Thursday, August 10, 2006

America's Long Nightmare-Lieberman, Bush and Terror

America's Long Nightmare
by Cody Lyon

Relishing the “wave of voter revolt against Iraq” demonstrated by the victory of anti-war candidate Ned Lamont, the organization “” gave itself a pat on the back for the defeat of Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut in an e-mail letter to supporters. The political action group, aligning Lieberman with the current President, told readers “our nation is awaking from the long nightmare of the Bush Presidency.”

Wow, if it were only that simple!

Move-On is still a long way from that de-luxe victory in the sky.

True, the defeat of Iraq invasion supporter Joe Lieberman, a three term Senator from the home state of enlightenment centers like Yale, deserves a victory cha cha dance by anti-Iraq war vocalists who feel the beat of victorious political drums. But, for the one quarter or so American voters who three years ago peered into the crystal ball of world events, and saw Iraq as a key that would unlock the lid to current Pandora’s box of horrors, this is no time to engage in bittersweet smirks.

The defeat of Joe Lieberman is a shot across the Political bow. But, it is hardly the most challenging battle that must be waged in the overwhelming quest to alter the mess our nation finds itself in now.

The challenge is to capture the attention of, and find a route into the hearts and minds of Americans across the country, so they fully understand and accept, that they were misled by an administration that manipulated intelligence and used shady, reckless and dishonest suggestive rhetoric to link fundamentalist radical terrorists to the secular tyrant we overthrew in Iraq. It all arrived in a neat little package called the "war on terror"

After Lieberman's defeat, The White House wasted no time in cranking up the manipulation machine again, hauling out Vice President Cheney who suggested to reporters that it might encourage “Al Queda types.”

The “New York Times” reported that Cheney said Lieberman was “pushed aside because of his aggressive posture in terms of our national security.”

But, in fact, our national security is less secure thanks to Iraq.

News of a foiled terrorist threat to airliners traveling from London to the United States, couldn’t come at a more politically opportune moment for the Bush administration who will, if the past is any indication, exploit this event as reason de jour to vote for like minded politicians who support their agenda.

The news channels will add spice and heat to the fire as they attempt to spike ratings, shipping star correspondents out of the real, war ravaged rivers of blood flowing in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel to report a story built on scary “what ifs” while warning travelers about long delays and frightening liquid explosives hidden in sports drinks.

In spite of all of this, there are signs that American’s are beginning to wake up and smell the political coffee, slowly realizing that it’s not freshly brewed, tossing this pot of Joe into the political sink for now.

What folks like Joe Lieberman failed to recognize as they kissed Bush and didn’t tell, is that they operate in states where large numbers of voters have seen through the Bush administration charade. It is unfortunate that back in the day, when real leaders could have made a difference in the turn of world events, there was silence or support for un-wise policy. As we speak, chops are being licked, as it becomes clear that Move-on... could move on up to another victory in the sky, if there were another one of those wealthy anti-war candidates on the streets of, say Manhattan, ready to knock the wind out of the Iraq war supporter Clinton's balloon, but only with the help of a truck-load of liberal bloggers. In the end, the sad truth is that our world is now a much more perilous place and our nation's current foreign policy has only contributed to the spills.

Wise leadership is what we are most hungry for.

Americans will not awaken to find that the Bush Presidency was a nightmare. Instead, we have to figure out a way to live with a less stable, more dangerous tragedy soaked world, a continuous barrage of anti-American hostility and an even more divided mean spirited domestic political system all thanks in great part to this administration’s policy.

It may feel good to see Joe Lieberman, a man many feel betrayed their core values, go down in defeat. But, this is high profile political revenge for supporting an unnecessary war that has left the Middle East a far more anti-American place, a place where, if we cut and run like a spoiled child there’d be even more hell to pay. So what's next for us?

The United States will have to live with and seek to repair the damage that has resulted from the sins of this reckless White House for many years to come. We will also live with the sins of powerful and less powerful private citizens who didn’t pay attention and have the where with all to ask tough questions. We’ll live with the sins of a neutered press that didn’t seize the moment and educate the public on the distinctions between 9/11, global terrorism and Iraq. And we will live with the sins of political figures like Joe Lieberman who apparently did not realize that being patriotic in Washington involves leadership and that a leader does not follow the example of a talented manipulator. Instead, being a leader requires that you have the courage to speak the truth.

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