Voice of the People: al Qaeda’s Victory

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by James J. Devine

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have delivered al Qaeda just about all it sought when it launched its murderous attack.  We have bankrupted much of our economy, inspired worldwide hatred by recklessly using our military and greatly curtailed freedom in the name of ‘security’ without actually making ourselves any safer.

Nine years ago, this nation was at peace and widespread economic prosperity loomed well into the foreseeable future.  The federal budget was generating surpluses, which could have gone to reduce the national debt that exploded from $1 trillion to $9 trillion during the Reagan-Bush era.

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Then, we threw rational thought out the window and ran wild with panic in response to a single outrageous act of violence.

The stock market tanked almost immediately, but the economy remained largely on sound footing. Rather than pursue a quick recovery, President George W. Bush gave tax breaks to billionaires.

Casualties from the terrorist attacks numbered at a fraction of those caused by drunk driving in a year. America’s security forces were able to identify the culprits almost immediately.

The United States could have dusted itself off and brought the perpetrators to justice but our leaders in Washington D.C. decided not to do that.  They invaded Afghanistan instead of inserting a surgical strike force to take out our enemies, and of course, blundered into the Iraq debacle.

Parts of the Constitution were shredded by FISA revisions and the PATRIOT Act as well as by illegal spying on citizens and the privatization of military, intelligence and police services.

To compensate for incessant spending on war, the Bush Republicans deregulated Wall Street and allowed an artificial economic boom to lure millions of families into unaffordable subprime mortgages.   When things caught up with us, the economic hangover made our post-9/11 recession look like a picnic.

In less than a decade, the world’s only superpower has become a shipwreck.

Osama bin Laden, who is presumably still alive somewhere, must be very pleased that America reacted on gut instinct instead of allowing cool minds to address the crisis with integrity and common sense.

As we head into the 2010 midterm congressional elections, the question is whether we will let our hearts again run away from our heads.

Empty Republican rhetoric over the ground zero mosque, immigration, gay marriage and a multitude of other non-issues is not intended to solve any of your problems.

These rantings are intended only to get you to act without thinking. Without thinking, America could put the Republicans back in charge.

For those of us not paralyzed by fear or deranged with emotion, it is scary to imagine a GOP Congress because we cannot embrace ridiculous ideas like “President Obama is Muslim who was born in Kenya.”

We, who have not lost our minds, are stuck here contemplating the result of a mindless electorate reacting to imaginary problems, and it is enough to drive us insane.

Still, so plagued by insanity, I intend to vote Democratic on November 2, 2010, because while I may be crazy, I am not stupid.


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