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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Safe and sorry?

From Patrick Chappatte.

Tom Tomorrow quoted this from Al Gore's speech Monday:
Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: “Men feared witches and burnt women.”

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment’s notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.
Gore is one of very few prominent politicians actually to say what has needed to be said to the "never forget" crowd, you can't forget 9/11, but if you let it rule your lives, guess what: THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON. The main goal of terrorism, obviously, is to instill terror throughout a population. And while Osama bin Laden (supposedly) gave them a head start, the people most responsible for terrifying the populace in the last four years have been Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft, and their supporters in the wingnut media and the wingnut Congress.

Tom Tomorrow, I think, says it best in a term he uses for the "never forget" crowd: "bedwetters." Next time you meet a bedwetter, remind him or her of the following:
  • More Americans died because of governmental incompetence in the wake of Katrina than died from terrorism during the entire eight years of the Clinton administration (or the Reagan administration, if you/they prefer).
  • More Americans died in car accidents than in terrorist attacks in September 2001.