if not history, by answering his own question:

What can we learn from that today? It seems to me there has been a kind of silent, hidden divide on the left in the Democratic Party since 9/11. It is akin to the divide that existed in the late 1940s. The fundamental question is again whether the proper prism through which to view this new world is anti-totalitarianism based on the idea that we face another totalitarian foe. Osama bin Laden has said that the Taliban comes closest to the vision of a society that al Qaeda would like -- a fundamentally, even classically totalitarian, vision

Sub-silentio Beinart has introduced the classic paradigm of the incipient Democratic neo-con movement of Scoop Jackson and Jeanne Kilpatrick: Totalitarianism - bad. Authoritarianism - good.  Left wing totalitarian dictators America opposes - bad. Right wing totalitarian dictators America supports - good. By this point there is no longer any question that Beinart is also perpetuating the myth of Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations.  Beinart is in full fledged neo-con mode and insisting that the Democratic Part must follow the reactionary and dangerous path of never ending Neo-con war to win elections. The only lesson Beinart would have us learn from history is that we don't learn any lessons from history.

I'll dispense with boring our Seeing the Forest readers with additional extended analysis of Beinart's tedious article and briefly debunk his four big points.

What would liberal anti-totalitarianism mean today?

The first thing it means is a comfort with military power.

Beinart's first point is the self evident tripe of all political bromides.

The second point is that American power is far more than military power.

See Joseph Nye's Soft Power

The third point is that you can't fight a global war against totalitarian ideology if you're weak at home.

More self evident and meaningless tripe.

My fourth point has to do with how you talk about democracy and freedom -- essentially the idea that democracy begins at home

If Beinart wants the Democratic Party to rely on platitudes, allow me to add, "Home is where the heart is" and "The first journey begins with a single step." Now we're all set for a Democratic victory in 2006 and 2008. All I can add is Send In The Clowns. We can't have a Presidential election without clowns now, can we?

The completely unanswered question in Beinart's article is how "fighting liberals" are any different from full fledged reactionary neo-cons. As far as I can tell, it is a distinction without a difference. Is there anything that separates Beinart from the neo-con wonks at The Weekly Standard? We can only hope that the Democratic DLC leadership isn't as naive and historically ignorant as Peter Beinart, whose analysis is nothing short of a road map of how to go to political hell in a handbasket

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All of these DLC type arguments hinge on Democrats "needing to change their image" on national security which I think is fundamentally true. The problem of course is that when these nimrods continue to kvetch about issues which haven't been substantive problems with Democratic office holders for at least 20 years, all they do is reinforce outdated images.

Of course, the goal of Beinart isn't to get Democrats elected but to win a book deal. And the goal of the DLC isn't to elect Democrats but to kowtow to elite opinion. I mean, triangulation is nothing if not an elite strategy--do they really think most everyday, middle of the road voters could even "correctly" identify whether a battery of policy positions are liberal or conservative? So how does it make sense to push strategies simply to say "hey we adopt conservative positions" when all that does is leave actual voters scrathing their heads saying, "yeah, but do they work?"

by KevStar 2005-10-26 06:54AM | 0 recs
Exactly KevStar. I should have emphasized my final question more strongly.

How are "fighting liberals" are any different from full fledged reactionary neo-cons?

Beinart's position is no different than the positions of Samuel Harrington or David Horowitz.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-26 08:16AM | 0 recs
It doiesn't matter
Republicans at the time blasted Harry Truman and George Marshall as soft.  Joe McCarthy called Marshall, as great a patriot as you could find, a traitor.  Joe McCarthy?

Fight back.    

by David Kowalski 2005-10-26 07:18AM | 0 recs
Fight back!
The DLC leadership and So Called Strategic Class "Experts" are playing the same game as the neo-cons.

You don't win any game by helping the other side score points. In other words Yo Dude! You're running the wrong way.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-26 08:13AM | 0 recs
Peter Beinart is a douche-bag
The root of his entire argument is that American Liberalism is no different from Pacifism.  

This is unequivocally FALSE.  It is  not that the people think that Democrats will be weak on the War on Terror (or whatever the fuck it's called now), it's that people think the Democrats are weak period, full stop.

I've said this time and time again: Would you trust someone who cowered before a bully to protect you?
Of course not.  That is why Democrats seem weak in these areas.  They are weak and gutless.  Nat'l Defense is just symptomatic of a much larger problem.

When Dems can't hold true to their core values, when they give Bush carte-blanche and back pedal on whatever strong statements they make against the Republicans it sticks like a splinter in the psyches of the populace.

