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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Denial or Apathy?

That is the question. Several months ago, former treasury secretary Paul O'Neil confirmed what Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Helen Thomas, and yours truly have been asserting for quite some time now:

President Bush was looking for any pretext to invade Iraq, even before Sept. 11th. We were looking for war.

Today Richard A. Clarke, another Bush Administration insider, argued that Bush was AWOL on antiterrorism efforts prior to Sept. 11th.

I'm sure I'll be criticized for lots of things, and I'm sure they'll launch their dogs on me," Clarke said. "But frankly I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something."

The Associated Press first reported in June 2002 that Bush's national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions.

Juxtaposing these admissions with President Bush's popularity, you would have to assume that Bush's supporters either don't believe these allegations, or that they don't think they matter. There are those willing to support a war based on lies and opportunism if it advances American hegemony.

Sadly, I believe the latter is the case. Clinton said recently that people will always support the leader that is "wrong and strong" as opposed to the leader who is "weak and right". As machiavellian as it sounds, I believe that accurately reflects both history and this campaign. Hopefully, Kerry will be both "strong and right". He should fight them for every inch of political territory. He can capture this presidency.

If he does, he has us to thank. The grassroots supporters of Howard Dean and those who have fought rhetorical fire with fire have helped Kerry get in touch with his "Inner Spine". We get the leadership we fight for, ulitmately.

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