Friday, December 30, 2005

A Letter to Glenn Greenwald

Unclaimed Territory is the most interesting blog I've discovered in the past week. Its proprietor was a First Amendment lawyer and now litigates in Brazil. In this post he argues, essentially, that George W. Bush is creating a new McCarthyism and rules us by our fears, concluding:

Acknowledging a threat, even a serious threat, and taking steps to address it, does not require fear. But what does require fear is an agenda which demands that blind faith be placed by the citizenry in the power of the Government in exchange for being protected by it.

To which I responded:

...There are reasonable fears and unreasonable fears. 9-11 demonstrated that terrorist attacks culminating in mass destruction are reasonable fears.

(Please read at least my post Holy Warrior Education & The Patriot Act before you respond, and maybe my Why is the U.S. in Iraq? series for my full philosophy. What we are doing is not "overreaction", nor is anyone calling for "abuses".)

I consider that it is irresponsible to acknowledge reasonable fears yet not act upon them responsibly (you offer no counter-proposals) because of some red herring - isn't that how you conclude your post? For I do not perceive that George W. Bush demanded "that blind faith be placed by the citizenry in the power of the Government in exchange for being protected by it".

But when he was running for President, was that not the attitude of Senator Kerry, as he never explained himself and his policy plans consistently and cogently? President Bush's speeches are thus the height of responsible conduct, and offer to all the chance to sensibly critique his policies.

The atmosphere in America today is not the paranoia of the McCarthy era. No one's career is threatened by the charge that they are too far to the left or even Islamist, nobody is afraid that they will be suddenly interrogated before a congressional committee for their political convictions, etc.

Glenn, you have command of some of the facts, but you seem locked into one particular frame of mind as to how to perceive them. Consider shifting the frame around a bit, and you may discover a perspective that fits reality better, although it may not match your preconceptions.

Maybe, just maybe, such fellows can escape from the prism of a First Amendment prison to perceive that George W. Bush has been doing pretty much the right thing, in the right way, and in the right cause.

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