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Friday, August 11, 2006

Terrorism fight politicized

In the days after 9/11, the nation was united as never before. There were no Democrats, no Republicans, no liberals, no conservatives. We were together as one, mourning our losses, proud to be Americans and vowing that terrorism will never visit our shores again. Oh, how times have changed in five years! In the hours after we learned about the British breaking up the plot to blow up 10 planes bound to the U.S. from Great Britain, too many public officials were quick to put a political spin on the news. That's disgraceful.

From a Democrat, Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada: "The Iraq war has diverted our focus ... and has created a rallying cry for international terrorism.'' From a Republican, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee: "This is the kind of success ... achieved despite damaging leaks and unjustified criticisms of the methods they use to detect and prevent terrorist attacks.''

Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, running as an independent after losing the Democratic primary nomination to Ned Lamont, said leaving Iraq, a Lamont battle cry, "will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes ...'' One syndicated column quoted a liberal blog as wondering whether the arrests were timed to get maximum media play right after the Connecticut primary.

Reid, Roberts, Lieberman and that blogger should be ashamed to allow politics to get in the way of clear thinking about the very real danger this nation and the world face from terrorists who have no respect for life. How we pursue that fight is fair game for public debate in our democracy. It should not be subverted by cheap politics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When The New York Times published classified information that detailed precisely how our government was tracking certain terrorists, The Times endangered our national security. Senator Roberts was well within his rights to allude to those leaks, and to speak to how those leaks have hurt our efforts in combating terrorism.

If the US were to leave Iraq prematurely, the terrorists in that country would most certainly cheer our departure. Senator Lieberman was right to make the comments that he did.

I don't agree with Senator Reid or the liberal blogger you mentioned, but both were certainly entitled to express the views that they did. Your beliefs notwithstanding, neither engaged in "cheap politics."

If anyone should be "ashamed," Mr. Benjamin, it should be you. There are 300 million people that call this democracy home. Who are you to naively suggest that all Americans should "together as one," or otherwise suggest that something other than uniformity in opinion is a bad thing? Have you no respect for dissent and free speech, sir? If Americans can't freely discuss the issues of the day during times of war, when can then?

7:47 AM, August 12, 2006  
Anonymous Nick Fera said...

Our government is political by its very nature. That's a good thing. There is room for discussion of issues, including how to handle Muslim terrorism. I don't see Reid's, Roberts', and Lieberman's comments as politics in the true sense. I see them as very small men's willingness to grasp at anything to advance their own ambitions. It's a practice, unfortunately, that goes back to our 18th century beginnings.

5:31 PM, August 14, 2006  

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