2006/08/13

A Recap

President John Kerry uses his Secretary of State, Howard Dean, and Ambassador to the United Nations, Dennis Kucinich, to work multi-laterally with the French to draft a UN Resolution to "cease the hostilities" between Hezb'Allah and Israel.

After UK law enforcement foils a plot to destroy several planes over the Atlantic, President Kerry says, "Travelers are going to be inconvenienced as a result of the steps we've taken. I urge their patience and ask them to be vigilant. The inconvenience is -- occurs because we will take the steps necessary to protect the American people." The steps necessary to protect the American people consist of forbidding liquids and gels to be carried on airplanes:

That is, the West has accepted, indefinitely, as a norm, a state of siege. A state of siege requires the diminution of the freedom and liberties of the besieged, which is what we are witnessing now in the U.S. The besiegers will do as they please, and keep probing for weaknesses, or find a way to bypass our Maginot line. And all we will do is "react."

It is certainly pragmatic to prohibit paying passengers from taking liquids, make-up, toothpaste and laptop computers on board commercial planes to thwart suicide bombers. But this is merely another example of a siege philosophy, a policy to protect the country from enemies the [...] administration refuses to acknowledge and attack. Do these restrictions on Americans serve to preserve freedom, liberty and other rights that creatures like Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, claim they are serving? Hardly.

In national politics, treating Islamic terrorists as a law enforcement problem and locking down our country into a further state of siege has riled up a vocal portion of the electorate, who organize using the Internet and work to get politicians elected who talk tough against state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and Syria. Recently, Montana's incumbent Republican Senator lost the GOP's primary to a rancher, Jed Beaumont, who promised the first thing he would do in Congress is work to declare war on Iran if it didn't immediately cease its aspirations for nuclear weapons. This has many progressives in the country worried about what they call the "Rabid Right" fringe taking over the Republican party.

Many on the right bemoan the fact that President Bush failed to win reelection, believing that we wouldn't be in this situation with such a strong foreign policy President who didn't have to worry about another election in charge. Iran wouldn't dare appear to be crossing a US government that demolished Iraq's defenses so quickly. In fact, it would probably try to earn points by calling on Iraqi Shiites to work with the Sunnis on creating a stable country.

It almost makes me regret my vote.

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