Tuesday, April 11, 2006

God help us

by Barry Pump, DI columnist


Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh is reporting in Monday's New Yorker that President Bush and his cadre of warmongers in the White House and Pentagon are making plans to invade Iran if the Middle Eastern country continues to pursue a nuclear program that it maintains is peaceful (or, knowing Bush, probably even if it doesn't). Indeed, the war plans do not rule out the use of tactical nuclear missiles by U.S. forces. Outside of the obvious problems this causes, and the numerous good reasons there are to angrily denounce such a disastrous policy, what I find most interesting is the primary reason Bush is so eager to push the button.

In the article, a "government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon" said Bush was convinced that he should do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do" and "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy." Now, let's break this down.

First, the reason no Democrat or Republican in the future would have the "courage" to invade or nuke Iran is because of the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush created the current political situation that reduced the public's will for such a military action, just as I wrote in a Dec. 2 column. As I wrote then, "This increased burden of justification may be a victory for peace. But it is certainly a victory for vulnerability." Bush would undoubtedly see his approval rating drop into the low single digits if he carried out such a plan. A lame-duck Bush is dangerous, especially considering congressional Republicans are already trying to distance themselves from his legacy. He has nothing left to lose. And for Bush, the freedom from public opinion or negative personal/political consequences translates into "courage" to take out yet another sovereign nation, years away from posing a significant threat - if it ever will.

Second, and this is even more frightening, Bush has what one member of Congress called a "messianic vision." Bush honestly thinks that "saving Iran is going to be his legacy." He's going to be their savior. Illusions of grandeur aside, this is outrageously dangerous thinking, but it fits absolutely with the bizarre form of evangelical Christianity sweeping Republicans. These folks, Tom DeLay included, think they're going to turn America into a "God-centered nation" and infuse the rest of the world with its "values." This form of politics completely turns the framework of our liberal democracy on its head. Instead of being a government of mutually acceptable reasons, which then provide justifications for governmental actions - a government that thrives on the open and competitive marketplace of ideas - we've become a country with a divine mission, and all those who disagree need to get out of the way.

The United States is on a frightening path, but there can be hope, if the Democrats can get their act together. If the Democrats can wrangle control of the House and Senate away from the faltering, wacko-right of the Republican Party this November, then our democracy can start to return to its theoretical foundations. Bush's plans would be stopped in their tracks, and investigations would shine the cleansing light of day into an amazingly secretive and increasingly macabre administration hell-bent on a quixotic and medieval vision of religious world domination. This November, a vote for the Democratic Party is a vote for American democracy itself.

1 comment:

DeereDaddy said...

Why is this country so isolated with you on the left and those on the right? What ever happened to sensible discussion? Why the Bush hate talk? A Democrat would have made the same choice if he was a sensible person....maybe even Clinton but I doubt it. Someone like Biden would have.

Obviously, the US did not start this war and Iraq was simply an extension of the war on terrorism. What if Saddam actually DID have WMD and we had not done anything and it was used? Then what would you say? If we and the world had known, any reasonable person would say we should not be there. However, we are there and now we need to finish it. We should have had more troups, but who cares, mistakes happen in war...get over it! If we quit in any way, WWII is here and islamo-fascism will expand. Thank God for our young men and military leadership that are doing the job!