Don’t you love the way many in the media are trying to spin the London bombings? Instead of focusing on the bloody deconstruction of Bush’s “fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” strategy, they are using it to promote Bush’s failing agenda.
For an outrageous example, check out today’s Wall Street Journal, where Dan Henninger tries to make the case that what happened in London proves the need for keeping our troops in Iraq, keeping the Patriot Act intact, keeping Guantanamo open, and -- I kid you not -- confirming John Bolton (supposedly because of his expertise in dealing with nuclear proliferation; if you want to know how Bolton has really handled this task read this).
Here’s Henninger’s money quote: “If the U.S. Senate wanted to send a signal of resolve and seriousness to whoever bombed London, Democrats would join with Republicans their first day back to dispatch proven anti-terror warrior John Bolton straight to the U.N.”
It’s a 2005 spin on that popular 2001 fill-in-the-blanks game “If You Don’t [insert pet issue here] the Terrorists Win." Now instead of “get back to normal,” “go shopping,” and “travel to Disney World,” it’s “If you don’t confirm John Bolton, the terrorists win!” Shameless.
Then there was Stuart Varney on Fox, making the case that what happened in London “puts the number one issue right back on the front burner right at the point where all these world leaders are meeting. It takes global warming off the front burner. It takes African aid off the front burner.”
So, Stuart, when exactly did global warming become a front-burner issue and the war on terror a back-burner one? Was it after the vice president spent the entire campaign trying to convince voters that another terrorist attack in America was imminent?
How convenient for the president’s apologists to use the attacks to absolve him of his responsibility to deal with thorny issues he doesn’t really want to. “Global warming? Africa? Sorry, boys, no time for them, the war on terror’s back on the front burner!”
Wait a minute, if we let terrorists set the international agenda doesn’t that mean, you know, that they win?
The London bombings will not make global warming go away. The London bombings will not make the crises in Africa go away. They also won’t make it okay for Bush to appoint right-wing extremists to the Supreme Court or make his plan to privatize Social Security acceptable or make John Bolton a good choice for the UN.
And they sure as hell don’t make Bush's lack of a plan for Iraq any less of a disaster for America.
Indeed, it’s precisely because the war on terror is -- and was, even before the London bombings -- the number one issue that we have to have an exit strategy for Iraq. If Bush and his backers in the media are really serious about the war on terror, they need to admit that we can no longer afford all the resources -- human and monetary -- being devoted to Iraq.
Because if we don’t keep the real war on terror on the front burner, and go after al-Qaeda, and capture bin Laden, and secure our ports, railways, airports, and roadways, to say nothing of the world’s loose nukes... then the terrorists really will have a shot at winning.