Saturday, August 12, 2006

"What Oft Was Thought....

...But Ne'er So Well Expressed"

In which category, Bush, I trust the writers of the following letters from this morning's New York Times will not mind if I use their words for mine in today's entry. Readers of that paper, too, as well as of these pages, will forgive me for repeating what they may have already read. I just found them to be especially apt...

Re “Terror Plot Foiled; Airports Quickly Clamp Down” (front page, Aug. 11):

The actions of the British in stopping this bomb plot were classic examples of good international police work. President Bush touted this as part of the “war on terror,” but it apparently did not involve any army, navy or air force.

No bombs were dropped. No country was invaded. No one was killed, and nothing was destroyed.

It was effective, and it did not enrage millions as the invasion of Iraq has done. It was a police action, not an act of war.

The “war on terror” is not a war. President Bush calls it a war so that he can be a wartime president and claim to be a heroic protector of America, but this is bogus.

Terrorism cannot be fought with armies. They make things only worse. Mr. President, bring the armies home and concentrate on good police work.

John Hilberry
New York, Aug. 11, 2006

To the Editor:

One of the Bush administration’s many justifications of the fiasco in Iraq is that “we are fighting the terrorists there so that we don’t have to fight them at home.” So thousands of lives are lost and billions of dollars are wasted in Iraq, which is dissolving into civil war.

Meanwhile, the real threats to our interests are apparently being nurtured in Western cities like London, with the help of Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

How much more effective might the “war on terrorism” have been if we had concentrated on defeating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan rather than allowing its forces to become entrenched in Pakistan; and using the billions of dollars expended in Iraq on truly effective homeland security measures, which we can’t afford because of the war in Iraq?

Judith Pulley
Chapel Hill, N.C., Aug. 11, 2006

To the Editor:

President Bush said on Thursday: “It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America. We’ve taken a lot of measures to protect the American people. But obviously we still aren’t completely safe.”

Every American should demand to know what measures Mr. Bush has taken. Why are our ports, railways, airports, borders and nuclear power plants still vulnerable?

Most important, why, after three years, has terrorism spread like a cancer out of control around the world? What has Mr. Bush done to unite the world against the terrorist threat? If national security is an issue this fall, Mr. Bush and the Republicans have failed.

Pam Walton
Mountain View, Calif., Aug. 11, 2006

In the same category, I'll take this opportunty to refer our readers to a few particularly timely thoughts about the conservative movement in this country by author Thomas Frank on the opinion page. He puts his finger on the paradox of those in power who succeed in perpetuating that power by adopting the mantle of powerlessness. A perception which is not necessarily new--I have entertained these thoughts myself, Bush. But certainly "ne'er so well expressed." Enjoy.

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