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June 28, 2006

"When will we return to normalcy?"

Sometimes in the course of an attack on Bush a phrase slips out that is most revealing. From the letters to the editor of the New York Times this morning, on the subject of the Times's disclosure of the secret SWIFT program involving terrorist bank records:

To the Editor:

Re "Bush Condemns Report on Sifting of Bank Records" (front page, June 27):

President Bush calls the conduct of The New York Times and other newspapers "disgraceful" for revealing a secret program to track terrorists.

I say it is the conduct of his administration that is disgraceful.

What started out as a war against a specific enemy — Al Qaeda — has evolved into an unwinnable war against invisible, nameless enemies.

This war is now a political tool, one that the Republicans have used to pit Americans against their fellow Americans.

The information being collected (phone records and bank records) — how will we ever know that it is being used for legitimate purposes?

Some people say the snooping is all right, frightened of the specter of terrorists. I'm tired of the promotion of fear and the prying into our private lives.

When will we return to normalcy?

Homer Thiel
Tucson, June 27, 2006
The link is here, but there is no blog-safe link that will last more than a week. [UPDATE: Thanks to Soccer Dad in the comments, here's a link that shouldn't expire.]

To Thiel, this is a fake, political war against nameless and faceless enemies. BDS? Check! What's revealing is that he's desperate to have this war go away. Why can't things be normal again? Why can't it be September 10 again?

And from the longing for "normalcy" (a Warren G. Harding neologism, ironically) he concludes that we must act as if the threat were not there.

To me, this explains so much about the anti-Bush left. The desire for "normalcy" is a totally human motivation, but grownups have to overcome their futile longings to cope with the real world. Bush has done that. The left has absolutely not.