Originally Published: November 21, 2003 3 p.m.
I needed to respond to the pointed editorial addressing the "Democratic hypocrisy" that syndicated columnist Donald Lambro referred to in regard to the war in Iraq, which you published on your Oct. 17 editorial page.
Thank you in advance for accepting this letter focusing on the Democratic response on the subject. Perhaps I am an idealist, but I feel that the reading public appreciates responsible and fair journalism. Fair journalism demands that all the facts be presented. The reader will in fact subscribe to an alternative paper if one newspaper is used only as a propaganda tool for one political party.
The article asserted that the Democratic presidential candidates were hypocritical for initially supporting the war on Iraq and now during the campaign changing their position. May I suggest that hypocrisy is an easily recognizable trait reflecting back on one's own character flaw.
Let us examine some simple facts:
1. Fact. During the discourse on whether or not the United States had the right to make a preemptive strike on any enemy of our country, there were even some Republicans who objected to this doctrine – most notably Secretary of State Colin Powell.
2. Fact. The Iraq crisis was debated extensively and the Senate and House did not sign on carte blanche as the editorialist asserted.
3. Fact. The vote to authorize the president to go to war was based primarily on the intelligence gathered and presented to Congress, which was never shared with the American people.
4. Fact. The Democrats have repeatedly asked for investigations and disclosure to the American people but it has been thwarted time and time again by the president and the Republican leadership.
5. Fact. Any disagreement with this president will result in the critic being labeled unpatriotic and one who does not support the troops.
What seems to be at play here is a setting of fear and paranoia, a proven Reagan tactic resurrected by the Bush war hawks. We are at war with an insidious enemy who uses terrorist tactics and can I say that this enemy seems to be winning. I am no longer allowed to disagree with the president without fear of ending up on an anti-American black list (Patriot Act). Conservative commentators are no longer interested in presenting the facts but have instead become propagandists for the Radical Republican Right. Intelligence is no longer true intelligence but misrepresentations of facts to buttress a doctrine of preemption outlined by the war hawk extremists.
I am scared but not from the enemy outside my country's borders, but the enemy within.
Do yourself a favor; be responsible and get all the facts; come and visit the Democratic Headquarters at 508 Montezuma St. in Prescott.
The Rev. Daniel S. Brunner, Sr. is chairman of the Yavapai County Democratic Party.