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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Saturday, January 03, 2004

 

The Issue: Ending Terrorism

posted by Dana at Saturday, January 03, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Every time support for this Administration flags, they terrorize us again.

Is the economy faltering? Is their extremism showing? Are people starting to ask questions about their lost civil rights? About who leaked the name of Victoria Plame? About how many soldiers have fallen in Iraq, how many are still falling, even after Saddam?

The answer is always the same. Raise the terror alert level. Scare the hell out of us. That will put us in line again. We’ll sacrifice more rights again. Turn the Times Square ball drop from a public to a private celebration, complete with identical orange hats for those who go through the metal detectors. (Maybe that’s why the alert went up, to match the hats.)

Don’t you see the game they are playing? It’s the same game played by oligarchs throughout history. This was the game America was founded to end. “Those who would exchange security for liberty deserve neither.” This is the conservative gospel. Where has it gone?

Personally I’m sick of being terrorized. I’m sick of being scared. I’m sick of being manipulated.

I want to hope again. I want to dream again. I want to take the best of America to the Middle East, and choke off Osama’s air supply, the new recruits who come to Al Qaeda appalled by our troops’ adoption of Israeli tactics, ready to die because they feel liberation has become occupation. I want to send however many people we need into Afghanistan, into every spider hole and mountainside, until we pull Bin Laden out, with or without his donkey and dialysis machine, and rip up the infrastructure that supports him, root-and-branch.

Are we safer now than we were two years ago? I don’t feel any safer. Do you feel safer? Then why, America, are you letting this Administration continue to scare you, and frighten you away from any creative alternative? Was Saddam Hussein worth the 476 lives, the 11,000 wounded? Has the fighting stopped since he was pulled out?

In the end you fight the War on Terror like the War on Drugs. Getting Manuel Noriega didn’t win the War on Drugs. You fight the War on Drugs by convincing people that even free cocaine is a bad deal. Getting Saddam Hussein didn’t win the War on Terror. You fight that war by convincing poor Muslims that there’s a better way to heaven other than blowing themselves up.

Howard Dean is fighting that war. He’s fighting it by standing up for American principles, by speaking out for American idealism, American hope and American opportunity.

Howard Dean is out there, right now, fighting the fear for us, every day. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and it’s time we threw it over, orange alerts and all.

You stop terror by ceasing to be terrorized. You fight fear with hope, not more fear. That’s why we need President Dean. He knows how to win this war. The other side has only shown us how to lose it.


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.