December 28, 2005

The Year In Review

Robert Steinback suggests that Bin Laden may have "won" after all...
If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden's attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution -- and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it -- I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.

Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat -- and expect America to be pleased by this -- I would have thought our nation's sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.

If I had been informed that our nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas -- and call such procedures necessary for the nation's security -- I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.

If someone had predicted the president's staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy -- and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy -- I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy.

That's no America I know, I would have argued. We're too strong, and we've been through too much, to be led down such a twisted path.

What is there to say now?
I get a bit annoyed when even the anti-Bush press is quoting this 30,000 figure for Iraqi casualties. Sure, if avoids another stupid fight (and we all know how wingnuts ignore the forest to focus on a single ailing tree) but it is such a conservative estimate as to be almost ridiculous. I mean, all credit to the Iraqi Body Count team for putting it together but really... It is fanciful to pretend there are not more casualties (even IBC say it is a minimum) and, I would argue, it is disrespectful to the dead.

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