Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Friday, June 24, 2005

Response to Rove

Karl Rove is slime. He recently suggested that liberals, as a group, somehow differed from the predominant mood of the country in the aftermath of 9/11. And not only did he suggest that I, as a proud and patriotic liberal, simply differed from the majority opinion, but did so in a way that was fundamentally harmful to our country’s interests. This accusation is a near mortal insult to me. In the days and weeks after 9/11 this country was united as never before. Practically every American citizen, including myself and other liberals, wanted swift and terrible justice for the horrifying acts of that day. We wanted to find out who hijacked those airplanes, who supported them on the ground, who financed their operations, what countries dared to support such efforts. For Karl Rove to suggest otherwise is to demonstrate to the world what dirty scum he is.

Incidentally, with his disgusting statements, Karl Rove touched on a nugget of truth. Indeed there was a group of Americans that was not steeling itself for justice, that gave only passing interest in attacking the root causes of foreign terror, that never intended to apprehend the masterminds behind the assault on America. I would be inclined to say that the only significant group of people not completely united in demanding that those responsible for the terror atone for their actions was Karl Rove and the rest of the Bush Administration. Handed a nearly unanimous national and international mandate for punishing the Taliban in Afghanistan for its central role in harboring and fomenting terror operations, the Bush team chose instead to go down a more lucrative path. Unfortunately for America, there is no money to be made by simply fighting against terror. Yes, some al Qaida operatives have been nabbed, but this was never the objective. The lion’s share of our resources have been used to invade and occupy Iraq. We have spent over 200 billion dollars, one fifth of a trillion dollars, to finance this project. Remember this figure whenever you hear about the heroic veterans who come home to reduced benefits, and a cold shoulder from underfunded VA hospitals. I would argue that even if Iraq became a model of liberal democracy in the next few years, this will still have been nothing short of an astonishing misallocation of funds. The invasion of Iraq was the nexus of the oil lobby’s economic, energy, and foreign policy. They had fantasized about overthrowing Saddam since 1991. All they needed was a public hungry enough for justice to believe the bald faced lie that Iraq posed a threat.

Let us say this once again: Iraq in 2002 had nothing to do with the war on terrorism. We could have strong armed Saudi Arabia (which, unlike Iraq, actually was a breeding ground of Islamist hatred) into taking real steps towards democracy. We could have stationed 150,000 brave soldiers in Afghanistan to ensure that those who comprised the Taliban never again glimpsed power. Our presence in Afghanistan could have put added pressure on neighboring Pakistan to cooperate with us in rooting out violent terror cells. We could have meaningfully advanced the creation of a Palestinian state, using our military might to protect Israel, police the borders, and support elections. But, as we know, we did none of that. Osama Bin Laden is still at large because no one ever intended to capture him. Instead, we invaded Iraq and Exxon, Halliburton and Bechtel got their payday. As I have said many times before, I make no judgment on the corporations themselves. After all, a corporation is an amoral entity with a single goal: to make money for its shareholders. I would even go so far as to say that this is a good thing. All of my contempt is reserved for the politician who allows, encourages, cooperates in and, at last, benefits from this profiteering. We may never know the extent of their greed, and we may never know actual mechanics of their rationale behind invading Iraq. If it was about fighting terrorism at all, it was merely tangential, a “by the way, this might help defeat terror a little bit, too,” but I refuse to be so na├»ve as to believe that it was anything but money that motivated them.

There is no depth to which Karl Rove will not sink to advance his corrupt and corporatist agenda. His apology, which I know not to expect, would fall on deaf ears if he gave it. He represents the most venal, most depraved, and most exploitative inclinations of government. Karl says that liberals do not love their country and would wish it harm. It hardly needs to be said, but liberals love America more than many narrow minds could ever hope to understand, so much so that we seek to defend it from the likes of Mr. Rove.

P.S. They're just playing the "chase the new lie" game now. The latest Fox-News-funneled spin from the White House seems to be that Karl was just talking about liberal "groups" like and "why would Democrats want to stand up for fringe groups like that?" Of course this is a blatant lie. Karl very cleary said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "after 9/11 conservatives did X and liberals did Y." He didn't say "some liberal groups," he said liberals, and, call me crazy, to put liberals in opposition to conservatives without qualifying anything sort of implies liberals in general and conservatives in general. If not, then what conservative "groups" was he comparing to the liberal "groups?"

Katinula said...

Well said. Rove would sell his mother down the river for some approval percentage points. Driving the American people further apart with his rhetoric...shoot thats easy pickens' for him.

Jas said...

I hope a lot of people read this.

Indiana Joe said...

"why would Democrats want to stand up for fringe groups like that?"

In the Republican party, the American people are a fringe group.

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