Tuesday, April 22, 2003

At heart, the current Bush is a warrior for a region, a faction, a part of America. No national calamity has tempered his zeal for his factional agenda. His determination to reward the "investor class" (that is, still, the rich), to appoint socially reactionary judges, to favor his business cronies has not waned in wartime. His desire to make Americans reliant on the market, rather than social savings, has not been deterred by the worst decline in the markets since the Great Depression.

From a--well its too generous to call it an article--orgy of lies in the Bill Moyer's bankrolled American Prospect. Check this out:

In its overreliance on a small number of neo-friendly Iraqi expatriates to gauge the mood of the Iraqi people, in its belief that our forces would be greeted as liberators, the administration has made almost the identical error that the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations made at the Bay of Pigs. In each instance, ideology and hope were substituted for factual assessment; in each instance, the people have not risen to join U.S.-backed forces (in Cuba) or U.S. forces (in Iraq) to overthrow their tyrant. In Iraq the administration has underestimated the size and intensity of the forces committed to fighting for Saddam Hussein -- forgetting everything we have learned about the infrastructure of a modern totalitarian state. It has forgotten, too, the power of nationalism in human affairs, especially in postcolonial nations. And in proposing to subordinate postwar Iraq to direct Pentagon control, it has all but ensured that our liberation (in the administration's assessment) of Iraq will be viewed as a neocolonial occupation, by Iraqis and just about everybody else. In so doing, it has inflamed anti-American sentiment throughout the world, and in the Arab world particularly, for years if not decades to come. Finally, because this is explicitly a war of choice rather than necessity, and because we have chosen to fight over the popular opposition of virtually every other nation, we are naked before our enemies. As an already apprehensive Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has noted, we have likely created a hundred new Osama bin Ladens with this war.

I', bent over from gut-laughing already. Keep in mind that this is not a flaming Leftist rag, but a mainstream Liberal opinion journal. Do we need to look any further to understand why the Democrats are being crucified on the national security issue? They're quite obviously simply incompetant. Not to mention cowardly, stupid, and obviously completely divorced from reality itself. This paragraph literally gets everything wrong. Right down to using corrupted plutocrat Hosni Mubarak as its go-to guy for advice on fighting terror. Of course Hosni's apprehensive, democracy in the Middle East is what he's spent his whole life trying to prevent. Only someone utterly ignorant of history could take what he says on this subject seriously. This one, however, says it all:

The three presidents who sought to build a multilateral framework for international affairs were Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Wilson's plan was killed in its crib when Congress refused to ratify our entry into the League of Nations. Roosevelt's and Truman's contributions -- setting up a structure of international law, bringing prosperity and freedom to Western Europe, cementing alliances with other democracies, containing and eventually defeating Soviet communism -- are the enduring triumphs of U.S. foreign policy. Bush seems bent on destroying Roosevelt's and Truman's handiwork, however, and substituting a far more grandiose version of Polk's and McKinley's, in what is distinctly a postcolonial world. As with his assault on Roosevelt's New Deal order, he professes to replace an architecture that may be flawed but certainly isn't broken -- in this case, with an empire not likely to be backed up by the consent of the governed.

Are these people serious? Truman's architecture was set up fifty years ago, to deal with a conflict that has been over for a decade. We are living in a different world, that demands new ideas and new strategies. One in which the old alliances are not only entangling, but often downright dangerous. I hate to say it, because I think an viable opposition is an absolute necessity in a democracy, but all I can glean from this article is that mainstream Liberalism is teetering on the edge of the abyss. Obsessed with its past glories, utterly ignorant of the present, and depressingly unwilling even to admit that it needs to drastically realign itself to deal with a changed world. As a partisan I rejoice, as a patriot, I lament the passing of a once-great American ideology.


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