The terrorists have adopted the pretense of an aggrieved party, claiming to speak for the powerless against modern imperialists. The fact is they're at war with practically every liberal ideal — and in their vision, everyone would be powerless except them.It's a line of argument that is much more sophisticated than the typical Bush line about an "enemy that can't stand the thought of somebody being able to live a peaceful life, a life of hope ..."
Their ideology rejects tolerance and denies freedom of conscience. They would condemn women to servitude, gays to death, minority religions to persecution. An ideology so violent, so hateful, can take hold only by force or intimidation, and so those who refuse to bow to the tyrants face brutalization or murder — and no person or group, not even fellow Muslims, is exempt.
And it's the kind of statement that I would hope all Americans — regardless of their ideology and regardless of whether they support a "surge" in Iraq — could agree with.
So who delivered this statement? Would you guess it was him?
Reading over the transcript, I also wondered if this was a first. Is this the first time someone from the Bush administration has publicly declared that one of the traits Americans should abhor in the al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist cells is their extreme hostility toward gay people?
Of course, this statement was uttered by the vice president more than a dozen time zones away.
Even so, I take my hat off to the person who drafted these words and to Cheney for speaking them. I still consider Cheney to be a repugnant human being, but he's slightly less of a repugnant human being at the moment.