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Friday, January 21, 2005

So close, Juan, why'd you have to ruin it?

In a pictorial commentary, Juan Cole points out how the first four years of aWol's reign directly contradict the opening sentence of his coronation speech, which included the phrase "we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution." Cole is very clear about what needs to be done:
Bush has sworn an oath to uphold the US Constitution. He won't. But Congress can. It should insist that the sunset provisions of the so-called "Patriot Act" (which should be called the "Abrogation of the Constitution Act") be allowed to expire in 2005 and that the extremely dangerous "Patriot Act II" be completely defeated. Republicans who care about the Constitution should join Democrats who care about the Constitution in putting a stake through the heart of this abomination.
But then he turns the gun around and points it at his own credibility with this sentence:
A noble 200-year-old experiment in civil liberties and democracy, for which US troops are giving their lives, must not be ended by a single act of terrorism and a clique of authoritarians in Washington.
(emphasis added)

Surely, Juan, you know that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with preserving our experiment in liberty and democracy. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite. War in general is the enemy of true freedom--Lincoln, Roosevelt and Bush all have had thousands of innocent people locked up for months or years because of war. The ONLY way that either Iraq or Afghanistan were "threats to our freedom" was that they provided an excuse for Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft to destroy them. The only thing the troops in Iraq are fighting for now is to survive--they're not doing one whit of good towards even freedom in Iraq, much less freedom in America.

Juan Cole does get back on the right track, even implicitly contradicting that awful sentence above:
Bush's speech was about bringing liberty to the rest of the world. Let's see if he can first do something to restore to the American public the liberties we enjoyed, as free men and women, until 2001. Let's see if he can bring US government policies back into alignment with the Geneva Conventions and other international law on human rights, to which the US is signatory. Only then would he have earned the right to even think about trying to extend liberty to others. As of now, folks, your library records can be viewed at will by agents of the US government, and the librarian is forbidden to reveal to anyone that the government looked at these documents. Not only is a warrant not required, but even the invasion of your privacy is top secret and you will never know about it. Can anyone even prove that the 19 hijackers of 9/11 ever checked a book out of a US library? The Republic may not be able to withstand four more years of this.