Thursday, June 23, 2005

Karl Rove: A mouth too far

Blast Furnace has always been just a tad concerned about the influence Karl Rove and whether he, and not George W Bush, is the real President of the United States. Today, however, I wonder if he may have crossed the line ... indeed, has he jumped the shark?

One of my favourite books is "The 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians," by sibings Ross and Kathryn Petras. Just one of an installment of a series that includes such titles as "The 176 Stupidest Things Ever Done" and "Here Speeching English: A Very Strange Guide to English as it is Garbled Aroung the World," Petras and Petras have done for America what John Robert Colombo has done for Canada -- find the way we speak and use it for serious or comic effect. In their case, though, they have a broad international look -- they don't just limit their views to America.

Two of the gems the Petrases found were the Irish politician who said "I believe that suicide should be a capital offense, punishable by death." Or the Canadian Prime Minister who said "The specificity of totality."

I am wondering if we can add Karl Rove's statement from last night to that panalopy. Last night, at a meeting of the New York State Conservative Party, Rove said the following:
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and offered indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." He went on to say, "I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble."

Now wait just a minute. Among liberals and conservatives, and progressives like me who try to bridge the divide, there is no quarrel on the REAL War Against Terrorism. Not the Distraction in Iraq, but the search for Osama Bin Laden and his group of thugs. We may disagree on the finer details and how the war is going, and we certainly may have a dispute about Guantanamo Bay, but about the end goal -- tracking down and murdering OBL and his cronies without the benefit of a fair trial -- there is NO dispute. We must find him, and do to him what he did to us. I am absolutely 100% opposed to the death penalty, but he declared war on us and the only way to deal with a thug like him is to return the favour in kind extrajudicially.

Because whatever cause or quarrel OBL and others who think like him may have with the West, and many of the grievances are quite legimitate (including the once low price of oil which we still believe we have a "right" to, and our support for the corrupt regimes of the Middle East), nothing -- absolutely nothing -- can or will ever justify what he did on 9/11. It may take many more weeks, months or years, but we will find him. He can run, he can hide, but he sealed his fate on that Day of Infamy and he'll run out of places of safety real soon.

And Karl, Karl, Karl ... the 3,000 who were murdered were not ALL Americans. People from more than 80 countries perished, including 24 of my fellow Canadians. The attacks on NYC and the Pentagon activated Article Five of the Atlantic Charter, so when OBL made the States his business, he made NATO his business. And the whole alliance, and many other countries who lost souls that day are on the hunt in Afghanistan, where we know he most certainly was last and probably still is. It's an almost futile hunt, but make no mistake about it, Mr Rove, on this one we stand shoulder to shoulder.

Some, including Ed Morrissey have praised Rove for calling the Democrats' supposed bluff. Most others, including Joshua Micah Marshall have quite rightly called for his resignation. This one is way beyond the pale and to accuse his opponents of lack of commitment in this cause is nothing short of breathtaking. I will always defend to the death the right of a person to say his or her peace. But he or she had better back it up with the facts lest one gets the proverbial foot in the mouth.

Update: I'm trying again with the trackbacks. Sorry folks for any inconvience, but I'm new at this!

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