The more Al Gore opens his mouth, the more grateful Americans should be that he didn't win the presidency in 2000. Normally his rants sound like sour grapes and can be ignored, or relegated to the Jimmy Carter school of bitterness, but not lately.
Last Sunday, Gore spoke to the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia. He trashed his country on the soil of one of the most repressive regimes on earth - a monarchy that incubated 15 of the 19 hijackers who killed 3,000 of his fellow citizens on Sept. 11, 2001, and is the home country of Osama bin Laden.
If precedent held, Gore was paid a substantial fee for his remarks. It was money well spent for propagandists and jihadists, who will make frequent use of his comments on Al-Jazeera and other Arab media to keep the anti-American pot boiling.
Gore told his audience, many of whom have been educated at American universities, that after 9/11 Arabs in the United States were "indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."
According to several official investigations into 9/11, at least three of the hijackers overstayed their non-immigrant visas and/or claimed to be students but never registered for any classes. That such behavior might have properly interested immigration and law enforcement authorities apparently escaped the former vice president.
Gore also claimed there were "terrible abuses" of the detainees, but he failed to provide any examples, and media calls to his office produced none. Gore added that the Bush administration is playing into the hands of al-Qaida by routinely blocking visa applications from Saudis: "The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States."
Gore has completely embraced the far left's creed that Bush is at least as evil as the jihadists. That Gore has "lost it" is evident from his personal attacks on the president, whom he has called "the most dishonest president since Richard Nixon" and a man who "has brought deep dishonor to our country." Gore has called the president a "moral coward" and referred to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse as "the Bush Gulag." He has accused the administration of an alliance with "digital brownshirts," called the administration "simultaneously dishonest and incompetent," and said the president is "out of touch with reality."
Even allowing for excesses of political rhetoric, such comments are way over extreme.
Gore is not Michael Moore, or Jesse Jackson. He is a military veteran, a former member of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, a vice president and nearly president of the United States. His words carry weight, and they will be quoted in ways and in places that will bring harm to his country, which is bigger than any president or administration. Perhaps he needs to take an anger management class or sit on Dr. Phil's couch, where he could channel all of that negative energy into something positive.
In the meantime he should stop this purposeless and unwarranted criticism. What does he hope to accomplish by running down this administration? Bigger speaking fees? He got that. More notoriety? He got that, too, but it is tainted fame. Political office? About the only place he could get elected would be in Saudi Arabia, but they don't hold free elections, and if they did, he wouldn't get the women's vote because women can't vote or drive cars to any polls that might rise from the desert sand. What does the United States need to "understand" about such repression?
For Gore to make his anti-American remarks in Saudi Arabia is at least as bad as what Nazi sympathizers said in this country and abroad leading up to and during World War II.
One definition of "treason" is: Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies. (dictionary.com)
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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