Want to see some thuggish Republican fear-mongering? Check out the GOP’s first ad for the 2004 election, which starts running Sunday in Iowa. It accuses Democratic presidential candidates of “attacking the president for attacking the terrorists” and urges viewers to call Congress to “tell them to support the President’s policy of preemptive self-defense.”

But the Democratic candidates are attacking Bush’s preemptive war against Iraq precisely because it had nothing to do with the war on terror. It’s now clear–even to most supporters of the war–that Iraq posed no imminent threat to the United States and that Bush and his cronies misled the nation into a war of choice not necessity.

And, if you look at what’s happening around the world today, including the recent bombings in Turkey, can any reasonable person argue that “preemptive self defense” has made the world more secure? Instead, it seems easier with each passing day to conclude, tragically, that this Adminstration‘s disastrous policies have undermined our security and our image in the world and failed to make America–or the world–safer, more secure, more prosperous or more democratic.

If there’s any good news in all of this it’s that the GOP’s decision to run this ad unusually early in the election season signals how worried Republican strategists are about the impact of Iraq on Bush’s reelection chances. Growing doubts about the rationale, timing and, of course, the results of the war have led to what few would have predicted last March: Bush’s identification with the invasion and occupation of Iraq is now a net negative for his reelection prospects.

As Ruy Teixeira points out in his valuable “Public Opinion Watch,” with Bush’s key poll ratings on his handling of the war heading South, “a Democratic candidate in 2004 would be foolish not to engage Bush in a sharp debate about America’s role in the world and safeguarding our national security.” Bush’s policy of preemptive war has failed. It now must be ended along with his Administration‘s preemptive war on truth, civil liberties and the US Constitution.


Uncovered, a new documentary film co-sponsored by Move.On.org and the Center for American Progress and directed by Robert Greenwald, offers far more proof, if any was still necessary, that the Bush Administration‘s extremism is severely compromising America’s national security interests. Featuring never-before-seen interviews with over 20 national security experts–including former Ambassador Joe Wilson; ex CIA chief Stansfield Turner; weapons inspector David Albright; CIA operative Robert Baer, National Security anti-terrorism expert Rand Beers and The Nation‘s own David CornUncovered exposes the lies, misstatements and distorted intellligence that served as reasons to fight an unnecessary “preemptive” war. The film is a compelling call to action in 2004 and must-see viewing for all citizens who care about changing the direction of our security policy, and our country’s leadership. Click here for info on screenings and DVD sales.