In the opening salvo of the debate, Congressman Paul Ryan has defined the killing of the U.S. Ambassador in Libya a “terrorist attack” and blamed our government (of which he was part) of being unprepared and under manned.
The real terrorist act is Ryan’s use of fear for political gain.
I’ll start with the very basic definition of terrorism:
The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
When it comes to killing people to move your political agenda to the forefront, there is a difference between terrorism and war- and that’s what seems to be lost in our current political debate.
When you storm an Embassy with superior forces and firepower- that’s war. When you do a judo move and leverage a small act into a major game-changer that’s terrorism. Terrorism is effective because its fallout is much bigger than its initial explosion. Four Americans can die violently every day in a major city in America- and it’s not a global issue. Four American troops can die in Afghanistan and we’re not calling for regime change in Washington. But, in the hands of the Republican party, the death of an Ambassador and 3 others- by a organized group that was better armed and organized- is now being called terrorism, because it helps the Republicans in their pursuit of their political aims.
We can’t call it an act of war by the Libyans (whom we just helped overthrow their government by enforcing a no fly zone- something we refuse to do in Syria because we’re really just after, as Paul Ryan said last night – “the interests of the American People” which was a code word for his supporters in the oil industry) because we’ve stopped declaring war legally and because the Libyan assault force wasn’t claimed by a government (of which one barely exists in Libya).
The secret to terrorism is to be able to multiply the force of a few to move your actions onto the world stage. Now, we have Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney redefining an act of war into terrorism- because it suits their agenda.
If the American people are stupid enough to buy into this, they will get the government they deserve. A government that thrives on fear as justification for all they do. Fear “Obamacare” fear “big government” and even fear social programs, because it’s really PBS that got us in the financial jam, not the fact that people like Mitt Romney have no problem paying 14% income tax while we send the poor people to be proxies in our war for oil and energy security in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya (when it suits us).
Biden is just as bad, lacking the spine to call for the people most able to afford to pay for the war, to do so. In World War II, everyone was eligible to go to war, and everyone was expected to help share the burden of paying for it. Freedom has a price and Ryan and Romney are unwilling to accept the bill.
Instead, they want to build a platform based on fear of terrorists, as justification for continuing to buy weapons the Pentagon doesn’t want and to win office by suggesting that our country is incapable of handling any threat, real or imaginary (Ryan’s suggestions that we would let Iran get a bomb is another example of using fear to further his position- as if we’d beat Israel to the punch on this one).
Terrorists work from a position of weakness to gain superiority by perception. The same can be said of Paul Ryan.
Think hard about this, there will be a test, this November 6.