Wednesday, August 16, 2006

GOP using tyrants? tactic

Commentary by Pat Murphy


Pat Murphy

Whenever dissenters mustered courage to protest tyrants, the likes of Cuba's Fidel Castro, Russia's string of Marxist dictators and Communist China's Mao Tse-tung shared a common denunciation for rebellious citizens.

"Enemies of the state," they were branded.

Nothing, however, so crude for Karl Rove, the Bush White House's brewmeister of dirty tricks. Rove has polished the tactic of Marxist tyrants just enough that gullible Americans won't recognize the genesis of shameful demagoguery.

The early example was then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer's warning to reporters to "watch" what they write, lest U.S. media help terrorists.

Then, John Ashcroft, attorney general at the time, compared criticism of President Bush's policies as aiding enemies of the United States.

Now Vice President Cheney, the five-time draft evader who champions sending other families' sons and daughters to war, condemns the primary election defeat of Connecticut's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman by anti-war candidate Ned Lamont as encouraging "al-Qaeda types."

Ipso facto, by Cheney's perverted reasoning, any who reject the Bush-Cheney policy of throwing more billions of dollars and more GI's lives into the misbegotten Iraqi sinkhole are equivalent to "enemies of the state."

Thereafter, Bush press secretary Tony Snow coined "Defeatocrats" to stigmatize Democratic critics who're pressing for withdrawal of U.S. forces. Unhappily for Snow, however, two-thirds of Americans say the war wasn't worth it and have turned on the president, which makes Snow sound like a dunce.

Suggesting that the right of voters to turn against Sen. Lieberman is unpatriotic treachery is another clumsy effort to mask incompetent management of the "war" in Iraq.

Tough-talk strategy, by estimates of reliable intelligence experts, has helped recruit more terrorists, cause more bloodshed, led to deaths of more U.S. troops and demand more resources of strapped American taxpayers to finance the egocentric delusions of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove axis and the stubborn refusal to admit failure.

Israel's failed use of force for decades should be a lesson. Israel seized Palestinian land for Jewish settlements, smashed Palestinian homes as punishment for terrorist attacks, and explained away massive civilian casualties as "accidents."

To this day, however, Israel's U.S.-supplied military has not subdued the blood thirst of primitively armed suicide terrorist bombers. Armed might has not made Israel any safer or peaceful.

Just as President Bush's "mission accomplished" declaration more than three years ago was political hokum, so, too, are frenetic efforts to claim "progress" in Iraq, where terrorists dispel the myth and mock President Bush by killing hundreds more every month.

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