Now that Kerry has clinched the Democratic nomination, the Republican party is gearing up for the campaign. There are three new ads to remind people what a great guy George W. is - two of which include images from 9/11, which the Bush league had promised not to use for political gain.
According to Alternet, on a CBS morning show, "Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman told reporters that using images of Ground Zero was fair game because '9/11 was the defining moment of these times. Because of that day, America is at war and still is.'"
I'm not a fan of Bush (I know, the surprise is a little underwhelming), and I am not at all surprised that his campaign is exploiting the images of Ground Zero - but after watching the ads, I did wonder that no one has commented on the complete lack of Arab Americans in the ads. There are blacks, Asians, Latinos, whites (naturally), but not a single person of discernibly Middle Eastern heritage. Hmmm...
Anyway, as I said, I'm not surprised, or even particularly put off by the use of 9/11. After all, Mehlman is right; it was a defining moment in Bush's first term, and arguably the catalyst for the current war. It's certainly a more compelling argument for war than, say, going to war cuz Dad did first. Given the perceived American collective self-image as a country born on the battlefield, images of war are just part and parcel of any evocation of patriotism; as such, using images of the WTC devastation is no better or worse than relentlessly using the Star Spangled Banner in the ads (which they do, believe me).
On the other hand, if you promise that you're not going to do something, don't do it.