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Tunnel Vision | The Nation

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The Notion

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Tunnel Vision

Mr Rumsfeld: ARE we safer, more secure today? NO. Look around the world. You can--once again--pull out that tired page from your playbook and try to divert attention from this administration's reckless, go-it-alone, militarist foreign policy... with your ugly and divisive attacks ... exploiting the Iraq war and the tragedy of 9-11 with poisonously partisan and dangerously misleading rhetoric.

BUT, the bottom line – even according to a good number of retired Generals and conservatives: This administration – and particularly Donald Rumsfeld – has made us less safe. It has diverted resources from an effective fight against terrorism.... It has fueled anti-Americanism, alienated us from our allies, demeaned democracy at home, weakened and divided the United Nations, and unleashed chaos and disorder in the Middle East....

This administration and its leaders (not just Rumsfeld, who once again lashes out like a petulant little boy...or, perhaps, the spoiled son of Dr. Strangelove) misled the people for partisan ends and trampled on our liberties... They looted our treasury through the skyrocketing costs of a war which has killed over 2600 American men and women.... And they now show that they will stop at nothing to insinuate that anyone who speaks out, as a true patriot is called upon to do in times of war and peace, is appeasing the enemy. No, Mr. Rumsfeld, speaking out means holding public officials accountable for their words and deeds.

Let us hope that the American people who, polls show, now understand that the war in Iraq is distinct from fight against terrorism--see through this ugly and historically inaccurate fear-mongering. (We need to understand terrorism, but the category of totalitarianism--communist and fascist, which Rumsfeld and other Bush officials resort to, obscures more than it illuminates.)

We need to extricate ourselves from a war that is undermining our security. We need to extricate ourselves from the idea that the war on terror provides a new organizing principle for our foreign policy. Above all, in the short term, we need to extricate ourselves from an Administration that uses fear to hold on to power–-amidst the rubble of their failed policies.

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