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A democracy needs to reflect on its actions

Ted Vincent Berkeley
Wednesday November 28, 2001



Barbara Lee and our City Council majority are accused of being unpatriotic. Isn’t desire to protect one’s nation patriotic? Isn’t it protective of the United States system of political democracy to urge our government to exercise restraint in the face of attack by violent fanatics?  

When under attack a democracy that does not pause to reflect can self-destruct. In a rage its leaders could echo the barbarism they oppose, as Rumsfeld did in his comment on Kunduz that all but endorsed execution of prisoners.  

In desperation, governmental form could mirror the tyranny opposed, as in the Bush decree invoking that key prop of dictatorships, military courts that are outside the standard criminal justice system.  

Let us be thankful that Congresswoman Lee and our City Council majority raised questions about the direction taken in our war on terrorism.  

Lee did not oppose the war, she merely questioned the wisdom of granting the president a blank check to conduct the war. The Council did not oppose the war, it merely suggested that the quicker the bombing ended the quicker all involved can get down to answering difficult political questions.  

Lee and the Council majority are threatened and called names, primarily because they interrupt the Afgan blood sport with a reminder to the public that it is at just such times that principles of justice must be scrupulously upheld.  


Ted Vincent