The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke

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"Politicizing" the War on Terror

Michael R. Bowen, MD

The Basics

Michael R. Bowen, MD

mbowen@americasvoices.org       
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"America is fighting for its survival and the Democrats are obsessing over why barbarians hate us."
-- Ann Coulter, attorney, political commentator and author

January 28, 2003


Remember when those rotten Republicans were politicizing the war on terror?  You know, doing crummy things like demanding that the Democrats state their position before the midterm elections, so the voters would know where they stood?  Or, as Cynthia McKinney says, deliberately permitting September 11th so as to enrich Bush's industrialist cronies?  How about using the attacks to unleash John Ashcroft on our civil liberties?  The list of putative Republican sins was endless.  A review of developments since September 11, however, convinces me that the Democrats have been right all alongóbut it's the liberals who've been doing the politicizing:

  • The leftist churches and their environmental buddies have been quick to make good use of Osama.  They have been telling us that SUV drivers are funding terror.

  • The multiculturalists adapted without missing a beat; their response was that if there's going to be a war on terror, then let's do it right:  pretend the terrorists are not Muslims, and strip-search blue-haired grandmothers before letting them on airplanes.  And of course the Beltway sniper was a right-wing, skinhead, white man, right up until the moment he turned out to be a black Muslim.

  • Like a lunatic taking a Rorschach test, the Democrats took one glance at the Homeland Security Bill and saw, not an opportunity to make airline travel safer, but a chance to feed some pork to their union donors.  They came very close to imposing the sclerosis of union and civil service rules on airport security.

  • The career Bush-haters, who would accuse the President of cynical political maneuvering if he brought about world peace and cured cancer tomorrow, quickly found a convenient club to use by emphasizing Bush's oil industry background.

  • Joseph Goebbels1 may be dead, but his work goes on:  America's Israel-haters used September 11th with alacrity, telling us that it all happened because of our support for those evil Zionists.

From the beginning, one very infuriating liberal tack has been their attempts to graft the gun-control agenda onto the war on terror.  A good recent example was a statement by Joe Sudbay of the Violence Policy Center, an organization known far and wide for probity and dispassionate analysis, as long as the topic isn't gun control.  Mr. Sudbay delivered a sermon explaining "that weak U.S. gun laws allow terrorists easy access to weapons".  He decries the "American arms bazaar", conjuring up images of a vast souk full of Islamic terrorists picking up rocket launchers.  To bolster his credibility, he cites Gerald Nunziato, a retired ATF "official":  "We have a major problem in this country with terrorism and firearms.  The terrorists could come to this country and obtain firearms so easy (sic) .... It's very easy to obtain weapons here from gun shows, pawn shops, straw purchases, relatives, through newspaper ads." (By the way, is it just me, or is the ACLU conspicuously silent when the ATF boys execute a "dynamic" no-knock entry on the wrong house and kill the occupants?)

Now the ATF doesn't exactly have the best record for scrupulously following the letter of the law in its pursuit of suspects, and still we have yet to hear of a single big bust of terrorist gun-shoppers.  Maybe there's a reason:  the terrorists hardly need to bother.

In much of the Third World, especially the Middle East, military weapons are easily obtained, and cheap.  By cheap I mean a couple of hundred dollars, or less, for a fully automatic AK-47.  Here in the U.S., full-auto guns are extremely expensive, and a $200 tax must be paid before one can purchase.  Civilian versions of the AK-47 and similar weapons are indeed widely available here, but only in semi-auto form, and almost always at a price greater than $1,000.  And of course there's that pesky business about instant background checks, ATF forms, identification, etc.  Then you have to get the guns back out of the country to your terrorist friends.  And grenades?  Rocket launchers?  Plastic explosives?  All available back home.  Here, you have to knock over a National Guard armory.

So why in heaven's name would a terrorist go to the time and expense of coming to the U.S., so that he could pay five times as much for weapons with less firepower than he can pick up at home?

Maybe Joe Sudbay and Gerald Nunziato would get their guns that way.  Maybe that's why they work for the Violence Policy Center and the ATF, instead of in the real world.

1. Joseph Goebbels:(1897-1945). Master propagandist of the Nazi regime and dictator of its cultural life for twelve years.

 

Copyright © Copyright © 2020 by Michael R. Bowen, MD & America's Voices, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Dr. Michael Bowen, a former Naval officer, has a private medical practice in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.  He writes the weekly column
"The Basics" and the occasional guest column "Mixed Reviews" for America's Voices, a conservative political opinion and educational web site.  His columns also appear in other popular Internet sites, including Opinionet.com and Enterstageright.com.  E-mail Dr. Bowen at mbowen@americasvoices.org.

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