It sure seems like this at times. While nobody questions the tragedy of 9/11, the attack is not an excuse to end all independent thought. By failing to think critically, many conservatives failed to realize that Bush and Cheney used 9/11 for political gain–not to make the country safer. They used 9/11 to push through what they hoped to do prior to 9/11, such as invading Iraq and enact provisions in the Patriot Act which make us no safer.
Question their mind set on 9/11, and conservatives are also unable to evaluate this rationally. DarkSyde creates some controversy at Daily Kos by putting the attack in perspective:
Death and injury are every bit as tragic as they are inevitable for human beings. Understandably, we worry about both, we all cry and mourn when either strike, especially with ourselves or those we love playing the starring role. And I have no desire to down play the loss that anyone feels when someone they love is struck down, be it by terrorism or leukemia. But …some perspective maybe?
Heart disease and cancer will claim about 1.5 million American lives each and every year. As far as accidental deaths (~100,000/year), motor vehicle accidents far and away lead the pack (+40,000/year), with accidental poisoning and falls in place and show. You can play with those stats all kinds of ways. But the bottom line is that over the course of a civilian lifetime, the odds of falling victim to Al Qaeda rank somewhere between falling off a ladder to your death and being struck by lightning inside your home.
Darksyde also compares this risk to that of nuclear war which would have “converted some 20 million US citizens into plasma. Many millions more would have died in agony over the next few weeks in ways too horrible to contemplate. A full Soviet attack would have turned every major city and military base into a smoking, glassy, radioactive crater.” Ed Fitzgerald supports DarkSyde with quotations from Fail Safe.
Naturally the right wingers cannot handle this threat to their post 9/11 world view, and at Right Wing News takes advantage of this to continue the right wing tactic of distorting the views of liberals:
Here’s a liberal saying what Howard Dean, Ned Lamont, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats really think. This allows people to take a very clear, open eyed look at what conservatives and liberals really believe.
— Conservatives believe we must do whatever it takes to stop another 9/11 from occurring on our soil.
— Liberals, like Darksyde, don’t think that’s the case.
— Conservatives believe WMDs falling into the hands of terrorists is a serious threat.
— Liberals, like Darksyde, do not.
— Conservatives think the British terrorism plot, that would have featured numerous planes being blown up in mid air, would have been a major disaster had it happened.
— Liberals, like Darksyde, do not.
Perhaps this is another case of conservatives not being able to think straight since 9/11. Look how many untrue and irrational statements are in here. The author cannot comprehend of the fact that it is possible for other things to carry a greater danger than terrorism, but that realizing this does not mean advocating that we ignore the problem or fail to understand its seriousness. We can go about our lives without giving up the ability to think as the right has, while seeking real solutions to the problem. Nor do we have to allow panic to lead to bad decisions such as unnecessarily restricting our civil liberties or taking foolish actions in Iraq which act to strengthen al Qaeda rather than weakening them.
This is one blog entry on one blog. Not only does Right Wing News misrepresent the views, but the author attributes these views to all Democrats. He ignores the fact that John Kerry wrote a book warning about the dangers of terrorism well before 9/11. It was Bill Clinton who wanted to take action against al Qaeda and the Republicans who blocked him. George Bush ignored multiple warnings before 9/11. John Kerry and Howard Dean often argued before the 2004 election that more needed to be done for homeland security, but George Bush cried that such precautions were too expensive. Not only do liberals want to prevent another 9/11, they had the forethought which conservatives lacked to attempt to prevent the original 9/11 attack. It was Republicans who failed to respond to the warnings or take action.
Liberals understand the dangers of WMD and do not want to see them in the hands of terrorists. That does not mean we should have gone to war against Iraq after Saddam had destroyed his WMD based upon false claims of a non-existent threat. Only in the twisted minds of right wing writers would anyone think than anybody would not have seen it as a major disaster if the British terrorism threat had succeeded. As we noted earlier (here and here), the manner in which this threat was stopped was evidence that John Kerry and liberals have been right on fighting terrorism and the conservatives have been wrong.