My right-wing friend is Exhibit A when it comes to illustrating just how well this strategy of deception works. You can bring up any subject, any political issue, and he'll almost always bring it back to terrorism. Complaining about potholes near your home? "What are you talking about? Potholes mean nothing when we could all be gone tomorrow!" Karl Rove would love to pat him on the head.
When it comes to actually protecting this county, Krugman lists how Bush has dropped the ball on several fronts. Chemical plants, nuclear plants, ports -- you name it and Bush has either blocked funding to increase safety or has chosen just to ignore the problem (something he's very good at doing). In fact, there's a story out today that our borders are being overwhelmed as "agents catch only about one-third of the estimated 3 million people who cross the border illegally every year."
Meanwhile, Bob Herbert writes about how GW's decision to invade Iraq has made us less safe. This topic simply can't be considered new terrain anymore; it's been stated many times before -- but it's worth repeating. He writes:
Porter Goss, the C.I.A. director, told the committee, "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists." He added, "These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focus on acts of urban terrorism."
The war, said Mr. Goss, "has become a cause for extremists." In his view, "It may only be a matter of time before Al Qaeda or another group attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons."
Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said: "Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment. Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world."
An article in last Friday's Washington Post said the radical group Ansar al-Islam, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Iraq, is recruiting young Muslims across Europe to join the insurgency.
So tell me again. What was this war about? In terms of the fight against terror, the war in Iraq has been a big loss. We've energized the enemy.