Former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr. recently made a rousing speech under the auspices of MoveOn.org and I’m having some problems with several aspects of this event, to understate the matter.
Isn’t former Vice President Gore supposed to be part of the mainstream Democratic Party? Wasn’t he once a hair’s breath away from being the President of the United States of America, the Commander-in-Chief of its Armed Forces? Didn’t he lose the last presidential election in a furiously-contested, judicially-decided race?
And, isn’t MoveOn.org a far Left organization?
Knowing, of course, that the answer to all of these rhetorical questions is in the affirmative, it was quite unnerving to hear the Deanian tone in which he delivered this speech (heard on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show). The unleashed hysteria in which he called for the resignation of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Advisor, the CIA director, et alia, makes me shudder. Has he been angry, seething and furious all this time? Has he not put the election behind him? I don’t know. Watching him now, I think how former Vice President Gore might have reacted to adversity as POTUS, say, during an attack on the home soil.
And then there are the things that he actually said.
At first, I had planned to do a by-the-book fisking of the speech. Former Vice President Gore’s mischaracterization of the circumstances under which the Abu Ghraib abuses took place deserves a point-by-point refutation all on its own. However, I decided to take one part of it to comment upon, because it is symbolic of the whole thing. Amid the lies, half-truths and out-of-context truths with which he peppers his speech, one part of it stands out as a symptom of the problem. That problem is defined as such: denial.
He [President Bush] has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack by terrorists because of his arrogance, willfulness, and bungling at stirring up hornet's nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us. And by then insulting the religion and culture and tradition of people in other countries. And by pursuing policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children, all of it done in our name.
President Bush said in his speech Monday night that the war in Iraq is "the central front in the war on terror." It's not the central front in the war on terror, but it has unfortunately become the central recruiting office for terrorists. [Dick Cheney said, "This war may last the rest of our lives.] The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorism against the United States. Just yesterday, the International Institute of Strategic Studies reported that the Iraq conflict " has arguable focused the energies and resources of Al Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition." The ISS said that in the wake of the war in Iraq Al Qaeda now has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks.“hornet's nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us”
“the Iraq conflict " has arguable focused the energies and resources of Al Qaeda and its followers”
Were the attacks of September eleventh an example of Al Qaeda’s *unfocused* energies and resources? Did the “hornet's nests” demonstrate that they “pose[d] no threat whatsoever to us” on that day?
I am astonished by this speech.
I am frightened by the fact that a certain segment of our society sees President Bush and his cohorts as more of a threat to civilization than those who would convert us to Islam by the sword or destroy this country as an alternative.
And I am most frightened by the fact that someone like Albert Gore—for eight years and for one tedious month in the last part of 2000, inches from the presidency--chooses to be their champion.
UPDATE: Think I was exaggerating? Check this out.
(Thanks to Rachel Lucas)