by Jacob Floyd
Today, John Boehner said the following: “if you listen to the Democrats, [you] have to wonder if they're more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people. The fact is these people want to kill Americans -- they have -- and if we don't go after them they will continue to injure and kill Americans." This was in response the Democrats criticizing Bush’s televised speech about 9/11. Bush continued the new administration spin tactic of calling the war in Iraq a struggle for civilization on par with our fight against the Nazis.
I think I’ve commented enough for now on the fascism fallacy this administration is giving us. But what about politicizing 9/11? The republicans were all over the news this last weekend, most visably Bill Kirstol, who said that it was the democrats who divided America after 9/11. But here’s the thing...let’s say that Bush went on the air to remember those who died and to reassure us that the government is working to improve our safety. I would have been ok with that, I would think the president would be expected to commemorate the event in such a manner. But when he used it as a platform to try to justify his disaster of a war in Iraq, and the even bigger disaster that is Afghanistan, then I have a problem. Especially when he assumes that the American public must be so dumb that he tells us the same lies about ties betweej Bin Laden and raq the same weekend a Republican led intelligence committee came out with a report saying that there was never a connection between the two, and that Saddam disliked Bin Laden, and wanted to deport Al-Zarqawi. He must think the American people are so completely stupid that they didn’t realize that he and his administration fabricated Intel about Iraq. This is no conspiracy theory, we have numerous memos where this was their stated goal and that the facts would be fitted around their objective.
Bush has made his political career off of 9/11, as have all of the neo-cons. In fact, 9/11 has become something of a Neo-con holiday. They couldn’t have been happier it happened, otherwise they'd have no policy. They wrote in Rebuilding America's Defenses, basically their mission statement: "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.” Five years ago they got their wish. The September 11 attacks wrote a blank check that allowed the Neo-con controlled Bush administration to invade any country they wished. It allowed them to create a culture of fear by which they have taken away basic civil liberties and freedoms of the American citizens. I saw some of the signs at a recent Freedom Rally, one banner which said “War for Peace.” I wanted to go up to them and hit them over the head with a copy of 1984. This administration has been telling us that if we don’t do what they say Bin Laden is going to come and kill us all.
Incidentally, why is it that the President made a big speech and spent all week visiting the sites, when he only made a few token appearances in New Orleans where nearly as many people died, several dozens more bodies have yet to be found, and tens of thousands are still displaced without homes or work? Is it because he can’t scare us and say that if we don’t do what he says a hurricane will hit us?
If Bin Laden is so intent on killing us all, why have we not had a decent lead on Bin Laden in 2 years? Why isn’t there anyone in Afghanistan in charge of finding Bin Laden, and why was the unit devoted to finding him dissolved? Because this administration needs Bin Laden. He’s the only thing keeping Bush from being thrown out of office and his administration thrown in jail where they belong. The same reason that, according to French intelligence, that a CIA agent visited Bin Laden during a hospital stay in April of 2001, when he was in Dubai.
So, who is helping the terrorists? After all it was the republicans who supported the mujaheddin and helped over throw the democratic government of Afghanistan. The US Spent 6 Billion from the Reagan to the first Bush administration to support this terrorist group, to arm them, and to train them. And now they’re saying that the democrats aren’t protecting America? Some of these terrorists were recruited from, and trained in the USA by the CIA including terrorists who later executed the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as those who carried out the first world trade center bombings in 1993. In 1998, Orrin Hatch said on an interview posted on MSNBC.com, that knowing what he knew then (after the embassy bombings), he did not regret arming and training the terrorists. And who protects the terrorists? And do I have to remind you of that picture of Rumsfeld and Saddam? Wasn’t it the Republican administration who ignored a memo given in August of 2001 about multiple, coordinated, hijackings-the planes to be used as weapons against American cities? They sure did a great job protecting us from terrorists.
And by the way, who you might ask who is John Boehner? He’s the Ohio republican who is also the House Majority Leader. He also is unapologetic about being friends with K-Street lobbyists, who lives in an apartment owned by a lobbyist, distributed tobacco industry campaign contributions on the house floor, something even his own party reprimanded him for, and took over $30,000 from Indian Casino’s who also worked with some guy named Abramoff.
I want to end by saying I relate this information, which is only the tip of the proverbial Ice-Berg, not to take anything away from the tremendous loss of life that happened on 9/11. Nearly 3,000 innocent Americans died in those horrendous terrorist attacks. But we, as a country, also looked fear in the eye that day and were not shaken. We were not broken by men who had evil designs to make us afraid. Nor will we be today.
I will not allow the names of the fallen to be used profanely to justify lies that result in innocent deaths abroad. I will not allow fear to justify the taking of any of my freedoms as an American, or allow my government to take others freedoms away under the banner of their version of democracy. I will not give the terrorists that satisfaction. The Right has said that Freedom Isn’t Free, and that statement is somewhat correct. Sometimes people will hate us for it, or for our decisions we make with that freedom, be those decisions right or wrong. In the case of 9/11, enough to kill us. We must be so tied to liberty, and democracy that we are not afraid to die for it. I am not suggesting that we let terrorists do whatever they want. I am saying that evil people will take advantage of our freedom. We must bring them to justice by measure of the rule of law. But we must not trade the freedoms we have for the pretense of patriotism, or promises of protection. We must not let fear regulate our lives, let alone our systems of governance. Such dangerous and misguided legislation such as the Patriot Act are as dangerous to our democracy as is Al Qaeda. 9/11 changed us, but it should not change our democracy, otherwise we follow a dangerous policy that surrenders our liberty to those who want exactly that, for us to be afraid enough to abandon our freedom. Lastly, I want to tell you that you cannot give away your freedom to the government because they didn’t give it to you. It is not theirs to give or take away. It was the first gift that our creator gave us and that Freedom is worth far more than our lives. That is the cost of freedom.