Shut up and sing
July 6, 2007 - 10:47am ET
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Washington Post columnist David Ignatius makes a fundamentally authoritarian argument this morning:
Based on the tone of the national debate today, it seems likely that the American public would react angrily — but not just at the terrorists.
Liberals would blame the Bush administration for making America a more vulnerable target. Didn’t the war in Iraq inflame Muslim terrorists around the world? Wouldn’t we have been safer today if we had focused on al-Qaeda in Afghanistan rather than embarking on a costly war that has sapped the military and CIA and added to America’s enemies? These arguments aren’t imaginary: We hear them every day, almost as rehearsals for the post-attack finger-pointing.
And how would conservatives respond? They would blame liberals, who, in their view, have weakened America’s anti-terrorism defenses. Couldn’t we have stopped the bombers if critics hadn’t exposed the National Security Agency’s secret wiretapping program? Wouldn’t aggressive CIA interrogation techniques have yielded more intelligence that might have prevented the tragedy? Didn’t congressional demands to withdraw from Iraq embolden the terrorists? I can hear the voices on talk radio and cable news right now.
If this man doesn't like the idea of Americans arguing publicly over fundamental differences of public philosophy, he should move to another country.
As the blogger Thoreau explains: "as inspiring as it was to see everybody standing in line to give blood on 9/11, a lot of bad things happened because a nation was busy marching to the tune of a single drummer."
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