Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Now that Peter Beinart has provoked quite a stir among liberals with his recent TNR editorial, I'd thought I'd chime in with my 2-cents.

I don't think there's an argument whether or not Al Qaeda should be defeated. Duh. What liberal group is against this point? It comes down to what degree of emphasis should it be given in the day-to-day operations of our country. Republicans like to hurl it into the front row, using it to manipulate and scare the masses so they can then rob the store. Beinart suggests liberals should likewise be out in front on this topic, flailing hands in the air, etc. As opposed to being reasonable and educate the public that 1) they're being manipulated, and 2) if this "war" is forever, we can't let it supercede all other national priorities.

Communism itself was easier to defeat as an enemy as it did not have religion as its driver, as its backbone, working to foster no fear of death (suicide), and in fact where death is viewed as good. Also, communism depended on physical invasion; Islamic fanaticism operates less overtly, with cells, secret bases within nations, etc. In this sense, the enemy is less tangible, identifiable, and even reasonable.

In terms of reality vs. perception, and using reason when it comes to the probabilities of an attack, how productive is it for Beinart to fan the flames of hysteria (like the GOP) and suggest Spain could fall to Al Qaeda?! That's great -- hey, how about the UK? No really, it could happen! Beinart also states, "take Saudi Arabia, where bin Laden is wildly popular. If bin Laden, or his local associates, took control of the Saudi oil supply, the U.S. economy would plunge into depression." Well I'll be! You think? But what in the hell are liberals to do re this statement? (that the GOP is seemingly doing?!). Should we be saying X and X about Saudi Arabia? But Mike Moore has done this -- the guy Beinart says liberals should veer away from.

Much of this topic falls under the category of "lack of patience" as I maintain that the GOP/Al Qaeda/terrorist situation could implode in time, positioning liberals for a win by currently doing little different. To change tune and jump on board just before the implosion would be a catastrophe. The GOP would be able to finger liberals as being just as guilty if liberals were suddenly to switch course and become vociferously more hawkish. By the way, if indeed liberals were to do this, the GOP would be forced to become even more hawkish (if this is possible) just to further distance themselves from liberals -- ultimately pushing the country even further overboard re hawkish tendencies.

Bottom line is liberals should obviously be against terrorism and make this fact clearly known -- just don't become a zealot about it like the GOP folks. We're more about reason than having conviction just for the sake of having conviction (that's GW: he's determined, despite nearly always being wrong).

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