Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ari Fleischer's pro-War conservative group attacks

I'm not going to mention the name of former White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer's conservative group, since they shouldn't get any free publicity, but suffice to say it contains one of the ubiquitous terms all conservative groups tack onto their overfunded righteousness fests (freedom, liberty, patriot(ism), victory, etc.) Leaving aside their lack of creativity, can we focus on Ari Fleischer's description of from an interview with NPR's "On the Media?" He said was a

"vestige, left-over of the whole peace movement of the 60's and 70's and favor deep military cuts and oppose funding of intelligence budgets. immediately after the attack on our country urged that no military force be used to respond to the attack on our nation, they instead said we should work through international judicial organizations."

The fact that "peace movement" and "international judicial organizations" are used as pejoratives shows just how archaic and ignorant far-right groups like Fleischer's are. Last I checked, peace and international law were two concepts humankind has been struggling to obtain over several centuries - not something to be dismissed as utopian and unreachable. In fact there is a substantial network of international judicial institutions designed specifically for instances like 9-11. Yes, 3,000 people died. But compare this to Sudan, the Southeast Asian tsunami or even heatwaves in Europe and the deathtoll is small. Yes, this was a deliberate attack. But it was an attack by individuals, not another state. If we had taken the case before the ICC, all the resources of the international community would have been mustered to track down the network of criminals responsible for the attacks. The reputation of the US as the backbone of international order and as a country which abides by its own laws and values would have been upheld. (indeed, we created most of the international institutions in operation today after WWII).

What we would not see is a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and a disaster in Iraq both the result of our country trying to invade "on the cheap," with a fraction of the troops and resources necessary to occupy and rebuild two nations, without central governments, simultaneously. What we have now to leave to history is Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, two failed states where we have taken up partnership with the very same individuals who engage in the mindless violence we supposedly stand against, an international community that is no longer willing to cooperate with our government, ruined families and a national debt that will take away from education, health care, environmental projects and infrastructure improvements for generations to come. Perhaps Ari Fleischer thinks peace and international cooperation are not worthwhile goals. But the members of think they are, and we should all support them in trying to bring reason and responsibility back to our foreign policy.

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