Friday, May 11, 2007

Giuliani And The Politics of Defeat

Democrats, pushed by peace and freedom currents that seeped into the party during 1960s, are often criticized by (r)epublicans for promoting the politics of “defeat and surrender.”

highwayscribery would suggest it’s all a matter of how you look at it.

The other day, Rudy Giuliani gave a tough-guy speech to GOP faithful in Alabama.

He said something to the effect that, “We can never go back to the 1990s,” back to a time when we were secure in the notion that at every moment some Muslim extremist was bent upon killing us.

So who’s defeatist?

Don’t tell the highway scribe that he will be removing his shoes before boarding planes the rest of his life. Don’t tell him going to an Angels baseball game will forever require a strip-search prior to entry. Don’t say we can never go back.

Fix the problem. Give Palestine a state, remove your bases in that troubled region, cut fuel consumption, reduce dependency, find a way to blunt the hatred against us; a hatred rooted in policies, not in the fact our antagonists “hate freedom.”

Don’t say you won’t negotiate with terrorists. That’s a macho posture that places the burden on regular citizens of the United States and other countries, while you move about in a bubble of taxpayer-financed security.

If your people are targeted for death, you must do what you can to change those circumstances, not hunker down in a war against a form of strategic violence that dates back centuries.

The Red scare was a convenient menace for the right wing and its friends in the arms industry over many years. But at least there was a pledge to defeat communism.

Giuliani, a man who was despised by the city he governed prior to the attacks of 9/11, has found a very convenient foil in Muslim extremism, a career-saving blessing on the backs of the thousands who died that fateful day.

Without the fundamentalist hordes, he has nothing. Oddly, Giuliani does not represent a walking reminder of government failure to protect the victims, rather is regarded as a man who responded boldly in the wake of colossal blunder.

He is saying terrorism can never be ended, that we must live forever in fear, bend to the natural impulses of conservatives for curbing our civil rights in the “the fight” against a nebulous concept, and squander our national wealth in foreign adventurism that only inflames the hatreds against us.

There have always been terrorists and we cannot cover the entirety of our existence with safeguards against them, for that is to let them win.

To desire peace and pull troops from a poorly conceived conflict is not defeatist. To say we must assume a permanent war-footing, to suggest that “we can never go back,” is the ultimate strain of pessimism for it promises nothing but darkness, and discounts any potential for a true and loving human family.

Meanwhile, and apropos of everything, (p)resident Bush’s planned address at a Catholic college is stirring dissent, according to James Gerstenzang, a reporter of what’s left to the “Los Angeles Times.”

The school in question, Pennsylvania’s St. Vincent College, has a president who once directed Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, one H. James Towey.

Towey said he’s been getting a lot of e-mails, letters, and phone calls since w.’s planned address was announced. “The hatred that comes out is just staggering -- that he is not Christian -- and they’ll unload on him in an unChristian way.”

Well, w. himself is not very Christian in that he is violent in a way Christ never was.

The hate Bush engenders has always been a strange phenomena, dismissed both by his supporters and big media alike as some strange virus that affects the less reasonable among us, but which has no attachment to the man and the arrogant way he has governed.

“Bush-hating” is an excess to be dismissed out of hand, excluded from the national debate, an aberration for sociologists to weigh in years to come, but for the president and media Popes alike to ignore at present.

As the group of hate grows larger, the number of seriously considered opposing voices shrinks. And that’s quite a trick even for an administration as devious as the present one.

But there is no mystery, no inexplicable bacteria floating in the national ambience that strikes persons unaware.

People the world over hate the (p)resident for who he has been, for the way he took power, for his blithe ignorance of others’ opinions, for his inability to admit a mistake, for the apparent belief he is accountable to no one but himself, and for ever-fresh tragedies like those listed directly below.

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