Monday, September 25, 2006

be afraid -- of the president,

* athenae:
"Reverse that, look outward: Does my sense of national insecurity derive from the fact that Osama bin Laden is out there threatening us and North Korea's making nasty noises and Iran is led by a lunatic? Or does it derive from the fact that my president can't find his ass with both hands, needs a posse to locate a coherent sentence and a searchlight to figure out where he left his pajamas?

I can't separate the two. And I don't think I should.
And the response, the alternative, is an echo of Barack Obama two years ago, the speech that lit everybody up, because he did what Gary Hart up there is telling us to do. He connected it, the idea that we are all of us safe, or none of us. That though I don't have children, I am well-served by having good schools. That though I've not yet needed social programs or other government assistance, I am well-served by living in a community that values the same, because if I am not surrounded by want, I am safer than I would be, even with a hundred locks, a thousand guns.

Turn it around, look outward: that national security, true national security, doesn't mean a world in which no one can hurt us. It means a world in which no one wants to.

It means a world in which no one can blame us for the death of their children. It means a world in which the calls of radical fundamentalists to hate us for our privilege fall on deaf ears, because our only privilege is the limitlessness of our generosity and our compassion. It means a world in which we truly are the country even the worst of us, deep down, know we can be: light to the world, hope to the hopeless, give me your tired, give me your poor. It means a world in which that ideal is so undeniably our goal that those who would turn their desperate against us find no audience, find no one to believe. America, America, God shed its grace on all."

* talkleft:
"The president wants you to be afraid, because it serves the political ends of Republicans to stoke fear. The reality is, you should be afraid -- of the president, and of those who advise his disastrous choices."

* I'm sure you've heard about the National Intelligence Estimate has been produced and that it says that the debacle in Iraq has made the world a more dangerous place. This from the NYT:
"Analysts began working on the estimate in 2004, but it was not finalized until this year. Part of the reason was that some government officials were unhappy with the structure and focus of earlier versions of the document, according to officials involved in the discussion."
It was finished in April06, and only now is being distributed.

* it's calipendence's birthday. Happy birthday C/P! Meanwhile, calipendence has written a quick review of the TV series Amerika from 1987 as he was putting it onto DVD. I suggest you read it, and if you ask nicely, he will send you a copy.

1 comment:

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Eric Margolis in Toronto has it right when he says "U.S. gets Sovietized:"

I still shudder recalling Lubyanka’s underground cells, grim interrogation rooms, and execution cellars where tens of thousands were tortured and shot. I sat at the desk from which the monsters who ran Cheka (Soviet secret police) — Dzerzhinsky, Yagoda, Yezhov, Beria — ordered 30 million victims to their deaths.


We have seen America’s president and vice president, sworn to uphold the Constitution, advocating some of the same interrogation techniques the KGB used at the Lubyanka. They apparently believe beating, freezing, sleep deprivation and near-drowning are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks. So did Stalin.


Canadians had a shocking view of similar creeping totalitarianism as the full horror of Maher Arar’s persecution was revealed. Thanks to false information from the RCMP, the U.S. arrested a Canadian citizen and sent him to Syria. Arab states and Pakistan were being used by the Bush administration for outsourced torture. Syria denies the charges.


I never thought I’d see the United States — champion of human rights and rule of law — legislating torture and Soviet-style kangaroo tribunals. I never thought I’d see Congress and a majority of Americans supporting such police state measures. Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln must be turning in their graves.


Officials directly involved in the most sordid, disgraceful case in Canada’s modern history, must face justice. They are as much guilty as the torturers who beat Maher Arar mercilessly for 10 months.

It can happen to anyone.