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Hullabaloo


Thursday, April 22, 2004

 
Framing Fear

Bush warned the editors that the United States "is a battlefield in the war on terror" and said he can understand public fears of a terrorist attack before the November election. "This is a hard country to defend," he said. "Our intelligence is good. It's just never perfect, is the problem. We are disrupting some cells here in America. We're chasing people down. But it is a -- we've got a big country."

On Tuesday evening, Bush told Republican congressional leaders during a meeting at the White House that it was all but certain that terrorists would attempt a major attack on the United States before the election, according to a congressional aide. The leaders were struck by Bush's definitiveness and gravity, the aide said.

Still, Bush told the editors, the administration is "making good progress in the defense of America."


Condi said similar things the other day, as well. So, what's the deal? Are they hearing some of that famous "chatter" or is this some kind of election year gambit?

Since they lie by reflex, it's hard to tell, and while I am this close to believing the absolute worst about these people, I haven't yet concluded that they are capable of controlling a massive enough conspiracy to actively allow another terrorist attack for political purposes. So, I expect that this is just Framing The WOT for Dummies.

First and foremost they want to ratchet up the fear level so that everyone will gather around their hero Boy George. For whatever reason they believe that people trust him to keep the babies safe. I doubt that, but I agree that it is a default position for those who aren't paying much attention or are not very bright. Terrorist-attack-scary-president-bullhorn-bombs-safe.

Secondly, this frames the election in case there actually is an escalation of terrorism and I don't think it matters all that much if it's on American soil. After their blatently phony partisan reading of the Spanish election it's clear that the Republicans are going to say that voting for anyone other than George W. Bush is rewarding terrorism. Osama hates Bush, therefore we must love Bush or be accused of appeasing Osama. Nice and Neat. And if Kerry allows any daylight between himself and Bush on national security, he's "cutting and running," and appeasing the terrorists, too.

But, I think this fear mongering is an opportunity. I say go right in his face and hammer him for saying that the mighty USA can't protect itself from a bunch of pissant terrorists. (It's logical, of course, that we can't protect ourselves against all possibilities, but since the Republicans successfully tossed logic down the garbage disposal for the last four years, I see no reason why we should allow them to dredge it out now.) Our purpose is to get this dangerous incompetent out of the White House.

If we do get hit before the election, we've been innoculated because we said he wasn't adequately protecting America. Time for a change. If we don't get hit, Bush doesn't get the credit because he's already admitted that he doesn't think the country can be protected. Its dumb luck.

"This is a hard country to defend?" That's defeatist talk, boy. But it's no wonder, coming from the man who vacationed through the month of August before the first terrorist attacks while the entire intelligence community was running around with its hair on fire. Looks like you still haven't learned from from your mistakes. You've had almost three years to shore up our defenses, the treasury is almost bankrupted and now you whine to us that the country is a battlefield but it's really big so you can't protect it?

You refused to figure out what went wrong the first time until the widows of the dead insisted; you wasted months before you agreed to a new department of Homeland Security and you still haven't funded it; you decided to fight a foreign war based on bad intelligence and phony claims of grave danger, tying down our troops in Iraq when they could be catching the terrorists overseas and protecting us here at home. (In case you forgot, that's what the National Guard is supposed to do, flyboy.)

Now you tell us the terrorists are planning to attack us again and there's not much you can do about it?


It's time for a new president who'll put the safety of the American people first.






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