Jewish World Review Sept. 27, 2002 / 21 Tishrei, 5763
Robert L. Haught
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com -- WASHINGTON President Bush can be secure in the belief that his security policies are not universally endorsed and accepted. But he probably couldn't have picked a better list of opponents if he tried.
How lucky he is that Al Gore, the loser of the last presidential campaign, is running again. Or at least he gives every impression that he is. He says he'll decide in December. Gore doesn't seem to mind letting his ex- running mate, Joe Lieberman, cool his heels until the snow falls.
It's a strange world we live in, when a woman named "Toogood" beats up on her 4-year-old daughter and a man named "Gore" denounces blood being shed to defend freedom. That's essentially what the former vice president did when he came out forcefully against the use of military force to prevent Iraq from employing weapons of mass destruction. Gore launched his surefire publicity rocket in a speech in San Francisco with no advance warning to fellow Democrats, many of whom have opposite views.
A number of Democrats in Congress, including some senators in tight races, have said they are siding with the president on this issue, as are several potential 2004 presidential candidates. Not the least of these is Lieberman, who is joined by Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., in agreeing that the U.S. should be prepared to act alone against Iraq if necessary.
Gore is allied in his harsh attack on Bush by a whole raft of left-wing celebrities, the types who poured tons of money into the campaigns of Bill Clinton, who failed to stop terrorists from pursuing their destructive plans against the United States and other peace-loving countries. A group that included Jane Fonda, Oliver Stone, Ed Asner, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Ossie Davis, Marisa Tomei and Casey Kasem took out a full-page ad in the New York Times blasting America's war on terrorism. They called the Bush offensive against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups "unjust, immoral and illegitimate." Signers of the ad accused the U.S. military of inflicting the same degree of terror in Baghdad, Panama City and Vietnam as the terrorists who killed thousands of innocent victims Sept. 11, 2001.
Thomas Friedman, the NY Times' foreign affairs writer, didn't buy an ad to undermine the president and his administration. He spewed forth his venomous remarks in an interview for an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Friedman said there is "a real, silly frat-boy side" to Bush, and continued: "The Bush people are really good at smashing things. If you've got a wrecking job, they are your guys. They're cold. They're calculating, and they have the potential to be cruel." That's in contrast to the diabolical Osama bin Laden, who was videotaped laughing about the World Trade Center disaster, and Saddam Hussein, who used poison gas on his own people?
And then there's Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., whose approach may be more civil but nonetheless is aimed at thwarting the president's efforts to protect Americans from terrorist strikes. Byrd kept the Senate tied up in knots for three weeks with an unofficial filibuster against legislation to create a new Department of Homeland Security. He had the gall to accuse his detractors of "partisan politics."
Byrd's self-serving talkathon caused the assistant majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to miss a 43rd wedding anniversary dinner with his wife. Byrd also stubbornly stayed on the floor that evening instead of being with his own wife, who was in the hospital following an emergency appendectomy.
Partisan politics, indeed.
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07/19/02: Party animals are inviting targets