The article on Bruce Tytler's announcement speech in this morning's Post-Standard leaves a lot of questions buzzing through my brain. Tytler is quoted as saying that he opposes "illegally spying on American citizens," but supports the "war on terrorism."
Good for Tytler for taking a clear stand on the illegal programs of the Bush Administration to spy against Americans. Every Democrat in the race but Leon Koziol has now taken that stand.
What does Bruce Tytler mean, though, when he says that he supports the "war on terrorism"?
I'd like to see the candidates in this race avoid using terms like the "war on terrorism", because they're very poorly defined. Just what is this "war on terrorism" anyway? I've never seen its parameters defined by the Bush Administration. The amorphous "war on terror" includes the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, secret military missions all over the world in places we'll never know about, imprisonment of American citizens without charge, spying against American anti-war activists, duct tape and plastic sheeting, and cuts to education funding to pay for Star Wars missile defense systems. The "war on terror" includes preemptive strikes, secret prisons, and torture of prisoners, along with expensive Homeland Security defenses in Wyoming.
When Bruce Tytler says that he supports the "war on terrorism", I really don't know what he's about. Does he support the whole package, or just parts of it?
Iraq and Afghanistan are not part of the same war. Domestic surveillance is not the same issue as Abu Ghraib. Lumping them all together into a single "war" only benefits the Republican strategists who are counting on the instinct people have to huddle together when they feel under threat. A successful Democratic campaign for Congress will have to reject the vague language of Republican propaganda and start talking specifics.