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07-11-05, 05:24 AM
HARMAN-izing With the Left on Terrorism
Written by Vincent Fiore
Monday, July 11, 2005

As the sun was setting upon Britain after a day that saw some 50 dead and 700-plus wounded from a terrorist attack, those all-too familiar voices of liberal dissidence welled up to be heard.

California Congresswoman Jane Harman, (D) who is the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released a statement during the aftermath of the London terrorist attacks. Harman, who also sits on the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, said of the attacks:

“The attacks in London today are deplorable and demonstrate that we continue to live in an era of terror. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. This tragic day is a huge wake up call that terrorist networks are alive and well. Preventing terrorist attacks is tough business. It's impossible to get it right 100% of the time. The terrorists have to be right only once.”

Well enough, as the above statement parrots what responsible leaders--like President Bush and Prime Minister Blair--have been saying since this war began. But Harman could not be content with those sympathetic yet cogent words. She then proceeded to remind the listener that the war on terrorism for the Democratic leadership is in reality a political issue for them to use upon the current administration:

“But the notion that we are fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them in our cities is clearly false.”


In the past, Congresswoman Harman has been a fairly stable and reliable voice regarding terrorism and the need to defeat it. The above statement does not reflect the thoughtfulness that we expect of the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Rather, it is the words of a power-starved politico, part of the malady that has swept through the Democratic Party since, some would say, when they lost the House of Representatives in 1994.

Representative Harman knows very well that “fighting terrorist in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them in our cities” is only part of a broad and far-reaching war plan. Iraq is unequivocally the front line for the war against terrorism. Bush has stated many times that he will bring the fight to the enemy, wherever they are.

Jane Harman has instead engaged in a little on-the-spot policy-making, insisting that the president’s policy was one-dimensional in its scope--fighting terrorist in Iraq--without regard to all the other measures the United States has taken to fight terrorism. It is precisely these measures, and the war in Iraq, that has prevented a repeat of 9/11.

Across the “Great Pond” of the Atlantic Ocean, some 3,700 miles northeast of Washington, Britain exhibits to the world the “stiff upper lip” that saw it through the blitzkrieg of World War II, and countless IRA bombings. Still, there are some like British MP George Galloway, who harmonized perfectly with Congresswoman Harman’s opinion.

Galloway, whose claim to fame is his profiteering off the United Nations-run oil-for-food program by dealing directly with Saddam Hussein, is also vituperatively anti-war. Like Harman, Galloway started out with the right words, saying: “Let there be no equivocation: the primary responsibility for the bloodshed this morning lies with those who carried out the acts.”


Enter, then, the power-starved politico. He said that Londoners had “paid the price” for Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iraq war and other actions had created a “whole army of people out there that want to harm us. It would be utterly crass to ... separate these acts from the political backdrop against which they took place.”

As members of the G8 summit stood shoulder to shoulder while Tony Blair told the terrorist, and the world, that Britain will stay the course, you could count the remaining world leaders on one hand who will also stay the course.

Indeed. A brave front was on display for the benefit of the cameras from the Chiracs and Schroders at the G8. But once out of the camera’s lens, will “Old Europe” continue to retreat into its policy of pacifist disengagement—a policy that has only become more pronounced since the end of World War II?

The anti-war liberals throughout Europe and America have much in common. Perhaps the most un-redeeming and dangerous quality amongst them all is their complete willingness to say and do things that terrorist view as supportive. We have seen how terrorist use the very words of elected officials to lend credence to the atrocities they commit.

Whether it is America’s 9/11 or Britain’s 7/7, terrorism remains the planet’s greatest threat. In 2004, Spain had its taste of terrorism on 3/11, which killed over 190 and injured more than 1,500. Soon after, Spain decided to roll meekly into the appeasing embrace of the European nations that is sitting this war out. Because of this, one can argue that whoever bombed London was emboldened by the reaction of Spain. But I for one do not expect the British to follow suit.

One can also argue why American and European liberals continue their shallow and dangerous rhetoric, and their misuse of the power they do have.

What one may not argue is the spirit that grips the American and British people that answers the question of why we fight terrorism. Regardless of the Harmans and Galloways that populate our countries and seek to fight their own governments instead of the terrorist, the rest of us fight because we know we must.

About the Writer: Vincent Fiore is a freelance writer who resides in New York City. Vincent receives e-mail at Anwar004@aol.com.