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Monday, August 30, 2004

With friends like these...

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."-Rudy Giuliani, speaking at the Republican National Convention. McCain talks about bringing love and justice to Iraq. The goal of fighting terrorists aggressively and spreading freedom are both noble ones. But anyone who thinks the world is safer today than it was three years ago is a fool. You cannnot protect freedom by choking freedom. You cannot enact an act like the Patriot Act, eradicate the right to a fair trial, alienate key allies across the globe, partner with thugs and hucksters, float corruption like it was going out of style, and say you are protecting freedom. But most importantly, there are no signs that Iraq poses less danger to U.S. interests today than it did two years ago. Two years ago, eighteen-year-old Americans were not being killed on a daily basis. The U.S. is so strapped down in Iraq that Bush is seeking to pull troops out of the Korean peninsula, where real WMDs are being developed. Bush has not shown any leadership in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, promoting democratic values in Russia and Eastern Europe, or improving the standard of living in Mexico. Bush's plan to resolve our present oil shortage is to drill-and-gut Alaska, which would provide enough oil for... a few months? How can the Republican talk about freedom when they don't believe in any of its elements--a diverse (non-corporate) media, public health care, rights to a freedom of speech and a fair trial... or even the most basic right of all, the right to vote (see: Florida). The Republican party has bet its livelihood on keeping the country in constant state of fear. There are reasons to be fearful. Terrorism is one. Masqueraded values are another. Those who would appropriate democracy and twist it to meaninglessness in a purported effort to fight terrorism do not fill me with a warm and glowing feeling. Somehow, I do not feel safer with the people we have at the helm, who openly sanctioned the use of torture Iraqi prisons (note Donald Rumsfeld's low profile of late). There is a war going on, for freedom, against terror. But we risk losing that war if we place blind trust in a leadership that views as only a slogan and not a philosophy.


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