The Bush ads and 9/11

The Bush ads and 9/11
: I’ve taken a day to post my view of Bush’s use of 9/11 images in his campaign ads because I had to grapple with it.

On the one hand, the idea of exploiting those images is frightening to me — because the images themselves still frighten me; they bring back sorrow and terror every time I see them.

But on the other hand, I believe it is vital that we remember the horror of that day and act on it.

If we forget what happened or shove those memories into a PC closet we’re not supposed to open, then that is dangerous.

And if we do not admit that we are at war because of 9/11, then that, too, is dangerous.

So I believe that the war on terror must be a campaign issue. I want to see both candidates (but especially Kerry) pushed hard on what their continuing response will be to the attacks on us and the need to protect us. I fear that Kerry was so used to responding to Dean’s attacks, representing a minority of the electorate, that he will go soft on terror. And that, is dangerous.

So, in the end, I think it is necessary to frankly, even bluntly, include the war on terrorism and terror’s attack on America in the presidential campaign. I won’t criticize the use of the images in the ads. Obviously, care needs to be taken not to exploit them and the suffering behind them. But it’s more important that we make sure our government works hard to make sure that suffering does not come to our streets again.

: Matthew Yglesias and Kevin Drum can’t get worked up over this either.