The editorial page featured "highlights" of an interview the Pilot editorial board held with Drake earlier in the week.
U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake believes that perception is a big part of the reason some Americans have doubts about the wisdom of the war, she said.
Drake's perception is that perceptions are why Americans perceive the Iraq war was a bad idea and is going badly. Drake's perception is that Americans' perceptions are skewed because they don't see the reality she's seen. Drake's perception of the reality in Iraq is formed by the two trips she's taken to that country, the latest of which--made in April--lead her to perceive that "things are getting better."
In the spring, she didn't have to wear a flak jacket all the time; she could stay in Baghdad overnight.
Ah. She could take off her flack jacket while she had dinner and slept in the U.S. embassy. Yeah, that's a positive sign, all right.
The global battle against terrorism, at the moment, is quite simply a war for peace in Iraq, a war her constituents overwhelmingly support, Drake said. U.S. soldiers must continue to fight it, she said, to keep terrorists from attacking us in America.
"We're going to have to be there until we defeat this enemy," she said.
A war for peace? Land o' Goshen. How in the wide world of sports, arts and politics did Drake's GOP handlers come up with that piece of Orwellian absurdity?
Having followed Drake's short but colorful career in Congress, I have little doubt that she actually believes the "global battle on terrorism" is "quite simply" the war in Iraq, despite the fact that actual terrorism threats to America had, and still have, nothing to do with Iraq.
Yet, Drake insists that we're going to have to be in Iraq until we defeat "this enemy." The Pilot editorial staff apparently felt that pressing Drake to elaborate on whom exactly "this enemy" is would be a waste of time because she wouldn't have a clue how to answer.
Fortunately for the right, it has plenty of skilled spokespersons who can step right up and tell us exactly who the enemy is.
Columnist Cal Thomas is the right wing yahooligan who first used the phrase "Taliban Democrats" after Ted Lamont defeated Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary. And he was among the first conservative pundits to support young Mister Bush's use of the "Islamic fascist" line the day the British terrorist plot was revealed.
In his August 11 column "Time to go on offense," Thomas asks "…are we fighting the war aggressively on American and British soil, or are we merely playing defense? Defense, alone, does not win football games; neither can it win a war against islamofascism."
Thomas's idea of aggressively fighting the "war" is to call the "enemy" bad names, and he seems to think labeling people "Islamic Fascists" is the key to a winning strategy. The likes of Thomas have no patience for politically correct types who prefer not to assault the dignity of law-abiding citizens by grouping them in with violent criminals and insulting them with de-humanizing epithets. In other words, Thomas's idea of offensive counter-terror tactics is being, well, offensive.
Health officials respond to plagues by isolation and eradication. Their objective is not only to control the spread of a disease, but also to kill it so it won't infect others. If that is an effective method for combating a plague, why is it not also a good strategy for combating the islamofascist plague?
That's classic Thomas: stuffing an entire category of humanity into a convenient pigeonhole, reducing it to the status of a disease, and calling for its complete eradication. I don't know how that strikes you, but Thomas and his rhetoric remind me of the guy who called Jews a "cancer on the breast of Germany."
"Islamofascism" was a Rovewellian stroke designed to put a face on "terrorism," but all it really did was trade one ism for another. And the notion that the "war" on terror is taking place in Iraq right now is a fairy tale: believing it won't make it true.
What the struggle against terror needs is a lot less trash talk from fabulists like Thelma Drake and Cal Thomas and a lot more competent intelligence and police work like the Brits appear to have done.
If you caught Imus this morning, you probably witnessed Don's pal Bo Dietl condemning the entire Muslim religion, calling it a cancer that needed to be eliminated with chemotherapy.
What a lovely human being, that Dietl.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.