June 24, 2005

This Thing Could BackFire, Karl...

Speaking to the Conservative Party of New York state on Wednesday night, Karl Rove said:
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
Families of 9/11 have called for an apology, again asking that 9/11 not be used for political purposes. Democrats are demanding either an apology or Rove's resignation.

Of course, the White House says Rove has nothing to apologize for. Notice how White House spokesman Scott McLellan turns Rove's partisan attack completely on its head with this painfully Orwellian press exchange:
"MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I just said that he was talking about the different philosophies. The President has talked about the different philosophies when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. And he was speaking to a specific audience about those philosophies and talking about the philosophy that we stand for and the approach that we stand for....

Q But others don't think the characterization of how liberals approach --

MR. McCLELLAN: Who are the others?

Q Well, you've got Nancy Pelosi today, Harry Reid were talking about the fact that the use of the words was not appropriate for the way, especially in the New York area --

MR. McCLELLAN: Do you disagree that he was simply talking about the different philosophies and different approaches?

Q What I'm talking about is word choice.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that they are just trying to engage in partisan attacks....
Getting a straight answer out of Scott "Comical Ali" McLellan is like squeezing road base through a blocked artery. E&P has the blow-by-blow at the press conference.

The debate is bringing up lots of useful ideas and quotes. David Corn says Rove is a hypocrite, citing these words from Rove just two months ago:
"Unless you have clear evidence to the contrary, commentators should answer arguments instead of impugning the motives of those with whom they disagree."
Hunter at Daily Kos says Karl Rove knows all about putting American troops, and American citizens, in danger, citing this example:
"I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game."
-- MSNBC host Chris Matthews, in a phone call to Ambassador Joseph Wilson after the exposure of Wilson's wife as an undercover CIA operative.
Sadly, the one thing mostly likely to get lost in this debate is the fact that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Democrats (and others) really did try to understand why the attack took place. Remember the headlines, "Why Do They Hate Us?" As Kos says, Rove is right:
We want to understand.

We want to understand why Osama Bin Laden hasn't been captured? Why did the administration take its eyes off Al Qaida to invade Iraq? I mean, Al Qaida is the enemy Rove himself said we had to defeat. But we haven't.

Instead of defeating our enemies, we went to war against an impotent enemy -- Saddam. And yes, we want to understand. Like, why did they lie to go to war in Iraq? Why is that war still going, unabated? Why are we no closer to victory now, than we were in when Bush declared "mission accomplished"? Why don't our troops have proper ammo? Why aren't there enough boots on the ground in Iraq? Why are we still dying in Afghanistan?

He's right. I want to understand. I don't understand why the administration hasn't called for sacrifice. Why won't war supporters enlist? Why won't they encourage their circle of influence to enlist? Why won't they level with the American people, and give an honest assessment of what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan?

I don't understand how our nation, always the good guys, is now perceived as the "bad guy" the world over. I don't understand how torture has become a commonplace occurance inside facilities that bear the stars and stripes.
Meanwhile, Armando reminds us that when the Congress Democrats authorized Bush to declare war, the actual wording was:
authorize the use of United States armed forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States....

That the president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

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