Being "comfortable" with military power is not emblematic of dropping bombs on everyone and everything.  Military force must be used only when necessary for the defense of our nation, not as a show of mock-bravado in order to demostrate, "Hey!  We're tough too!"

Utter bullshit.

by dayspring 2005-10-26 08:01AM | 0 recs
have a 3
best comment i've read all day.
by annatopia 2005-10-26 09:17AM | 0 recs
These people are amazing . . .
They just never learn.

What would liberal anti-totalitarianism mean today?

The first thing it means is a comfort with military power.

It's as if the last 3 years never happened.

Totally deranged, totally unconnected to reality.

by tgeraghty 2005-10-26 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: These people are amazing . . .
The are not only incapable of admitting they were wrong, they are incapable of reading polls. The ignore the facts on the ground and the growing voter rebellion against an unjustified war. They are even taking a position that is against their own vested political interests in getting re-elected.

What kind of bonehead politicians continue against all evidence to swim against the tide of popular opinion for a lost cause and an immoral war?

Answer: The DLC and Democratic Party leadership.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-26 08:23AM | 0 recs
Fighting Fire With Gasoline
The Neocons want to fight fire with jet fuel.

Bienart wants the Dems to be a tough, rational alternative.

He goes for the traiditonal choice: gasoline.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-10-26 08:15AM | 0 recs
Beinart doesn't really matter.
What does matter is the pack of DLC-style party leaders that push this tripe. They are the ones we have to break, one way or another.
by Thresholder 2005-10-26 08:47AM | 0 recs
The DLC and TNR
Crowd cannot stop re-hashing arguments from the 60's.  To them the political debate is frozen in 1969, and everyone to their left are SDS members carrying VC flags.  

Because they are frozen in time, they only see two options: to follow the Neo-con right or join the pacifist left.  

But this is not the cold war, and there are other options.

by fladem 2005-10-26 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: The DLC and TNR
They could start with the novel concept of explaining the truth to the American people. Bush's Iraq war had nothing to do with WMD and has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. The so called WOT can be broken into at least six discrete parts:

The WOT resonates because it accurately describes the degree or intensity of effort that the problem of terrorism requires.

One difficulty is trying to replace a bad metaphor with a different bad metaphor. The WOT metaphor is fundamentally flawed and instead of accepting it and arguing on their terms we need to distinguish at least six different arenas the battle is being fought in.

Six discrete problems with six discrete solutions. The only part of the problem Bush is addresssing is the Iraq War. By allowing Bush and Bin Laden to conflate all six problems into one, we allow Bush to pretend he is addressing the entire problem.

(1)The Iraq war - attack Bush for his failure in Iraq.

(2) Domestic Security - Attack Bush for his failure to prevent domestic terrorism with increased port security and hardening chemical and nuclear plants.

(3) Afghanistan - Attack Bush for his failure in Afghanistan. Karzai is the Mayor of Kabul and regional warlords/narco-trafficers control most of the country.

(4) Bin Ladenism - that's how Mike Schuer descibes this part of the problem. Attack Bush for his failure to find Bin Laden and failure to address the diplomatic and police measures necessary to track and destroy Bin Ladenism.

(5) Soft Power - attack Bush for his failure to get vital international cooperation in our effort to prevent terrorist attacks and dismantle terrorist organizations.

(6) The War of Ideas - In his recent Atlantic Monthly article, James Fallows points to an internal pentagon report that basically states Bush has failed to frame the Iraq war for Muslims. The WOT has been successful for domestic consumption, but a Muslim frame would be based on justice instead of freedom.

Attack on all six fronts simultaneously. Point out all six failures. Simplify each individual problem instead of making it more abstract, amorphous and complicated.

Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

click through for links.

The key to solving any problem is correctly defining what the problem is. Because they have misdiagnosed the problem, they cannot possibly solve it. The Democrats face the same problem if they don't attempt to address the real problem.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-26 02:06PM | 0 recs
Bilmon nails it again

A very powerful graphic that captures the pathos of 2,000 Iraq casualties.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-26 04:42PM | 0 recs
Fat-Cat Social Engineering
What you just cited was not "bonehead liberalism," It was just another example of fat-cat social engineering. They give the rest of us the best garbage money can buy. We should be so thankful.
by blues 2005-10-26 05:07PM | 0 recs
It's Joseph S. Nye, not Dye.
by Sean Paul 2005-10-26 08:51PM | 0 recs
Thanks. Typo corrected.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-27 10:31AM | 0 recs
Very good points
"The first one is that domestic social policy was irrelevant to defining liberalism in the 40's and it is irrelevant today. The second is that the threat of terrorism is equivalent to the perceived threat posed by communism"

Right here is a core argument that Dems have let go for way too long.

