President Bush is a loser of monumental proportions. We know this. But late Wednesday afternoon, the AP reported that al-Qaeda has returned to its pre-9/11 strength -- perhaps stronger, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate.
Counterterrorism analysts produced the document, titled "Al-Qaeda better positioned to strike the West." The document focuses on the terror group's safe haven in Pakistan and makes a range of observations about the threat posed to the United States and its allies, officials said. Al-Qaeda is "considerably operationally stronger than a year ago" and has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001," the official said, paraphrasing the report's conclusions. "They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the United States."
All of the tens of thousands of dead and wounded American soldiers; all of the torture; all of the illegal wiretaps; all of the damage to our national reputation; all of the trespasses against the Constitution; all of the billions of dollars spent on this effort have succeeded in absolutely nothing positive. Nothing.
Al-Qaeda is not on the run. President Bush, May 5, 2003:
Al-Qaeda is on the run. That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly, but surely being decimated. Right now, about half of all the top al-Qaeda operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem anymore. (Applause.) And we'll stay on the hunt. To make sure America is a secure country, the al-Qaeda terrorists have got to understand it doesn't matter how long it's going to take, they will be brought to justice. (Applause.)
Their leadership is certainly not depleted by 75 percent, and Pakistan has agreed to a treaty allowing al-Qaeda to occupy the border. President Bush, September 2, 2004:
Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders [...] the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaeda's key members and associates have been detained or killed. (Applause.)
Not a single one of the myopic bumper-sticker horseshit platitudes which the president, Republicans and right-wing pundits have bleated into our hemorrhaging eardrums have proved true. If I'm wrong, name one. Terrorists are stronger now than they have been since September 11, 2001, according to your government.
There's no other way to spin this news. The president has unequivocally failed at the one thing he's supposed to be good at: fighting those folks -- the terrorists. Vice President Cheney has repeatedly instructed us that he and his henchmen are the only ones who can keep us safe. Without Bush & Cheney and their successor Rudy, we're all doomed and al-Qaeda will get us.
But as it turns out, the Republicans can't hack it.
Every terrorist they've claimed to have captured or killed has been replaced, as predicted, by another terrorist. According to the September, 2006 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, your government said that the replacement terrorists have been recruited because of our ongoing occupation of Iraq.
And now, according to this latest NIE, some of the jihadists are dispersing elsewhere. In other words, they're not staying over there. In fact, they're evidently following us home even though we're still there.
At this stage of the effort, and with everything we know, you can't dream up a delusion large enough that says, "But hey -- that means we have to stay the course! That means we have to fight them in Iraq. Duh-yuk." Anyone who buys into this, after all the facts and events which have come to pass, is lying to themselves and to you.
That includes Mr. Giuliani, who rapidly evolved from a tarnished yet mildly popular mayor into the most delusional, narcissistic, opportunistic, fear-mongering, shameless, cock-a-hoop in the history of modern politics. Strong words, especially "cock-a-hoop," but all too true.
The Giuliani campaign theme of "staying on the offense against terrorism" is as laughable as it is meaningless. The evidence shows that staying on the offense has succeeded only in strengthening al-Qaeda, no? But this guy is proud to announce that he supports continuing the incompetent Bush/Cheney effort against (or, as it turns out, for) terrorism.
What other countries would Rudy invade in order to remain on the offense? How much longer would Rudy keep our boys in Iraq? Both scenarios have proved, to date, ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst -- dangerous above all. If his only issue is horseshit, he has no choice but to drop out of the race now. Don't embarrass yourself any further, Rudy. Follow Senator McCain out the back door.
The Bush/Cheney/Giuliani policy has played out like that scene in Fight Club in which Edward Norton pummeled Jared Leto into a regurgitated bag of goo. Likewise, after 9/11, most of us felt like we needed to pummel something. But the pummeling surpassed the threshold of vengeful exhilaration and rapidly transformed into excessive and meaningless aggression. When we invaded Iraq, we surpassed a "stay on the offense" zero barrier, a point at which even the other pummelers cringed, took a step back and said, "Where'd you go, Psycho Boy?"
So where does that leave you and I? Our only course as Americans is to...continue onward as Americans. That means not acquiescing our constitutional rights for the sake of a little extra security. That means channeling our fear and uncertainty into supporting productive and forward-thinking measures, rather than meaningless sloganeering and futile military campaigns.
The Democrats, meantime, should be mandated to watch Michael Moore's appearance on CNN. Over and over again until the force of Moore's charisma bleeds into their collectively soupy Jell-O mold, hardening it to a razor sharp edge. Hopefully, then, they'll snap to the program. Hopefully, then, they'll cut the shit with this apologetic glad-handing and cease their reactive stammering in the face of a 29 percenter who has failed at everything at the peril of the entire world.