Democratic Underground

We Didn't Want This War, But We Got It. Now What?
October 27, 2001
by Why

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Before we get down to business, I would like to say that I am in absolute agreement with Bob Fertik's assessment of the world as it might have been with President Gore in charge. In this world, the Twin Towers are still intact and the terrorists who did this heinous deed foiled before they boarded the planes. The article, Top 10 Reasons Why Al Gore Would Be a Better Wartime President Than George W. Bush, can be found at It has my absolutely unreserved endorsement.

This being said, last Saturday (October 20), about 5000 people held a demonstration in San Francisco protesting our military action in Afghanistan. I heard them on National Public Radio while on my way to the Reserve Center to serve my country for my one weekend a month. Among other things, they were chanting, "This is what a democracy looks like!" Yes, they were right about that; people like me put on military uniforms and do our bit so that people in San Francisco can make a bunch of noise protesting it and get away with it. It's asserting one's First Amendment rights, just like I do every week with my online newsletter, way Too Much Sense™. That's not what I am upset about.

My initial reaction to the NPR story was, "where in Hell were these people on December 12, 2000, when Smirk and his boys were stealing the election in Florida? Where were they when the Supreme Court was trampling over the Constitution they were sworn to uphold? Where were they on January 20th of this year when Smirk was being sworn in for an office he did not earn? Where were they? Somebody tell me.

I am sure some people would also like to know where these people were last November on Election Day, trying to prevent the Chimp from getting elected, or chasing Ralph Nader's pipe dream? Inquiring minds want to know.

I would like very much for the Democrats to capture control of Congress next year. That is why I and so many people like me have gone online with our objections to the Selection of 2000, the shortsightedness of pResident Bush, the conflicts of interest of many of his Cabinet officials, and right-wing political "thought" in general. I and people who share my philosophical viewpoint know very well that if the current regime is left to govern unchecked, we will eventually be in the same situation we were in in 1929.

Large-scale protests against a war that an overwhelming majority of Americans support do not endear people to the Democratic cause. They invoke feelings of anger, not at the military action, but toward the protesters themselves. Mark my words, if this continues, the Democratic Party will be found guilty by association; the Republicans will beat us up and steal our lunch money next year, so to speak, at the polls. It will be nearly impossible to check Shrub's agenda with the Republicans having a filibuster-proof majority in Congress.

New York City is nearly as liberal as San Francisco. Rudy Guiliani notwithstanding, they consistently prefer liberal Democrats by wide margins over Republicans, particular the sort of neo-conservatives who run most of the federal government. As people go, New Yorkers are pretty enlightened. You will not, however, see demonstrations against our government's action in Afghanistan in New York City. Of course, San Francisco is 5,000 miles from New York, and as of this writing, no airplanes crashed into the Golden Gate bridge or the Transamerica building, or sprayed 70,000 Raiders fans with nerve gas on Monday Night Football. Let something truly horrible (God forbid) like that happen in San Francisco, and see if people's attitudes change there.

Yes, things might have been a lot different (read: better, and far more peaceful) if Al Gore hadn't been screwed out of the job he won fair and square. Presidents named Bush tend to be more reactive than proactive when it comes to foreign affairs (and everything else). The current administration is more concerned with fighting wars than avoiding them, or rendering them unnecessary. All these things are true BUT, we're in a war now. It is necessary. And avoiding it will only make matters worse at this point. The last thing we need is a fifth column making the business of conducting this war more difficult than it already is. The sooner this is successfully concluded, the sooner the relief people can safely get people fed, the refugees can go home, the land can be cleared of mines, and a real government put in place in Afghanistan. I think we can all agree that this is what we want.