Fareed Zakaria Says that It Is Time to Stop Bashing Bush
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Fareed Zakaria Says that the Next Generation of Republicans Is Worse than Bush

Fareed Zakaria says that Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani and company are worse than George W. Bush:

More troubling than any of Bush's rhetoric is that of the Republicans who wish to succeed him. "They hate you!" says Rudy Giuliani in his new role as fearmonger in chief, relentlessly reminding audiences of all the nasty people out there. "They don't want you to be in this college!" he recently warned an audience at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. "Or you, or you, or you," he said, reportedly jabbing his finger at students. In the first Republican debate he warned, "We are facing an enemy that is planning all over this world, and it turns out planning inside our country, to come here and kill us." On the campaign trail, Giuliani plays a man exasperated by the inability of Americans to see the danger staring them in the face. "This is reality, ma'am," he told a startled woman at Oglethorpe. "You've got to clear your head."

The notion that the United States today is in grave danger of sitting back and going on the defensive is bizarre. In the last five and a half years, with bipartisan support, Washington has invaded two countries and sent troops around the world.... It has ramped up defense spending by... more than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, India and Britain. It has created a Department of Homeland Security that now spends more than $40 billion a year. It has set up secret prisons in Europe and a legal black hole in Guantánamo.... How would Giuliani really go on the offensive? Invade a couple of more countries?

The presidential campaign... on the Republican side, it has turned into an exercise in chest-thumping. Whipping up hysteria requires magnifying the foe. The enemy is vast, global and relentless. Giuliani casually lumps together Iran and Al Qaeda. Mitt Romney goes further, banding together all the supposed bad guys. "This is about Shia and Sunni. This is about Hizbullah and Hamas and Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood," he recently declared. But Iran is a Shiite power and actually helped the United States topple the Qaeda-backed Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Qaeda-affiliated radical Sunnis are currently slaughtering Shiites in Iraq, and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are responding by executing and displacing Iraq's Sunnis. We are repeating one of the central errors of the early cold war--putting together all our potential adversaries rather than dividing them. Mao and Stalin were both nasty. But they were nasties who disliked one another, a fact that could be exploited to the great benefit of the free world...

Fareed Zakaria says that Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani and company are playing into the hands of Osama bin Laden:

To miss this is not strength. It's stupidity. Such overreactions are precisely what Osama bin Laden has been hoping for. In a videotaped message in 2004, bin Laden explained his strategy with astonishing frankness. He termed it "provoke and bait": "All we have to do is send two mujahedin ... [and] raise a piece of cloth on which is written 'Al Qaeda' in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses." His point has been well understood by ragtag terror groups across the world. With no apparent communication, collaboration or further guidance from bin Laden, small outfits from Southeast Asia to North Africa to Europe now announce that they are part of Al Qaeda, and so inflate their own importance, bring global attention to their cause and—of course—get America to come racing out to fight them...

In fact, Fareed Zakaria says that Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani and company are cynically trying to outdo each other in stupidity--that they know that they are sacrificing the national security in the hopes of improving their chances of becoming president:

The competition to be the tough guy is producing new policy ideas, all right—ones that range from bad to insane. Romney, who bills himself as the smart, worldly manager, recently explained that while "some people have said we ought to close Guantánamo, my view is we ought to double [the size of] Guantánamo." In fact, Romney should recognize that Guantánamo does not face space constraints. The reason that President Bush wants to close it down--and it is he who has expressed that desire--is that it is an unworkable legal mess with enormous strategic, political and moral costs.

In a real war you hold prisoners of war until the end of hostilities. When does that happen in the war on terror? Does Romney propose that the United States keep an ever-growing population of suspects in jail indefinitely without trials as part of a new American system of justice? In 2005 Romney said, "How about people who are in settings--mosques, for instance--that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror? Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping?"

This proposal is mild compared with what Rep. Tom Tancredo suggested the same year. When asked about a possible nuclear strike by Islamic radicals on the United States, he suggested that the U.S. military threaten to "take out" Mecca.

I think it's clearly time for all patriotic Americans to join in one common task: to shut down the Republican Party. It's liability and a danger we can no longer afford.