Political Correctness

The recent failed bomb attack has spawned an interesting right-wing reaction.

The line I hear most is that some misplaced sense of political correctness caused the attack.

This is hard to figure since the attacker presented a valid passport and visa to Amsterdam authorities before boarding the plane bound for Detroit. This was not a breakdown of US airport screening. In response the Dutch have announced that all US bound Amsterdam passengers will now have to go through full body scans before boarding.

The truth of this particular situation is that there was a breakdown in the information systems designed by the Bush administration in response to the 911 attacks. The good news is that no one died this time and we have another chance to figure out why this terrorist alert system failed.

The reality is that Bush/Cheney policies created much of the terrorist threat we now fear. Their failure to take intelligence warnings prior to 911 seriously, gave al Qaeda a worldwide stage. The invasion of Iraq created a battle field where muslims were killed, wounded, and raped. Sexual abuses at abu Ghraib proved their claim that we were corrupt. Black torture sites proved us lawbreaking liars. Guantanamo remains an international example for al Qaeda of what muslims should expect from us.

This is not a war against people. It is a conflict against an evil idea.

We can’t imprison, torture, or kill our way to victory against this idea. Our attempts to do so only strengthen the idea.

We have to prove that the idea is wrong.

We do that by demonstrating that we are a moral nation of laws with freedom and justice for all. We extract ourselves from Iraq and Afghanistan. We hold those accountable who break our laws by putting them on trial. We work with the rest of the world to capture those who seek to attack us and our allies.

We slow the spread of this idea by proving that we are a nation that cherishes the rights of every citizen regardless of race, color, or creed.

We offer to share our freedoms with all willing to live in peace.

It is at times like this that our freedoms are at most risk, not from those who attack us, but from those who claim that the only way we can be safe is to give them up.

6 Responses to “Political Correctness”

  1. keith says:

    we were attacked in 1993…..in open court the terrorists learned that a plane alone wouldn’t bring down the trade centers…but a plane with a lot of fuel would as the fuel would burn and melt the steel thus causing the tower to collapse….thank you mr clinton. (how much will they learn in open court as the 9-11 guys are on trial?) the cole was blown up…etc, etc, etc,,,what was our response? the embolden terrorists hit us on 9-11. Bush responded, and we we were never again hit on our soil on his watch…..

    Now, Obama wins and he is going about forgien policy as he see fit and I say lets support him as he is OUR president. His policy seems to me to try and get people to “like us” by going around the world bowing and appoligising to everyone and for anything and everything that may have offended them since 7-4-1776. I hope it works, I really do…I don’t think it has nor do I think it will as we have an enemy who doesn’t like us and that preceeds Bush my good friend. If it were all about Bush as you suggest then what motivated all the attacts in the 90’s?

    I’m beginning to think everything that will happen to us on Obama’s watch is going to be at Bush’s feet. Yes?


  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    First, I would like some reference to your claim that the trial of the World Trade Center bombers revealed information that led to the 911 bombing.

    The cole was damaged by attackers from Yemin. Clinton began an investigation to find out who they were. That investigation led to an a Preditor air strike in 2002 which killed al Qaeda operatives involved in the Cole bombing. The problem was that the Bush administration, against the advice of diplomats and military, trumpeted the attack and the cooperation of the Yemini government which led to an internal backlash against the government and long-term strengthening of al Qaeda in that country and ultimately the problems that exist there today.

    That is not to say that Clinton was blameless, but you should read Richard Clark’s books to fully appreciate the scale of Bush and Cheney blunders.

    The purpose of the current administrations foreign policy is not to curry favor, but rather to indicate that the United States is willing to work with the international community to rather than go it alone.

    No one expects that al Qaeda and their supporters are going to change their views. Their hatred of the west in general and the United States in particular is what continues to drive them. We have to work with the rest of the world to contain this cancerous idea and prevent it’s spread.

    As far as the bow to the Japanese emperor, both the right and left got it wrong.

    The bow was not unprecidented. Richard Nixon bowed to Hirohito in 1971 and referred to him and his wife as “Your Imperial Majesties”. You can google the pictures if you want.

    The Obama’s bow was badly done and as such did convey weakness which disturbed the Japanese as much as it did the Republicans. He did do a better job in bowing to the emporer’s wife and later in his trip. Those pictures weren’t as widely distributed. Wonder why?

    The bottom line is that he wasn’t trying to convey weakness. That’s silly partisan politics. It was an inexperienced attempt to show cultural sensitivity and respect. Which, as he got more practice, he improved.

    No everything is not Bush’s fault and as we get further into the Obama administration there will be plenty of things that Obama will be responsible for. But less than one year into an administration following a two term President, even if it had been Gore rather than Bush, much of what Obama is dealing now with started before he took office.

