There is none.
Dawn and I had to attend a memorial service for the minister who married us yesterday – we were busy and sad – so I was unable to give Blogcritics the full attention it deserves. Interesting that on this particular day my pal Charles Johnson would choose to note the wildly divergent points of view on the site, in particular mike larkin’s satirical piece of creative writing on the – shall we say – symbiotic relationship between GW Bush and Osama bin Laden.
While the satire is quite black, it is satire nonetheless and nothing different from what you might see on Saturday Night Live. It isn’t anything I would consider censoring. I have only ever censored one post here, and that was in response to multiple complaints about the nature of a personal attack by one Blogcritic upon another, and I probably overreacted by doing so. By the way, the person attacked was not one of those complaining, much to his credit.
Is mike’s post effective? If you are inclined to the point of view that the entire War on Terror is a political scam, then you might think it so. Whether or not it is effective, I disagree with its message and will now say so.
I am an independent and have never – as of now – voted for a Republican for president. I am socially liberal, am an environmentalist (in a moderate way), want to see some form of universal health care for all Americans (again, in a moderate way), but I am also all for welfare reform, am a fiscal conservative (throwing money at problems only works sometimes), am strongly pro-Israel, and am very staunchly in favor of the War on Terror and Bush’s handling of the matter since 9/11.
Even more important than his specific handling of any given aspect of the post-9/11 world – which has inevitably suffered missteps along the way – I am philosophically in agreement with Bush’s response to the attacks of 9/11 and what they (the attacks) say about our world, America’s role in that world, and the mindset required to improve this world for ourselves and mankind in general.
Ultimately, my current support for Bush (if I had to vote today, I would vote for him, with a number of caveats including his pronunciation of the word “nuclear,” which causes my flesh to crawl) stems from his apprehension that the War on Terror is the most critical matter facing us (Americans, the West, the world) and that ALL other policies must reflect a mindfulness of this, which Bush has very shrewdly and consistently done. I fear NO other candidate would attach such focus and attention upon this gravest threat to our health, safety, way of life, and the critical issue of the rights of the individual and his priority over the collective as this has played out over large swaths of our beautiful but benighted world.
Specifically, should we have taken military action in Iraq? Absolutely, the War on Terror is much broader than the “what does this have to do with al Qaeda” literalists perceive it. Somewhat ironically, the American people see this, as reflected in their conflation of Iraq and 9/11 as expressed in the opinion polls the anti-war hardliners see as a reflection of Bush’s dishonesty, control over the media, powers of mind-control, and who knows what else.
I see it as a form of wise shorthand on the part of the American public, who keenly perceive the danger we are in if we do not keep pressing forward, taking the fight to the terrorists and those who hate us and are not afraid to act upon that hatred.
9/11 proved we cannot appease, deflect, buy off or otherwise mollify those who hate what we stand for, what we believe including the primacy of the individual over the collective (this is the philosophical link between Saddam and bin Laden – both completely reject the individual as the foundation of moral and political judgment), freedom vs oppression, openness and creativity vs constraint and timidity, reverence for life vs worship of death.
It is deeply regrettable that the violence, death and destruction of military action is required to move this fight forward, to eliminate those committed to terror and to dissuade the many more who might sympathize with some of the aims or perspectives of the terrorists. But necessary it was, is, and will continue to be.
Hand in hand with the violence must be the desire to aid, lend a hand, and give material support for the rebuilding that is the second half of our efforts: if it costs $87 to usher Iraq onto the path of civil society, democracy, free expression, individual rights, and set an example for the entire Muslim/Arab world, I consider it a bargain.
I am also not in least concerned about the “real” reason we invaded Iraq: WMD, Bush’s filial vendetta against the man who tried to kill his father, oil, political deflection, etc – all of these perspectives point to an irrational animus toward Bush, paranoia, are irrelevant or beside the point, or fail to appreciate the genuine epiphany I believe GW Bush had in the wake of 9/11.
Opponents can’t have it both ways: either Bush is a simple man or he is not. I believe he is essentially uncomplicated and that he is essentially as he presents himself. He believes what he appears to believe, what he claims to believe, for good or for ill, and as long as he acts upon his central, virtually religious belief that fighting the War on Terror is his TRUE CALLING, he will have my support and indulgence.
As with all other points of view expressed on Blogcritics, this is representative of the writer’s perspective only – in this case mine. There is no “official Blogcritic position” on anything as we are a collective of autonomous actors who express themselves and post those expressions as they see fit, and I am thankful for it.