Thursday, January 27, 2005

Conservative Bias in the Democratic Party?

This morning on "To the Point" with Warren Olney (you can listen to the episode here), various guests from both sides of the political spectrum were discussing the viability of Howard Dean in the race for Chair of the Democratic National Committee. All commentators said that Dean had made a mistake when he said that removing Saddam from Iraq had not made the world a safer place. Conservative pundits attacked Dean for the supposedly outright stupidity of this statement. The kindest members of the Democratic party said Dean's comments may be true, but they are not the kind of truth that the American people want to hear right now.

Time out!

I thought the Democrats were supposed to be members of the reality based community? Let's apply a little bit of critical thinking. Was Saddam a bad person and a bad national leader? Absolutely. Is the world safer from terrorism now that he's removed? Not at all. First, we destabilized the region, creating a chaotic environment even more conducive to terrorists. Second, we pissed off a lot of Iraqis who might now be inspired to take up terrorism against us. Third, Saddam had no connection to the Al-Qaida terrorists that we ought to be most interested in bringing to justice.

The message that attacking Iraq made the world a more dangerous place in terms of terrorism ought to be one of the Democratic party's central messages. The pundits on this morning's radio show mostly sounded like they were worried about the party seeming soft on defense and national security. Seems to me a great way to tough on those issues is to point out that current administration is being really, really stupid on those issues. It would also help to have a clear, alternative plan.

But don't just take my word for it. Earlier this week on "To the Point," conservative pundit William S. Lind argued that the U.S. has "destroyed the state" in Iraq. Which is to say that any and all previously existing governmental structure has been destroyed. Lind argued quite emphatically that this made Iraq more of a breeding ground for terrorists. (You can listen to that show or get a transcript here.)

Then there's the Israeli think tank, the Jaffee Center. They say that the war in Iraq is 1) siphoning resources away from other efforts against terrorism that are actually effective, 2) providing a rallying cry for Islamic terrorists (thereby stirring up more terrorism), and 3) not at all effective in reducing terrorism because Iraq was not the "swamp" in which the "mosquitoes" of terrorism bred. The article quotes Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli army general: "On a strategic level as well as an operational level," Brom concluded," the war in Iraq is hurting the war on international terrorism." You can read the article for yourself here.

This has me so mad, I'm actually cross-posting both here and on my own blog. Grrr! I want a party to say what I believe, not what they think I want to hear. If I believe a falsehood, I want my leaders to keep bringing up the truth until I am forced to confront it. Especially if the falsehood tricks me into hurting myself. Double Grrr!

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