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Double Double Standard Standard?

Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2007 6:21 PM

So we come once again to an obvious question: if our fight in Iraq is this generational conflict, this all-or-nothing battle between freedom and terrorism, and it's clear that people have their doubts �

� why is it not important enough to engage in an all-night debate? The Republicans will filibuster it, but won't discuss it?

And showing that his values are superior in every way to Bill Clinton's, Sen. David Vitter � he who was named in the D.C. Madam's little black book ��is chalking it up to his political enemies. He's done nothing wrong, and his wife has forgiven him.

That's well and good, but if you're going to push for one standard for a sitting president, then not only prove yourself a hypocrite by committing adultery and declining to step down from office, you're just as bad. (Not to mention that you first came to Congress to replace a man who resigned amid disclosures of marital indiscretions.)

Speaking of double standards, it appears President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's jail time is in direct opposition to his Administration's push for maximum minimum sentencing.

The latest National Intelligence Estimate labels al-Qaeda a significant threat, and warns that the country is in danger of domestic attacks.

White House Spokesperson Tony Snow, amidst his 'surge of facts,' says that critics are, "� engaged in a little selective hearing � to shape the story in their own political ways."

Takes one to know one, eh, Tony?

That al-Qaeda is reconstituting itself, that it has an avowed desire to bring harm to the United States, that we are fighting a battle measured in time and resources � none of this is in dispute.

What I want to know is why, nearly six years after 9/11, we remain at such apparent risk here at home. It's not enough to hinge our defense on the ridiculous premise of 'if we fight them there, we don't have to fight them here.' Defense in depth ��the bulwark of sports teams everywhere ��remains an elusive concept to the White House.

And if al-Qaeda is yet again the threat, how does this stack up with the on-again, off-again relationship that we've had with the group? We failed to finish the job and maintain pursuit of Osama bin Laden after dropping a bomb on Tora Bora, because somehow, pursuing Saddam's make-believe WMDs was more important. But we are now being told that none other than Osama himself (along with BFF Ayman al-Zawahiri) is mucking around in Pakistan and rebuilding al-Qaeda and its Taliban support structure.

Iraq, in the meantime, remains a sea of turmoil, with no measurable progress apart from seating a parliament that is highly factionalized, takes two-month vacations, and has a Shiite voting block that can walk out and stalemate anything on the table.

And now President Bush wants to hold a Middle East Peace Summit, primarily to settle the Israel/Palestine question.

How anyone can believe America as an honest broker is beyond me. We'll sell bombs to Israel for a month-long campaign. We've got politicians who are deathly afraid of Muslims in the halls of government. We've got others who think it would be a good idea to bomb Iran. And we have citizens who think anything other than a Christian invocation is an 'abomination.'

I wouldn't trust George W. Bush to make a deal on a used car, let alone the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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