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No one should look forward to terrorism

The Carpetbagger Report | July 12, 2007

About a month ago, Dennis Milligan, the chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, sounded pretty excited about the prospect of domestic terrorism. “At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,” Milligan said.

Yesterday, Rick Santorum echoed a similar sentiment on Hugh Hewitt's radio show.

Santorum went on to clearly imply that terror attacks will occur inside America which will alter the body politic and lead to a reversal of the anti-war sentiment now dominating the country.

“Between now and November, a lot of things are going to happen, and I believe that by this time next year, the American public's going to have a very different view of this war, and it will be because, I think, of some unfortunate events, that like we're seeing unfold in the UK. But I think the American public's going to have a very different view,” said the former senator from Pennsylvania.

As Avedon put it, “Shouldn't it concern us that Republicans are constantly talking about how people will all wise up when the next terrorist attack at home comes? I mean, they really seem to be looking forward to it, and they take great delight in the thought that, by God, people will see things differently when it happens.”

Apparently. I simply cannot fathom such a twisted worldview. Americans will support Bush's Iraq policy if we experience another 9/11-style attack? We'll rally to a neocon vision of the world if thousands of innocents are slaughtered?

Does this make any sense at all?

Were it not for some very annoying server trouble today, I would get into this in more detail, but in the meantime, consider some insightful posts on the subject:

Yglasias:

[W]hile clearly on some level the conservative movement would like to make the country safer from terrorism, on another level everyone knows that mass fear of foreign threats to Americans' physical security are a boon to the conservative movement's fortune. On the one hand, this creates systematic incentives to overstate the extent and nature of the real threats facing America. On the other hand, it creates systematic incentives to ensure that such threats as do exist are never ameliorated. In particular, it gives everyone a very strong self-interest in not understanding the extent to which overreacting can be counterproductive since both the overreaction itself and the counterproductive blowback may serve the interests of the Republican Party.

Jon Swift (mocking the right-wing line):

Another terrorist attack, terrible as that would be, would not just reverse the war's bad poll numbers, it would also help the President…. But just any terrorist attack will not suffice. It's going to take a really big one. And a failed terrorist attack would be even worse than a successful one as Jonah Goldberg pointed out in reaction to the latest bombings in Great Britain. “Anyway, the irony is that from a policy standpoint, it seems to me that security officials have to view things like the failed London bombing as basically no different than a successful bombing,” he wrote on The Corner. “But because the bombing failed, the policy options to security officials are far narrower precisely because the bombing failed and therefore didn't rouse the sort of political reaction it might otherwise have.” So if we are going to have a terrorist attack, let's hope that it is a good one.

I don't believe that the right genuinely looks forward to domestic terrorism. That's crazy. I do believe, however, that conservatives, based on comments from Santorum, Milligan, and others, think Americans are misguided and confused about the threats facing the U.S. Death and destruction, they believe, will wake us up and get us back on track behind the president's vision of the world.

It's a dark and disturbing approach that I'll never be able to relate to.

"TerrorStorm is something that should be seen by everyone, no matter what their stance/affiliation/political bent. " - Rich Rosell, Digitally Obsessed UK
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