Mudcat Café message #1516591 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1516591
Posted By: Amos
06-Jul-05 - 08:27 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Writing for The Nation, Eric Alterman offers these thoughts on the Bush Administration:

Cowboys and Eggheads

Eric Alterman

Liberal Democrats today are faced with an unhappy paradox. The most significant factor in John Kerry's defeat was that, according to exit polls, 79 percent of voters who said terrorism or national security determined their vote chose the chickenhawk over the war hero. Though they agreed with the Democrats on most issues--and agreed, by a 49 to 45 percent margin, according to election day exit polls, that the Iraq War had made us less, not more, secure--a majority of voters still felt safer with the idea of George W. Bush minding the store. Based on the evidence, it is almost a perfectly irrational reaction to reality. Everything the Bush Administration has done in the security realm has proved not merely wasteful and ineffective but counterproductive. Consider the following:

?Osama bin Laden remains free, and Al Qaeda has been allowed to regroup.

?Iraq, which was not a terrorist threat before Bush attacked it, now accounts for the killing and maiming of Americans daily.

?North Korea, the world's most dangerously irrational regime, stands poised to test a nuclear bomb.

?Iran, another regime motivated by fear and hatred of the United States, also stands poised to develop a nuclear weapon.

?The most obvious terrorist targets in America--nuclear and chemical plants, water and food supplies and transportation networks--remain as vulnerable to terrorists as they were on September 10, 2001, endangering as many as 12 million people in a single attack.

?Outside our borders, America is hated as never before, inspiring terrorist recruitment across the Islamic world.

All of these negative developments are the result of Bush Administration policies that required the reversal or rejection of Democratic alternatives. In some cases the Administration achieved its aims by deliberate deception, fooling more than a few supposedly tough-minded "liberal hawks" about not only its evidence but also its intentions--and in a few cases it did so with scare tactics designed to exploit the emotions aroused by the 9/11 attacks. In none of these instances, however, did the Administration win its argument with an honest assessment of the evidence or consideration of available alternatives.