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Jayne Lyn Stahl Headshot

Growing Insurgents

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Over the past few days, the Los Angeles Times and the mainstream media have been making noises about the rising threat of an imminent terror attack, and one timed, conveniently, to coincide with a burgeoning presidential campaign season, as well as chatter from Condoleezza Rice about the looming danger of Iran.

Too bad Gogol already wrote "Dead Souls" as one might just as easily believe that both the secretarys of state and defense had done so given what appears to be palpable padding of the number of Iranians involved in the Iraqi insurgency. Curiously, however, we hear little about five Iranians held by the U.S., in Baghdad, since January, on charges of being members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. They have only just been allowed to have a consular visit. despite the fact that the Iranian government insists they are members of the diplomatic corps (Reuters). Imagine being jailed for more than six months, in a foreign country, without access to those able to secure your release? This is something many we detain at Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere in covert locations, deal with every day.

Yet, while there seems to be so much emphasis on the fact that, despite every best effort to spin it otherwise, a classified report released now reveals that Al Qaeda is regaining strength, and is more pernicious today than it has been since the attacks on the World Trade Center, there is only token coverage of the growing resistance to this administration's policies, as well as the inescapable truth that, while we were out chasing "Al Qaeda" in Iraq, bin Laden, and his homeboys, have been working out in their caves in Pakistan. If nothing else, this demonstrates that our government is vastly superior to any, in recent memory, with respect to growing insurgents.

Excuse me, but if the National Security Agency has shown themselves to be so adept at data mining, with impunity, for half a dozen years, why haven't they been able to come up with bin Laden's cell phone number? E-mail address? Doesn't he have a niece living here? Yes, yes, of course, she's estranged from her uncle, but...

More to the point, since we did such a great job of growing a resistance to occupation in Iraq, why are we having such a hard time here at home? Why does Congress simply roll over to the excesses of a runaway executive branch which has turned the Supreme Court into its enabler? Why have the politics of terror been allowed to distract, and deflect attention away from the egregious, increasing disgust the American people have for those who lead them? How can an attitude of business as usual be allowed to prevail in our nation's capital where the speaker of the house regales herself in dreams of manana. How is it that a president who has the dubious honor of being tied with another president, Richard Nixon, who was forced to step down in disgrace is allowed to continue his imperial delusions? Mr. Nixon had the good sense to step down. How are we to believe this president and his cronies ever will? The only thing that looms larger than another terror attack is the threat of another president appointed by the Supreme Court.

More important than the president, per se, is the presidency. How can the framework of government not be forever corrupted when a pattern of lies, deceit, secrecy, hubris, and contempt for common sense are allowed to run amok?

The time has come for the Democrats, or any leadership worth its salt, not only to challenge the infamous claim made by the Bush regime that any actions they've taken, since 9/11, have made us one ounce safer, but to demand accountability from those who have misled this nation. It's time for those who have consistently opposed the argument that invading Iraq had anything at all to do with a war on terror to take back the hackneyed assertion of creating a stronger defense. One has only to look at the foreign policy foibles of the past 50 plus years to see that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can make that claim.

But, in order to move forward, in order to believe that our vote even means anything, Congress must expose these deliberate, and premeditated liars for what they are, and ensure that the dignity of the executive branch is restored. Anything less reeks of acquiescence on the level of Nuremberg; anything less is an insult to the vision of America that hangs like false hope on a desperate planet.