The Bush-Cheney war against America opened a new front this week in the quiet and moderate state of Connecticut.
Hoping to further polarize and divide America between "patriots" and "the weak," the vice president of the United States tells Republican and conservative voters that Democrats and people who vote for Democrats aid and abet the enemy. Essentially he's saying that Democrats and anyone who disagrees with the White House is a traitor and that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for Osama bin Laden. He's done this before and now he's done it again as the Bush-Cheney war machine focuses on the November election and its further consolidation of power.
At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theory nut case, I'm beginning to wonder if the Bush administration has deliberately not pursued and apprehended bin Laden for the simple reason that as an invisible, unreachable and almost supernatural enemy he provides an ongoing rationale for American dictatorship building.
He's the boogeyman that's going to get you if you don't eat your dinner and clean your room.
So, Dick Cheney, a great global champion of democracy and the constitution, disparages the voters of Connecticut and attacks legal dissent and our electoral process like a banana republic dictator. Cheney, of course, is leading the charge as the Republicans rush in to portray the defeat of Joe Lieberman as proof that Democrats are "weak on national defense." Cheney actually said, and I quote, "The ouster of Mr. Lieberman might encourage al Qaeda types. It's an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy."
Of course, as we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11 our borders remain wide open, our ports are still unprotected, our ability to handle national emergencies remains in a shambles and al Qaeda stands intact and still able to organize a massive attack against the United States--which seems to have been thwarted by British intelligence.
It appears that al Qaeda didn't need a Lieberman defeat to mount another 9/11; it also appears that American policy in Iraq is irrelevant to the so-called war on terrorism.
What was relevant was British and Pakistani intelligence while Bush was sleeping soundly in his bed.
As we move into the sixth year of war with invisible and manufactured enemies, and into our sixth year of an American policy that has failed to disband al Qaeda, has failed to apprehend and prosecute Osama bin Laden and has created chaos in the Middle East on a scale unlike anything we've seen in decades, Cheney and the Republicans not only demand more of the same, but they even stage a brazen and shameless assault on the basic right of dissent and the electoral process in the name of patriotism.
The brilliance--for lack of a better word--of the Bush-Cheney Republicans has been their ability to draw a line between those Americans who believe that the future of America lies in a back-burnered democracy, an omnipotent president who is above constitutional law and a relentless rain of hellfire and damnation on nations we don't understand or like, and those Americans who still believe that the preservation of our democracy is the only rational and appropriate goal.
Furthermore, the Bush-Cheney Republicans have managed to bundle together gay rights, an imaginary war on Christianity, al Qaeda, terrorism, civil rights and science into this neat little package called aiding and abetting the enemy.
It's a remarkable achievement and worthy of a notable place in history along with McCarthyism, Witch Burning, Fascism and totalitarianism.
We're clearly engaged in an unwinnable war with an invisible enemy partly of our own creation, an enemy that will exist for as long as there are poor nations and populations exploited and oppressed by rich nations. But the most important front in this war is the preservation of our own democracy and on that front Bush-Cheney Republicans are the enemy and the last battle of this very real war may very well be waged this coming November.
OPEN YOUR EYES
Will Americans once again vote for the national security red herring or will they vote for democracy? The America of 1776 will likely not survive another Republican victory at the polls. And a Democratic victory will depend on whether or not the Bush-Cheney war machine can convince a majority of voters that only Republicans can protect us from the growing world chaos that they themselves have so well nurtured over these past five years.
Terrorism did not begin with 9/11, it just got bigger. But what did begin with 9/11 is the Bush-Cheney war on the American Constitution, democracy and human and civil rights. The future of our republic depends on a majority of Americans opening their eyes and recognizing this uncomfortable truth. And it is critical to understand that shouting down a Democrat or voters who support an anti-war candidate by calling them pro-al Qaeda is a direct attack on our democracy and our constitution. It is not patriotism, it is treason.