Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rudy's Dangerous Demagoguery

Today, we get news that two military officers are being relieved of their rank because they failed to properly protect the three American soldiers who were kidnapped and brutally murdered last June in Baghdad. Certainly, the actual murderers deserve primary blame for the death of the three soldiers and it is not appropriate to say the officers "invited" death upon the soldiers, but it is fair to hold the officers to account for the failures even if their role in the deaths of the soldiers was unintentional and passive. Indeed, it would be irresponsible not to look at the situation and determine if there was negligence or recklessness on our part that allowed these soldiers to fail prey to a known danger.

Yet, in Tuesday night's Republican debate, the nutters are cheering on Rudy for an exchange he had with Ron Paul about whether American interventionism held any blame for 9/11. Here's the exchange:

It should be noted that the first person to dumb-down this discussion is the media jackass who attacks Paul with the loaded question of whether he is saying we "invited" 9/11. Rudy then jumps in and says Paul is saying just that (even though Paul never says so) and then condemns Paul's position as absurd and one that should be immediately renounced. In doing so, Rudy is implicitly arguing that no one can decently question the secondary causes of 9/11 beyond condemning the actual perpetrators and planners of the murders. Obviously, it's in Rudy's best interest to have such a limit on talk of 9/11 in place as he can then avoid questions about his failures in placing the emergency command center in the World Trade Center, his failure to correct the manifest communication problems that existed between the New York Fire and Police Departments that appear to have lead to the many deaths and what role he played, if any, in protecting rescue workers from the contaminated air at the Trade Center sites.

Now Paul, of course, was simply restating the old line Republican formulation for noninterventionism (a position I certainly don't agree with). Not really that shocking of a position. But for his part, Paul could have done a much better job of standing up to Rudy by calling him out on twisting his words.

What concerns me the most about this exchange is the willingness of Rudy to use demagoguery to stifle a necessary discussion on how best to stop future threats of terrorist attacks. He exploits 9/11 to conjure up fear and portray himself as the tough guy savior from future 9/11s. The nutters cheer this kind of stuff wildly. But haven't we already seen this approach played out in full by our current President? And to disastrous consequences at that.


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