Bush's description of the years before Sept. 11 was disturbing. He dismissed a decade marked by the triumph of freedom, the spread of prosperity and a modest but measurable increment of social justice as "years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical." His next line: "And then there came a day of fire."
Repose? Sabbatical? Put aside the fact that in the years Bush dismisses, the United States stood up, slowly and reluctantly, to be sure, for freedom in Bosnia and Kosovo and Haiti. Are years of "relative quiet" somehow inferior to an era defined by war? Is the assumption here that Americans are better off when we are embattled and less noble when we are at peace? Is this a call for unending conflict and confrontation? ***
Do we want Sept. 11 to dominate how we define ourselves indefinitely? The president seems to think so. It's not polite to say at a moment of pomp and ceremony, but defining our politics in terms of that horrific event served the president's interest and was a central reason why he was standing before us yesterday.
Many who supported the president in his bold response to the terrorists in Afghanistan cannot escape the suspicion that Sept. 11 will be used again and again as a political rallying cry to justify genuinely radical foreign policy departures that serve neither our nation nor the cause of freedom.
I pray that I am wrong, that the coming elections in Iraq will begin to "break the reign of hatred and resentment" and that the idealism of the president's words will translate into realistic policies. But I do not want our nation to be defined for decades by what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. I want a nation that loves liberty so much that it can move beyond tragedy and embrace not only the call to battle but also the promise of peace.
Friday, January 21, 2005
BUSH: THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS
E. J. Dionne Jr.:
- ► 2008 (244)
- ► 2007 (349)
- ► 2006 (418)
- AT LEAST THEY DIDN'T CALL HIM "RICHARD ZORN"
- I BELIEVE THE CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE
- DOES BLAGO KNOW ABOUT THIS?
- VIOLENCE IS GOLDEN
- MY "SO-CALLED" LIFE
- HE MAKES ERIC ZORN LOOK LIKE BILLY GRAHAM
- "L'État, c'est moi!"
- ARCHPUNDIT IS BACK
- THE NATION'S TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
- "HAPPY SLAPPING" IS NO JAPE
- BUSH: THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS
- "SMITHERS... ARE THEY BOOING ME?" "UH, NO SIR... T...
- DOES JAMES DOBSON KNOW ABOUT THIS?
- ZORN CRAZY OVER OBAMA
- BUSH II, SHALL PASS
- "THE GIRL WAS UNINJURED"
- "Ahhh... IT'S A PROFIT DEAL! THAT TAKES THE PRESS...
- HOMOPHOBES FAITH IN BUSH SHAKEN
- REPUBLICAN PRIORITIES
- BUT OTHER THAN THAT, PARTY-OF-LINCOLN, HOW DID YOU...
- THE BUSH JOBS AND EDUCATION PROGRAM
- BLAGO MOJO NO-GO
- SOUTH DAKOTA: QUAKER STATE?
- IT'S ALWAYS TEASE TEASE TEASE...
- "UPPER CLASS TWIT OF THE YEAR"
- "BRASH AND MOUTHY"
- SLAM DUNK
- RAY LA-WHO?
- A LANDMARK DAY IN ILLINOIS
- NEXT STOP: BLAGO'S DESK
- $500 APPLE!
- BUSH: BAN ON GAY ADOPTION "APPROPRIATE"
- A VICTORY FOR FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOM
- THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
- THE TRUTH FOR SALE ON THE INTERNETS
- TERROR WAR IN IRAQ
- DEATH SQUADS FOR DEMOCRACY
- BETTER LATE...
- NOW SAY IT A MILLION TIMES
- "THE PARIAH"
- MISREPRESENT, RIDICULE, DISMISS (REPEAT AS NECESSA...
- "HI, I'M RICHARD GERE AND I'M SPEAKING FOR THE ENT...
- EVEL KNIEVEL TO JUMP JUDICIAL HELLHOLE
- EIGHT, EIGHT, THREE
- SWEET: SWEET SUITE
- HASTERT: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT TEXAN BEHIND THE...
- "REFORM" MEANS "PHASE-OUT"
- OBAMA SWEARING IN VIDEO
- SUPPORT GEORGE'S BALLS
- SUSPICIOUS MINDS
- DAY ONE
- HONEST, ABE?
- KENYA PLANS TO CELEBRATE A U.S. SENATOR
- ▼ January (59)