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May 4, 2011
End the War on Terror Now!
Wasn't it Emerson who wrote that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds? Enter the Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel, whose foolish consistency is the left's: to wit, that with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the War on Terror should be shutdown. Not that there should have been a war on terrorists and their dangerous ideology in the first place.
Ms. vanden Heuvel wrote yesterday in the Washington Post:
Now, with bin Laden buried at sea, it is time to end the "global war on terror" we have lived with for a decade. It is time to stop defining the post-Sept. 11 struggle against stateless terrorists as "war."
Note Ms. vanden Heuvel's liberal use of quotation marks, lest readers get the idea that the "global war on terror" or "war" has any legitimacy.
And like a good left-winger, Ms. vanden Heuvel sees a sinister, if incoherent, conspiracy underlying the war on terror strategy, writing again:
Framing the fight against terror as a war was a conscious decision made by President Bush, Karl Rove and others in those first days after Sept. 11 - a decision that destroyed the unity President Obama reminded us of in his address.
Right-O. In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush and that Machiavellian string-puller, Karl Rove, weren't after the Islamic extremists who killed 3,000 American innocents. No, Mr. Bush and his puppet-master were out to destroy American unity. Is anymore evidence needed why an earlier generation of lefties so despised the paranoid, conspiracy-obsessed Richard Nixon? Could it be those lefties saw their reflections in Nixon?
But Ms. vanden Heuvel isn't done castigating the venal George W. Bush (or with her use of quotation marks).
The Bush administration used the "war" as justification for undermining the best of America's principles. We have witnessed the abuse of international human rights standards, the unlawful detention of thousands of women and men, and the condoning of torture.
In a spasm of fairness (and to keep whatever credibility she enjoys among general readers), Ms. vanden Heuvel mentions that though the beneficent Mr. Obama doesn't use the vile "war" word, he has continued Mr. Bush's detentions policy and the use of military tribunals - which amounts to an acknowledgement that the nation ain't exactly rounding up purse-snatchers and Peeping Toms.
One supposes that Ms. vanden Heuvel would heartily agree that Mr. Obama ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden violated bin Laden's due process rights. After all, bin Laden was no irregular warrior; just a garden-variety criminal. Why did Mr. Obama allow Navy Seals to shoot bin Laden in the head? Did the Seals even bother to read bin Laden his Miranda Rights?
The takeaway here is that Ms. vanden Heuvel is no crank, not when it comes to influencing liberal thought and Democrats' policy positions. The left has beaten the drums for years that when bin Laden went, so should go the "War on Terror," given that there shouldn't have been a "war" in the first place.
Watch to see how Ms. vanden Heuvel's arguments play out among Democrats in the coming days.