The Reason Is Cowardice

I suppose the Boston Globe editorial page editors feel an obligation to publish something by a mouth-breathing yahoo now and then, if only to be sure the opinions of mouth-breathing yahoos are fairly represented. But I think publishing anything beginning with this sentence is unconscionable:

The reason George W. Bush kept America safe is because he treated the war on terror as a real war and not a law enforcement action.

Grammar, please, Boston Globe editorial page editors! Grammar! It is not “the reason is because” but “the reason is that“!

Anyway, the mouth-breathing yahoo who came up with that atrocity is named Eric Fehrnstrom. The rest of the column logically follows, which is to say, it’s utterly void of sense. Maybe the Boston Globe editorial page editors decided the whole thing was such a mess the first sentence didn’t matter. Especially considering the way this mess ends —

Obama views Guantanamo as a symbol of repression and abuse; others see it as a symbol of American resolve. One thing is for sure: its dismantling will not appease our enemy. Let’s hope it doesn’t embolden them.

Jeez; did this poor dweeb go to the George W. Bush school of swaggering, empty rhetoric, or what?

In Salon, Gary Kamiya correctly diagnoses Mr. Fehrnstrom’s real problem — other than being language challenged. It is cowardice.

… behind their posturing, Bush, his manly-men cronies and their right-wing cheering section were trembling weenies who fled their posts at the first shot. In a perfect world, they would not only be dragged before the International Criminal Court for their crimes, but suffer public branding for desertion, their bars ripped off and their sabers broken as in the opening scene in the old Chuck Connors TV show “Branded.”

Writing of the order to close Guantanamo, Kamiya says,

By signing those four executive orders, Obama emphatically rejected Bush’s warped vision of America, and announced the return of the confident, principled country we all believed in, and too cavalierly took for granted. With a few strokes of the pen, he began to erase the ugly ethos that dishonored us for eight years, and called upon us to stand for a braver, better America. An America that will not abandon its moral principles at the first setback. An America that knows its real power lies not in its mighty army but in its mightier ideals.

That righties are, essentially, cowards is an old theme of this blog. But it’s nice to see it restated. Another old argument of mine restated by Kamiya is that Bush’s “war on terror” was exactly what Osama bin Laden wanted. Bush couldn’t have carried out bin Laden’s plans any better had he invited al Qaeda into the Pentagon to plan strategy. Kamiya writes,

Bush allowed a tiny band of fanatics, led by a turbaned bozo hiding in a cave, to so terrify him that he abandoned his sworn duty to preserve, protect and defend the United States and what it stands for. Like a nervous, inexperienced general who panics at an enemy feint and pours troops from both wings into the skirmish, exposing his army’s flanks, Bush completely lost sight of both strategy and tactics. Unmanned by fear, he treated a small group of Salafi jihadists who managed to get in a lucky strike as if they were a monstrous, apocalyptic entity from an evil galaxy beyond space and time, an army of Satanists endowed with inhuman powers. Then, having created this phantasmagorical enemy out of some right-wing biblical sci-fi novel, he proceeded to fight it by trashing America’s most cherished traditions, embracing torture and Big Brother tactics. His hysterical reaction not only increased global hatred against the U.S. and bred many more terrorists than he killed, it overburdened and severely weakened our military and allowed the real enemy to slip away.

Kamiya’s articles for Salon are always worth reading, and this one is no exception. So let weenies like Eric Fehrnstrom wet their pants. It’s way past time we pulled ourselves together and carried ourselves with dignity and courage.

11 thoughts on “The Reason Is Cowardice

  1. I’m never amazed at their complete lack of courage. One “tell” about the prior administration – no one but Colin Powell had the personal courage to serve in Vietnam. Not ONE!!!
    But put an Army at their disposal and they’re manly strutting men with bulging codpieces. Or, give them some poor frightened Muslim teenager and they’ll show them what’s what. Waterboarding and rubber hoses for all!
    Examples of our species like these people give me little hope for the future of the world. It’ll take a total moral coward to ‘push the button.’ There’s no lack of those individuals around the world. And no lack of them here, either…

  2. I received a pretty good dose of grammar in high school, but missed the error that raised your shackles. “Because” looks and sounds fine to my obviously untrained sensibilities. Spelling is what trips me off – I often feel like a genius when reading published material, like someone with an amazing edge over my inferiors, simply because my grade school teachers insisted that I learn to spell.

    Not only did we jump into bin Laden’s trap by invading Afganistan, we went one step further and got stuck in Iraq. Didn’t Stiglitz say the Iraq War will cost us $3 Trillion? These blunders negate the need for anyone to attack our homeland, as our enemies have us where they want us, bleeding us overseas, as bin Laden did to the Soviet Union. Only in that sense is the statement “George Bush kept us safe” correct. Righties are such weenies, cowards, and intellectual pygmies, oblivious to the obvious connections that anyone without their particular form of blindness can see.

