Monday, November 06, 2006

The Whole World Is Watching

During WWI, when his Army commander said he intended to resume his bloody and disastrous assaults on the French fortress, Verdun, the German Chancellor asked the question “When does the incompetence end and the crime begin?” History will have to judge Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, et al, on when their Iraq disaster turned from incompetence to criminality. Much of the world believes the very enterprise itself qualified as the latter. To this point, they have blamed the Bush administration for the war, letting the American people have a pass. That pass ends November 7th.
Make no mistake, the world is watching this election as no midterm election in history. They see a U.S. government at odds with the world. At odds over the war, at odds over constant saber-rattling beyond Iraq, at odds over climate change, at odds over the nature of the world. While we are being fed horror stories about Iranian religious fundamentalists having nuclear weapons, to much of the world, they already fear a country led by religious fundamentalists in control of nuclear weapons – the U.S. They fear a nation run by a man who while giving lip service to the threat of global warming, is alone in a steadfast refusal to do anything about it. A nation led by a man who believes in torture as an instrument of war, in defiance of the Geneva Convention. When the most powerful nation on earth is led by such a man, truly the only reaction by other nations is fear.
Yet they have reserved their fear and hatred for Bush, not for the rest of us. They look at his election and reelection as a product of our convoluted system as much as any popularity he has here. They see the current polling data, both on the war and his performance, as the true indicator of how the American people feel. But if, on Election Day, the American people keep the President’s party in power, the rest of the world can reach only one conclusion: that we, the people, are endorsing Bush and his policies. It will not just be the administration they hate and fear, it will be all of us.
Make no mistake, a country that is feared and hated will not be trusted. They will consider us a threat to their safety. More and more countries will line up against us. Certainly our influence will diminish, as world leaders will be in a rush to demonstrate their independence from the rogue superpower. If you think Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, and, of course, France will not be there to take advantage of this situation you are greatly mistaken.
A vote for a Republican is a vote to support George W. Bush and all he stands for. Sending Republicans back to Washington will not be looked on by the world as the act of an incompetent electorate, but of a criminal one. Our future and the world’s future is at stake – the choice is yours.


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