Not the least of the ironies in the current debate on homeland security is that many of the same people who oppose the war in Iraq also oppose renewal of the Patriot Act and other domestic counterterrorist tools. That is, they are as opposed to going on offense in the war on terror as they are against playing defense. But the war on terror is not a game the U.S. can opt out of. There is a great deal that can be done to improve homeland security--and to improve the department that bears that name. But it won't count for much if we aren't clear about the choices we face.We have noticed that many on the left oppose a vigorous offense and defense because they don’t believe a major Islamic terrorist threat actually exists. While they concede some terrorist attacks have occurred, they believe President Bush has used these attacks as an excuse to use military force and counterterrorism programs for personal gain. The logic and proof for this line of reasoning is never presented, although unsubstantiated conspiracy theories abound.
Many in this camp also believe the Bush administration’s budgets have resulted in actual spending reductions for social welfare programs - from health care to education. The fact that every year the federal government has spent more and plans to spend more than the previous year on every social welfare category is not acknowledged by these folks. Spending less than theoretically possible is considered proof a spending cut has occurred.
Without consensus on basic facts is it really even possible to have intelligent debate about foreign or domestic policies with the left?