    I don’t know what’s with the Boston Globe – is this just an isolated case of idiocy or did some wealthy wingnut buy them out? Bet that will go far in Massachusetts.

  3. Those who adulate before the faux resolve of ineffectual chickenhawks and their neverending stream of fearful images reveal much about themselves. The opinions and substance of those who must seek their own personal sense of resolve and toughness by association reallly do carry more weight when their role models have demonstrated some substance themselves. Fehrnstrom comes off more as being some tenderfoot ready to wet himself at the first real demand of toughness…not a John Wayne but a karl Rove…all 5’5″ of him soaking wet.

    Real American heroes, this bunch.

    Oh for the lack of real heroes how low some stoop as they begin to confront their fear within. Just look at WHOM Fehrnstrom and his favorable commenters are piggybacking their own vicarious sense of resolve.

    They need talking down in calm assuring tones like HRT does to disturbed hostage takers. They need help. I just don’t have the time…

    I hope everyone notices that Fehrnstrom is a political consultant, paid to have opinions like these. He probably considers hiself a success if he gets a reasonable percent to read and especially if he gets them to smack their foreheads with palms and say “I just can’t believe this s**t!”

    Bush is gone but they’ll be talking about him as if he were still here for years. They could find a much better Ronald Reagan surrogate than Bush.

  4. Many have resonated the aspects of mutually dependent dopplegangers, Bush and Bin Laden. Richard Clarke had referred to Bush as having been under telepathic control via thought waves emanating from some cave along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

  5. I wondered why I’ve never heard of this genius, Fehrnstrom, so I Googled.

    Here’s why: he worked on “Mittens” Romney’s utterly irrelevant presidential campaign.

    Next time the Globe editors need to scrape the barrel for a right-wing columnist, they might want to review their own archives first:

    Romney defends aide’s appointment
    Fehrnstrom job draws criticism

    By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff | November 23, 2006

    Even as the move drew sharp criticism, Governor Mitt Romney yesterday stood by his appointment of his spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, to the Brookline Housing Authority.

    Romney also said that the pension gains that will result for Fehrnstrom are of no concern to him.

    Well, that certainly explains the moral black hole that would spit out the sentence, “Others see [Guantanamo] as a symbol of American resolve.”

    So here’s a suggested motto for Fehrnstrom and his vanishing kind: Dumkopf macht frei. Because Dubya sure did.

  6. erinyes,
    Thanks for the link. I especially like the idea of giving Gitmo back to the Cubans. No chance for a re-do by some other facsist regime.

    LOL: “Dumkopf macht frei.” Zie hast sprechen recht auf das… (I think?). My German is very rusty. 🙂

  7. Gulag, my German is worse than rusty… I spelled “dumkopf” phonetically; it’s probably wrong. I do know it’s the German for “Dubya.”

    I’m just so offended by Fehrnstrom’s stormtrooper-like pride in Gitmo, the American Auschwitz Lite…. YUCK. What an ass.

  8. All of that about cowardice is undoubtedly true, but I would also add the resulting over-reaction allowed them the results they really yearned for – to keep half the country in a state of perpetual fear so they could spend zillions on “security”, putting all that money into the coffers of the reactionary forces that financed their takeover of the USA in the first place.

    Much of it was by DESIGN, not just the result of cowardice. Of course they then justify their actions through their worldview that the rest of us are a bunch of wheenies who don’t really deserve all they have been doing for us to protect our freedom (by taking it away). That without their awesome leadership, we would have sheepishly accepted Osama and Saddam’s upcoming joint invasion of southern California, forcing us all into mandatory gay marriages that would destroy the American way of life.

    Ten to one, behind the backs of their “base” they snickered at the rubes and the Madoff-job they were pulling on them.

  9. To reinforce your argument that Bush wound up acting in ways that would accomplish Bin Laden’s aims, here is a link to an article from the American Conservative from 2004, entitled “The War That Bin Laden Wanted”:

    The author clearly voiced his belief that, under Bush, it would be business as usual, despite any cautionary evidence that was being advanced by those against their course of action.

    So, the new president schmoozes the Muslim world on Al-Arabiya TV while the Hellfire missiles are raining down in Pakistan, and our big buddies, Israel, are committing war crimes in Gaza… What’s the Ummah to believe?

    Is we learning yet?

  10. You quote: “The reason George W. Bush kept America safe is because he treated the war on terror as a real war and not a law enforcement action.”

    Uh. What about 9/11?

    The corrected sentence: “The reason George W. Bush failed to keep America safe is because he ignored a CIA warning entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.'”

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