When I arose yesterday morning, the first news I heard on the radio was that there had been an attack in London. One knew at a visceral level that it had been a terrorist attack, and I prayed (for Kav first) that our ever vigilant allies from across the pond would not have to suffer on an order of magnitude like our 9/11.
Ultimately, the numbers do not matter to me. 37, 370, 3700 - Each number simply represents an innocent civilian that has had their life, and the lives of their loved ones, forever altered because some Islamic terrorist hates western civilization.
When I first wrote this, it was far more of a diatribe, filled with obscenities, and less than measured rhetoric, so I hope the second time around I come across a little more rational.
I used to be a political junkie. I used to love a good knock down drag out debate with my friends on the other side of the political spectrum. I used to enjoy learning how the other side thinks, where their ideas and ideals orginate from. However, today I realized that I am beginning to hate politics, and unfortunately, the tragedy in London finally provided me with my moment of clarity as to why this is the case.
After spending the afternoon in my car, listening to the local talk radio shows, a little Rush, a little Boortz, a little Glen Beck, and some Hannity, by the time I got back to the office, I was practically convinced that anybody that did not vote for President Bush was a member of Al-Qaeda. Then, I get on the internet at work, and meander over to O-Dub, Atrios, Kos, Media Maters, et al. and learn that mad homicidal terrorist bombings in London are President Bush's fault.
I guess I was being naive that for even one day, that we as Americans could find it in ourselves to set partisanship aside for even one day, and extend the outpouring of graciousness, compassion, and solidarity in a time of crisis that our friends and allies did for us when we suffered a tragedy. Sadly, I was mistaken.
I am beginning to believe that we as a society are every bit as self involved that many people perceive us to be. To me, it seems to be the pinnacle of arrogance to take somebody else's tragedy, and the misery being endured by the killed and wounded in Great Britain, and somehow turn insert the United States right into the heart of the tragedy. How is this the fault of American Democrats? How is this the fault of President Bush? How can we be so myopic to think that this is centered around us, when we know that the terrorists despise all that free societies around the globe stand for? I guess we are supposed to believe that were it not for Iraq, these terrorists would still be going about their peaceful existence as lowly farmers, toiling in the fields for a days wages. I guess we are supposed to believe that were it not for liberals, that we would have already been able to identify, capture, and kill every known and potential terrorist on the planet, and as such, tragedies like this would no longer have occurred.
The partisanship and arguing that I used to so enjoy now tires me ...
I am tired of reading about how "Bush lied", while ignoring the intelligence from agencies all over the world that came to the same conclusions. I am tired of reading about how this is a war for oil. I am tired of each side taking cheap shots at each other in the American political theatre. I am tired of the American people not demanding more from the politicians. I am tired of reading that there were no terrorists in Iraq prior to the toppling of Saddam. I am tired of judges deciding that I own my property at the whim of my government. I am tired of the savagery one must endured to be involved in public service any longer. Why would any qualified person want to subject themselves to the witchhunt or "war" that Sen. Schumer is promising over the judicial appointments? I am tired of the mantra that you are either with us or against us. If that is the case, then we need better definitions as to what is classified as being with us, because Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have some explaining to do. I am tired of hearing about how Saddam and 9/11 were not connected, when the point was that he had a history of sponsoring and/or allowing safe harbor for Al-Qaeda within his borders. I am tired of people thinking that the war against terrorism will be won once Osama has been captured or killed. I am tired of this "if you supported the war, then you should go enlist, you chickenhawk" argument, which is being incredibly generous to call it an argument. I am tired of politics in general.
I often wonder that if we had to enter World War II in today's political climate, would we have had the spine to see it through ? I am not so sure I even know where I stand on the War on Terror anymore. I think it is an unreasonable goal to think we can elminate terrorism on a global scale, and every subsequent homicide bomber will give the party not in power a chance to take pot shots at the other. I am not sure that this is a war that can be won, in the traditional sense, but at the same time, at a gut level, it absolutely seems like a war we should be fighting.
I find it truly sad that on a day that we should be doing everything in our power to stand strongly and resolutely at the side of one of our dearest allies, it seems our political public finds it appropriate to try to score some political points.