  1. Because social responsibility isn't communism!  It is possible to CARE for the people in a country without implementing a dictatorship or a command economy.

  2. For all that can be said for the possible relationship of Dems to the CPUSA, the simple fact is that WE fought the big fights with Communism, not the GOP.  Our guys, FDR and Truman, were there at the beginning of the Cold War.  Truman took on the invasion of Korea.  JFK took on the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Good or ill, LBJ took on Vietnam.

Both Nixon and Reagan, for all their bravado and tough talk, did none of the real toiling that brought the Cold War to an end.  Both largely disengaged the military solutions they claimed to be so fond of.

And of course, ill-advised alliances from the Cold War are the very damned reason terrorism is a problem today.

Come to think of it, don't both Iraq and Afghanistan as problems trace back to the Cold War?  Geez.  Maybe if we had supported DEMOCRACY a little sooner we might have gotten better results.

by jcjcjc 2005-10-27 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Very good points
Here's the connundrum:
Pull out of Iraq. Fine. We can do that. But are we committed to putting those resurces back into Afghanistan ? If the Democrats don't have an anti-terrorist plan that includes going after Bin Laden, the neocons win in 2008 in a squeaker.
The party can lean liberal all it's wants, but until you have a Democrat that is about getting out of Iraq AND redeploying American troops to destroy the terror threat abroad, we will lose every time.
Americans want the boys home. But that's because every death in Iraq is a needless death. If they were dying in Afghanistan trying to find Bin Laden, and Bin Laden was making videos every other week laughing at us, this country would have all the resolve that it had in World War II.
by Bruticus 2005-10-28 11:07AM | 0 recs
I strongly agree
The War on Terror can't just turn into a sideline.  Ironically, this is what iraq has made it.

Dems would be remiss to tie Iraqi and Afghan withdrawl plans.  No question.

Not to mention, the fallacy of saying the two wars are unrelated, but then pulling away from both at the same time (and there will be far lefties who push for that).

It's Bush's greatest failure: not seizing the war on terror to do something bold and great.  Instead, he just knocked over a nuclear-free zone that has already bled its oil economy bone dry.

Go figure.

by jcjcjc 2005-10-28 06:39PM | 0 recs
At least he's thinking
Gary's quoates demonstrate that at least Beinart is thinking.

He's just not thinking very well. You can't defeat a bad idea by embracing it. You can't destroy a false image by accepting it. And you can't put forward a sane policy by running away from it.

What is wrong with the Democratic party is basically one thing. The DLC.  And this includes Hillary, by the way. What the Dems need is NOT to be more stupid. It is to put forth good ideas with good rhetoric. Beinart doesn't even come close.

by mjshep 2005-10-27 08:40AM | 0 recs
Unfair Criticism of Beinart
First, I apologize for getting into this debate so late.

Second, I mean no disrespect to the people who posted here when I say that most of the criticism of Beinart's piece didnt seem to me to be well taken.  It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that Beinart's past writings on Iraq and progressive's opposition to that fiasco has colored what people here think he is saying.  But if you forget about his past and just look at what he is actually saying in this specific piece, I think there is a lot there to agree with. Further, I think progressives actually do agree with most of what he said, something thats not very apparent from the comments here.

Before I talk about certain parts of Beinart's article, let me say what I am not going to defend or even comment on: all the historical crap about the 1940s, '50s and early '60s.  The historical analogy that he uses is not necessary to make his point and is pretty specious to boot.

But focusing on the points that he makes about today's environment, I would like to review what he says and add my comments like Gary did.

The first point he made about today's policy outlook is that he believes a central tennant of liberalism and the Democratic Party should be to fight the "totalitarian" terrorists.  While not necessarily agreeing with everything that he said about this being a struggle of freedom vs totalitarianism, that is for another diary, but I agree that the war on terror should be a central tennant of modern day liberalism and the Democratic Party.  I think terrorism is a vital threat to our country, not in the sense that OBL or al queida can defeat us, but that a future terroris attack could, literally, kill millions of Americans. I think we should take that very seriously and that stopping this should be the overriding focus of our military and diplomatic efforts.  Defending against terror acts should be a very core, central tennant of liberalism.

Personally, I think most liberals and certainly most Democrats agree with this.  Am I wrong?  What do you think?  Do most liberals think me and Beinart are over reacting to this threat?

