The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Joy Dworkin Letter 10/02/04

Dear Editor:

Perhaps the spin on the Bush smirk is too easy. It’s just too easy to connect the dismissive arrogance registered on the president’s face at the first presidential debate with his dismissal of the National Intelligence Council’s dire predictions in July about Iraq. (Bush says the State Department is just “guessing.”) Over a thousand U.S. soldiers dead, continued car bombings, beheadings, Shiites and Sunnis at one another’s throats—we all know these are most accurately described as “hard work,” right?

But even if his smirk is mere style and his harping on “hard work” is a folksy linguistic misstep, what about that undeniably substantive moment of the first debate when my jaw dropped so hard the momentum brought my entire body to the floor? Bush said that in 2000 he never would have dreamt of committing troops to a war and thereby risking American lives but that (here it comes) “the enemy attacked us.” Kerry responded forcefully to the president’s blunder, pointing out that Iraq War II is in no way a response to 9-11. Nevertheless, it is important that all voters ponder Bush’s statement.

A majority of Americans continue to connect the terrorist attacks on 9-11 with Iraq. Members of the intelligence community and others warned that there was no such link well before the war, and the 9-11 Commission confirmed that there is no evidence of a connection. Nevertheless, generally ignorant of Islam and fearful of an amorphous terrorist enemy, Americans easily confuse Osama bin Laden with Saddam Hussein. What does it tell us that Bush reinforces this misunderstanding?

The president seems tragically “out of touch.” Looking to the future, a president so willing to play the “Muslim card”—whether out of ignorance or out of cynicism—spells future tragedy as well.

Joy Dworkin


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