Every single time there's a report of a terrorist attack, real or foiled (any place except Iraq, of course, which we'll get to later), the right-wing fanatosphere gets all up in a tizzy, cumulatively--and quite on cue--jumping up and down screaming something whose main message seems to be something like:
SEE? SEE? TERRORISM IS SERIOUS! THERE'S A WAR ON! DON'T YOU GET IT YET? THE SKY IS FALLING!
I submit as just the latest in what has become a very panicked parade of handwringing the piece from the RedState frontpage about the carbombs in the United Kingdom over the weekend.
Please allow me one short reply:
Yes, we read the news too. And contrary to what you think, it proves OUR point.
See, the meme constantly conveyed by Republicans to America through their media empire is that Democrats are just blind to the harsh realities of terrorism, or that we don't understand the threat that terrorism poses--despite the fact, of course, that the urban centers of population most likely to be hit by terrorists all vote in overwhelming numbers for Democrats, which should tell you something.
Regardless, every single time there's an attack on the West, or a threat of an attack--even if it's from seven homeless martial artists in Jamaica--we're subjected to how we dont understand the harsh realities of terrorism. And to this day, I'm not sure whether the perpetrators of this frame actually believe that we don't understand terrorism, or whether they just use that as a form of political opportunism.
I'm inclined toward the latter view. See, for this administration, terrorism serves as an argument for voting Republican no matter whether attacks happen or whether they don't. If there hasn't been an attack, it's because the Republicans have been keeping us safe. If there are foiled attacks, it's proof that we need Republicans in power because they understand how to keep us safe. And, of course, if there are more successful attacks, that'll just make us appreciate the sincere efforts of those who tried to keep us safe. (Because we all need a few more 9/11s to really appreciate Bush, remember?)
There's no accountability--just like Iraq, where if violence is down, it's proof that Bush's policy is succeeding, but if violence is up, it proves that the attackers are desperate, which is in turn proof that the policy is succeeding. Just like Iraq, the Republican framing on terrorism is designed to eliminate any scenarios that could be used as proof of a failure of policy. And we can't let them get away with it.
Because like I said above, the fact that terror attacks are happening--especially homegrown terror attacks like what Great Britain has been seeing--is, in fact, proof of the fact that
The rise of homegrown terrorism proves that winning the battle of ideas is just as important as winning the battles with boots on the ground.
The rise of homegrown terrorism inspired by Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda proves that maybe--just maybe--we should have gone after them instead of starting a bloody civil war by conducting a botched occupation of what was a repressive and cruel, though secular, Arab dictatorship.
The stories of how these attacks were foiled proves that torture and blanket surveillance of American citizens (i.e., making the haystack you're trying to find the needle in even bigger) really doesn't hold a candle to the proven-effective methods of disciplined inter-agency cooperation, targeted surveillance, citizen awareness, and blind luck.
In short, my dear, right-wingers: Here on the left, we "get" terrorism. And one of the things we get is that you don't get it at all.