Monday, September 08, 2003

WASHINGTON'S DISSENT PROBLEM

[Rumsfeld] said if Washington's enemies believed Bush might waver or his opponents prevail, that could increase support for their activities.

"They take heart in that and that leads to more money going into these activities or that leads to more recruits or that leads to more encouragement or that leads to more staying power," he told reporters traveling with him on his plane.

"Obviously that does make our task more difficult."

"Terrorists studied...instances when the United States was dealt a blow and tucked in, and persuaded themselves that they could in fact cause us to acquiesce in whatever it is they wanted to do," he said. "The United States is not going to do that, President (George W.) Bush is not going to do that."
Aiding the terrorists, huh? Funny at best, but it's interesting that Rumsfeld brought up Somalia. Anybody else remember the heated Republican senators calling for a withdrawal from Mogadishu? It was a Republican-controlled Congress that pushed Clinton to withdraw troops.

Neither do I think that terrorists "studied" Somalia, we just had Osama laughing at us on videos. (By the way, the Somalis were probably trained by Osama linked guys but evidence is circumstanstial, this book claims. In one interview, bin Laden even claimed that the Americans were trying to get him through Somalia. Bin Laden was in neighboring Sudan at the time.)

UPDATE: Aziz Poonawalla recognizes a pattern:
The Administration has waged a War on Dissent from the first hours after 9-11, starting with Ari Fleischer's famous Orwellian warning to all Americans that:
"they need to watch what they say and what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is."
or John Ashcroft who labeled debate on the tradeoff of security vs. liberty as "tactics" that "aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve." Ashcroft went on to later explicitly label dissent as "traitorous" and claimed that "those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty" are aiding the terrorists.
UPDATE 2: Atrios is not laughing:
Frankly I'm getting a little tired of being told I'm a traitor and that I'm responsible for getting our troops killed by the guys who created this whole mess in the first place.

This is the sickest kind of political discourse imaginable, and the fact that it's standard stuff these days and not being met with universal outrage by our liberal media shows how low we've gone.

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