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The Making of Osama Bin Democrats
January 30, 2004
By Terry Sawyer

Conservatives have wasted no time in manipulating the atmosphere of fear caused by September 11th, pushing through much of their age-old legislative agenda under the "new" auspices of fighting the terrorist hordes. Frankly there's nothing beneath a Republican but Satan's wine cellar, as war hero and multiple amputee Max Cleland found out when conservatives questioned his patriotism in a battle for his congressional seat against Saxby Chambliss.

But if Michael Ledeen of the National Review is any indication this year's presidential campaign will reach lows heretofore unknown in politics, casting the contest as one of either being for Bush or with the terrorists - an idiotic dichotomy supremely suited to the President's intellectual powers, but wholly abominable to anyone with half an ethic to their name. I can already see the ads claiming that Osama Bin Laden will be watching the exit polls from the comfort of his cave in the country of one of those "allies" in the war on terrorism, praying that Allah will shake him of the yoke of that terrible crusader, George Bush. Ledeen writes in this month's National Review:

"In his State of the Union address, President Bush promised to relentlessly pursue the war against terror. He has proven to be a man of his word, and the Saudis, Syrians, and Iranians are no doubt praying for his defeat in November."

Not content to simply align Democrats with the Axis of Evil, Ledeen goes further, noting that: "The mullahs know that their best chance for survival is to defeat us in Iraq before we vigorously support their own people against them."

Ledeen's analysis collapses nearly every single government in the Middle East into an Al Qaeda equivalent and then folds the whole thickheaded mess into a critique of the alleged coziness between Democrats and terrorist governments. What could be more filthy than casting disagreements on foreign policy in terms of passive treason? It's exactly this sort of cribbing from the political psychosis of Ann Coulter that makes conservatives such dangerous bottom feeders in our body politic.

More to the point, Ledeen elides some crucial details in making his case. It was Bush who allowed the Bin Ladens to leave the U.S. immediately after September 11th and he has done nothing but shield the Saudis ever since. His administration refused to make public reports of Saudi collaboration with terrorist funding infrastructure and has done nothing swab the knob of the Pakistani dictator who, without irony, calls himself "President." Maybe it's just the labels that matter, since we're dealing with an administration possessing an Orwellian intoxication with the uses of meaning. (Patriot Act anyone?)

Yet, since Ledeen brought the subject up, why don't we honestly take to task his claim that terrorists secretly pepper the ranks of Deaniacs or wistfully pine away for a John Kerry sweep of the primaries? It could be argued far more effectively that with his dissembling, lawless, cowboy romp through Iraq, Bush has succeeded only in creating a more centrally located, festering center of terrorist recruitment to add to our growing list of incomplete and underfunded fronts in the war on terror. He also dishonestly equated Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda before hastily beginning a war against a regional threat that we now know was anything but imminent.

With a combination of dissembling and bad intelligence, the Bush administration has succeeded in eroding the moral legitimacy of the War on Terror by using it to fight a war that he had every intention of going through with even if September 11th had never occurred. I'm quite sure that, contrary to what Ledeen suggests, Osama Bin Laden is quite happy with the work of the President, particularly his high-handed wasting of every ounce of world sympathy and every opportunity for broader collaboration.

Stocking his administration with slack-jawed fundamentalists, some of whom take every waking chance to compare themselves with Christ, further creates the impression that this is some sort of unhinged Holy War designed to bring about the second coming of Jesus, which many right-wing Christians sincerely believe. In that same vein, he allows whackjob Generals to recast the war on terror in terms of our God being bigger than their God (because our God has TOW missiles and a fist that shoots off when you push a button on his back).

If the regimes Ledeen refers to dislike the way George Bush has handled himself (though Ledeen bothers little with anything other than scummy innuendo), then perhaps they do so because George Bush's actions have created instability in the region that puts more power in the hands of fundamentalists by confirming their view of America as a conquering thug nation of sociopathic Christians.

I'm hoping the ugliness and hate at the core of the Republican party will crack through, and that the PR scuzz of a shellac job will wear thin allowing Americans once again to stare with jaw agape like they did when Pat Buchanan foamed at the mouth during the 1992 Republican National Convention. Without their "compassionate" cross-dressing, Republicans are, on the whole, frightening to significant majorities of American for whom religion - while important - is not a substitute for crack. The real war Republicans wish to fight is a Civil one, against the Constitution and their fellow Americans. I'm more than sure that such corrosive and callous dividing of the American public gives more aid and comfort to terrorists than those silly liberals and their desire to prevent unnecessary wars and the reckless subversion of liberty.

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