  3. keith says:

    can’t find referance to support what the terroristes learned at the blind sheiks trial in nys. (that the towers could with stand a direct hit my an airplane but the fuel burning would do more damage. this is why they hijacked coast-to-coast flights because they have the most fuel in them thus the better opportunity for the “best fuel burning damage to the structural intergity of the trade cednters) as i’ve said many times i watch a lot of the news on tv and the political talk shows on both tv and radio but conservitive and libral. since the trials in nyc this has been widely discussed and acknowledged on the right and the left….

    got a new one for you….obama is breaking his pledge to let everyone watch the healthcare debate on cnn he’s on tape i think 14 times saying it.

    this one adds a little more to his convieant partisanship.

    Obama in ’02: ‘The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott’
    ShareThis5:28 PM, Jan 9, 2010 · BY John McCormack
    In light of President Obama’s decision to forgive Harry Reid’s remarks about Obama’s skin color and lack of a “Negro dialect,” check out what Obama said about Trent Lott in 2002:

    Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D-13th), who hosted WVON’s Cliff Kelley Show, challenged the Republican Party to repudiate Lott’s remarks and to call for his resignation as senate leader.

    “It seems to be that we can forgive a 100-year-old senator for some of the indiscretion of his youth, but, what is more difficult to forgive is the current president of the U.S. Senate (Lott) suggesting we had been better off if we had followed a segregationist path in this country after all of the battles and fights for civil rights and all the work that we still have to do,” said Obama.

    He said: “The Republican Party itself has to drive out Trent Lott. If they have to stand for something, they have to stand up and say this is not the person we want representing our party.”
    –From the December 12, 2002 issue of the Chicago Defender.

    I think his problem is that republican and independents voted for him because they were #1 voting rebulicans out #2 they liked him regardless of his view but also #3 , and unreasonably i’d suggest, they thought he was a different, less partisain candidate……so the three reasons are now playing out this way #1 we now have libral dems fully incharge and we’ve NEDVER grred or wanted them, #2 they now are getting a better understanding of his political agenda, which i contented they didn’t understand last november because it didn’t matter, #3 they now see he is not a different political guy. he’s a libral democrate and he acts like one. i don’t hold that against him he is what he is. we voted him in and its only natural he’ll act as he believes. this is the problem.

    peggey noonan wrote a great artucule the other day suggesting the best thing that could happen to obama is huge losses for the dems this fall and a repub house and senate for obama just as clinton had….

    may hope ins’t to change your view….i think its safe you won’t but i do want you to see that all those guys, with some exceptions, repub and dem are cut from the same cloth. BOTH sides have taken their turn failing us. those guys all need to be thrown out….surely you all can find some b etter then harry and nancy, i can see them lead 10 fourth graders across a parking lot. and on the rep side it was appaling to listen as they would be interview in 08 and not even be able to say why we were in iraq..im sick of them saying “lower taxes” its mind numbing that thats all those guys can say…….one day you’ll join me in seeing both sides are the problem.

    i prefer “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, then they will hear from me and i will heal their land.” i want our land healed.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Generally more gotcha politics.

    As I’ve said before, Obama can’t compel those negotiations to be open. I also think at the time that he felt that both Republicans and Democrats would be in that negotiation.

    You did conveniently ignore the steps that he has been taking towards transparency. You can’t call for consistency and not at least make some attempt to look at the larger picture.

    Check out the promise meter at politifact.com and you’ll find that his score of kept and compromised promises add up to 124. His broken promises are 13. Not a bad score given the challenges that he has been facing.

    You can’t really compare Trent Lott’s statements and Harry Reid. Reid’s statements were insensitive. Lott’s statements supporting Strom Thurmond endorsed his overtly racist campaign for president and he was unwilling to back away from them. Reid apologized.

    I agree that the extreme partisanship demonstrated by both parties is causing mainstream america to lose confidence in their government. I’m not sure that a wholesale replacement is in order. We need experienced people in government and the term limit laws in Michigan, for example, have had the unintended consequence of producing less effective government rather than more.

    My hope is that the voting public will reward those who have attempted to get something done and punish those who got nothing done.

  5. Keith says:

    Trent Lott was making a off the cuff comment of praise to Strom at his impromto 100th birthday celebration…..are you serious? What else are you supoose to say to a 100 year old man? Tom Dashle was immideately interviewed and asked about Trents comments and he basicly laughed and said, “sometimes we say things to one person in a way we really don’t them to be said to the genreal public. I don’t think their was anything wrong with what Trent said.” After Jesse and al had their conversation Tom changed his tune…..Go figure. I wondering if and Dem who has ever had anything nice to say about Senator Byrd gets the same treatment. After all the guy was a member of the KKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why on earth do the dems STILL let him be part of the party? Obviously all dems agree with Sen Byrd’s KKK views or he’d be gone….

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    How about the Lieutenant Gov of SC comparing poor kids who qualify for the free lunch program to stray animals who shouldn’t be fed because they multiply?

    There are still areas of the country where racist attitudes are a political advantage.

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