The Airing of Grievances
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Living In The Bizarro World
"This will be a long, hard struggle. There will be setbacks along the way. But just as no enemy could drive us from the fight to meet our challenges and protect our values in World War II and the Cold War, we will not be driven from the tough fight against terrorism today. Terrorism is the enemy of our generation, and we must prevail .... But I want to make it clear to the American people that while we can defeat terrorists, it will be a long time before we defeat terrorism. America will remain a target because we are uniquely present in the world, because we act to advance peace and democracy, because we have taken a tougher stand against terrorism, and because we are the most open society on earth. But to change any of that, to pull our troops back from the world's trouble spots, to turn our backs on those taking risks for peace, to weaken our opposition against terrorism, to curtail the freedom that is our birthright would be to give terrorism the victory it must not and will not have."
- Bill Clinton, George Washington University, April 1996
"And yes these new threats also require us to pay attention to other means of delivery besides missiles. We need to worry about the suitcase bomb, the car bomb and the vial of sarin released in the subway. That is why last year the federal government spent about $11 billion on counter-terrorism efforts, about twice as much as we did on missile defense. That is why we're working closely with friends, allies, and the broader international community on counterterrorism initiatives.
"And that is why in May the president appointed Vice President Cheney to oversee a coordinated national effort to better protect the U.S. homeland against a terror attack using WMD. But why not missile defenses as well?
"Why put deadbolt locks on your doors and stock up on cans of mace and then decide to leave your windows open? At the end of the day, do we really want to choose a course of action that gambles with America's security by choosing not to explore the additional measure of security that limited missile defenses could provide?"
- Condoleezza Rice, excerpts from a speech that was to be given September 11, 2001
That $11 billion that Dr. Rice mentioned? Guess whose administration increased the counter-terrorism budget to that amount, from $5.7 billion. And, I'd be willing to bet that we don't have as much in the way of "friends, allies, and the broader international community" to back us up today.