The second point that he makes that I want to reply to is that America and her policy is not the MAIN reason why terrorists are trying to kill our citizens.  The main reasons are that the lack of opportunity and hope in the Arab world is breeding terrorists and (in a point that Beinart didnt say but I believe) that much of the leadership of the terrorists are psychopaths and these nuts recruit young people with no hope of a better life here.  That is not to say that our policy does not have an effect; surely it does.  By implication, Beinart admits this when he talks about the value of our "soft power."  Well, the opposite of using our soft power is to act in a way that creates enemies.  But, ultimately, do you think most liberals "blame America first" for the acts of terror around the world, or do we believe that the primary motivations of terrorists have nothing to do with our foreign and military actions? I think our policy has an effect, but is not the fundamental cause of terrorism.

After making these two points, Beinart talks about 4 principles that he thinks liberals should espouse.  I think we would all agree that liberals overwelmingly agree with his last three points.  But what about the first?

Are liberals comfortable with the use of force and having a military large enough to sucessfully face all reasonably possible contingincies?  To be clear, saying that you are comfortable with the use of force doesnt just mean you can live with a few quick bombing strikes.  Let's look at Afghanistan.  I favored that War and I think most liberals did.  But the war there is not over.  Not by a long shot.  Suppose it will take another 10 years of fighting to insure that the Taliban and Al Quieda dont take the country back, at a cost of 1000 dead young soldiers a year. Further, note that any conflict is going to mean that US soldiers will be negligently killing civillians.  Maybe a lot of them.  Are liberals up for this kind of use of force?  I am and I think most liberals are, but what do you guys think.  Just to be clear, IM not talking about Iraq.  Like probably everyone here I opposed that from the beginning and think we need to get the fuck out.  But I can see us actually having to fight a prolonged conflict in Afghanistan in order to isure OBL and Al Quieda does not return there.  Are liberals up for this?

Again I am skipping his points 2-4, not because they are not important-they are. But I think there is very little for liberals to disagree with there.

Ultimately, I think what Beinart is saying that we are faced with an enemy that wants to do major damage to our population and our way of life.  To fight this enemy is going to take heroic (I am not afraid to use that term) efforts and will cost the lives of hundreds if not thousands of brave Americans.  We will have to do many unpleasant things to the enemy and innocent lives may suffer.  I agree with this.  Do you?  Do liberals in general?  


by Andy Katz 2005-10-27 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Unfair Criticism of Beinart
no it isn't unfair. He still supports the Iraq fuckup and falsely protrays anyone who opposes it as pacifist, or ignoring terrorism.  
by Dameocrat 2005-10-28 08:52AM | 0 recs
Beinart is a neo-con
Defending against terror acts should be a very core, central tennant of liberalism.

Personally, I think most liberals and certainly most Democrats agree with this.  Am I wrong?  What do you think?  Do most liberals think me and Beinart are over reacting to this threat?

That mis-states Beinart's thesis. Peter Beinart is no liberal and he is not stating a "liberal" case for protecting America against terrorism. Beinart is stating the neo-con case for neverending war. Beinart's reference to "totalitarian" terrorists is a misnomer that harkens back to Jeanne Kilpatrick's specious distinction between "good" authoritarian dictatorships and "bad" totalitarian dictatorships. Jeanne Kirkpatrick was part of the cabel of "Scoop Jackson Democratic militarists" that evolved into the group now known as neo-cons. See America Alone for a history of neo-con thought. has an excellent review of America Alone.

The huge fallacy in Beinart's thesis is that he accepts the neo-con frame of a WAR ON TERROR. There is no such thing as a WOT. As I point out in an earlier comment there are at least six aspects to the WOT and each of them could easily be broken down into additional sub-categories. The WOT is a propaganda tool. No more. No less. Any discussion that begins with acceptance of the idea of a WOT is fundamentally misguided.

Beinart's so called "four principles" are meaningless platitudes with no real content. The first "principle" that you focus on is being comfortable with the use of military force. For starters, no one should be "comfortable" with the use of military force. The primary fallacy of neo-con foreign policy is that the application of military force is a first option instead of a last option. That is Beinart's problem as well.

The reason that Cindy Sheehan had such a field day with Bush's propaganda statement that American troops are dying in Iraq for a "noble purpose" is that it is the kind of statement that only a chickenhawk could say. Virtually no soldier will say that war is "noble." Sometimes necessary, but never noble. War is hell. Individuals are capable of heroic actions within the context of war. Individuals may perform noble acts during war. War itself is never a "noble" endeavor.

There is very little disagreement with the use of military force in Afghanistan. Bush's problem is that he didn't stop there and finish the job. When I say "finish the job" I don't mean killing innocent civilians. A fundamental problem with the frame of a WOT is that the military is not the appropriate tool for fighting terrorism. There is an old saying that "the military is a great hammer, but not every problem is a nail." Please review these two diaries for an analysis of successful OOTW (Operations Other Than War).

The military of the future will not be primarily geared towards killing innoncent civilians with massive bombs. As the Rev. Martin Luthur King said, "War is a dull knife for carving out peaceful tomorrows." Another excellent resource that I have just started reading is Engineering Peace: The Military Role in Postconflict Reconstruction. The key there is post conflict reconstruction. That is Bush and the neo-con's primary failure in Afghanistan. Reconstruction is the best tool for fighting terrorism. There have been recent polls in Iraq that indicate Iraqis would prefer having Saddam back to occupation by America. That is a pretty sorry statement at this late date.

But, ultimately, do you think most liberals "blame America first" for the acts of terror around the world, or do we believe that the primary motivations of terrorists have nothing to do with our foreign and military actions? I think our policy has an effect, but is not the fundamental cause of terrorism.

That is a false dichotomy Andy. You only have to observe the results of our occupation of Iraq to see how America's policies generate and spawn additional terrorist attacks. A full analysis of the link between American foreign policy and terrorism is a nuanced topic that would require another extended diary.  For starters, "blame America first" is another neo-con propaganda frame. You've apparently been watching too much Faux News or something.

Ultimately, I think what Beinart is saying that we are faced with an enemy that wants to do major damage to our population and our way of life.  To fight this enemy is going to take heroic (I am not afraid to use that term) efforts and will cost the lives of hundreds if not thousands of brave Americans.  We will have to do many unpleasant things to the enemy and innocent lives may suffer.  I agree with this.  Do you?  Do liberals in general?

The first sentence is irrelevant to the solution. So what?

The highlighted sentences are true only if you accept the clumsy interpretation of terrorism that Beinart and the rest of the neo-cons put forward and also accept that the only way to deal with them is solely with the careless use of military force. I disagree quite strongly. There are far smarter and far more effective ways of dealing with the six prong problem that Bush likes to call the WOT. We can start with a truthful definition of exactly what the problem we face is. Bin Ladenism is only one small part of the problem. Iraq was never a part of the problem until Bush decided to occupy Iraq.

We have to identify the real problem and get our priorities straight. The core problem I have with Beinart's thesis and article is that liberalism should never be about indiscrimate killing of innocent civilians in an immoral and unnecessary war. In point of fact, conservatism should never be about indiscrimate killing of innocent civilians in an immoral and unnecessary war. It was a mistake to invade Iraq and its a mistake to stay in Iraq.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-28 12:07PM | 0 recs
Terrorism Is Nothing To Worry About.
We will be foolish to worry about it, since we can do absolutely nothing about it. Worrying would only cost us our freedoms and our sleep.

And it no longer has much to do with politics, except that it could have awful consequences for our values and liberties. If an atom bomb goes off in Chicago, there will be nothing rational to do about it. Simply because absolutely no genuine evidence will survive a surface blast. A surface blast would probably kill between 20,000 to 1,000,000 people, depending on it's megatonage. A blast in the air, in an airplane, would kill about ten times as many.

An assault on our agricultural assets, via the deployment of crop destroying pests would be even more disastrous in the long run. Again, we would not be able to find out who did it.

The 9/11 truth movement is rapidly becoming a more viable political movement. Many Americans have reluctantly gravitated to the position that our own neocon cartel may well constitute the most virulent terrorist organization in the world.

by blues 2005-10-27 09:18PM | 0 recs
Actually there is plenty that could be done
I wrote a diary in January called National Security and Terrorism that summarizes a James Fallows article in The Atlantic Monthly and also links to another diary about Bush Failing At National Security.

The M$M and the Democratic Party have both ignored Bush's failure to provide for Domestic National Security for bizarre reasons known only to themselves.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-10-28 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually there is plenty that could be done
Well, a lot of evidence and a largish number of quiet confessions indicate that the "administration" is doing very little, other than slowing down airline passenger boardings, to prevent terrorism. Certainly a lot could be done, in the sense that perhaps 9 out of 10 incidents could be intercepted. But that 10th incident would probably be pretty dramatic. I would hope that American public would have the good sense to more-or-less shrug it off, no matter how dramatic it might be. There are a host of dirt-bags who are just waiting to reap an evil harvest of the ensuing panic.
by blues 2005-10-28 01:59PM | 0 recs


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