Sunday, August 17, 2008
Setting The Table For Armageddon
Where do they get these crazy ideas?
Arab world sees Bush's response to Georgia-Russia crisis as hypocritical
The U.S. president should be 'too ashamed to speak about the occupation of any country, he is already occupying one,' one observer says.
President Bush's condemnation of Russia as a bullying intimidator in the Georgian conflict struck a hypocritical note in a Middle East that has endured violent reverberations from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and where the sharp White House rhetoric against Moscow echoes what many Arabs feel in turn about the U.S.
Many in the region are angered by what they see as the president's swaggering style and frequent veiled threats of military force. His administration has been accused of alienating Muslims and instigating turmoil in a misguided war on terrorism.
At this point the single most important hallmark of American conservatism is hypocrisy. This, after all, is the man who stole an election and then invaded a country that had not threatened us in the name of spreadin' democracy. You just can't get any more hypocritical than that. (Well, actually you can --- how about using febrile rhetoric about torture and "rape rooms" while operating his own torture regime and concentration camp. The list could go on.)
Meanwhile, little pitchers have big ears:
Georgia, Russia took a path of belligerence and bluster
Russia supported separatists and distrusted Georgian leader Saakashvili, whose mocking attitude and head-long rush to embrace the U.S. made matters worse.
These last few years have done grave harm, in more ways than we can imagine right now, to global stability. The US went out of its way to upend the delicate post war agreement against wars of aggression with this misbegotten Bush Doctrine of preventive war. It was an error of epic proportions. And it exposed something very ugly about us at the moment when we had the chance to transcend our own past sins and become an evolved, modern superpower devoted to international law and cooperation. Instead we proved ourselves to be no more responsible or mature than any other third rate empire with a chance to kick ass and prove its strength through brute violence.
This was a post partisan choice. The Democrats did not, as a whole, choose to fight this impulse. Most of them probably didn't want to. But there are degrees of aggressive, blustery, belligerant hypocrisy and there is nobody who exemplifies it more than John Mccain, who makes even Bush look calm and deliberate by contrast.
This article should scare anyone with half a conscience right down to his or her marrow:
Response to 9/11 Offers Outline of a McCain Doctrine
Senator John McCain arrived late at his Senate office on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. “This is war,” he murmured to his aides. The sound of scrambling fighter planes rattled the windows, sending a tremor of panic through the room.
Within hours, Mr. McCain, the Vietnam War hero and famed straight talker of the 2000 Republican primary, had taken on a new role: the leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan. In a marathon of television and radio appearances, Mr. McCain recited a short list of other countries said to support terrorism, invariably including Iraq, Iran and Syria.
“There is a system out there or network, and that network is going to have to be attacked,” Mr. McCain said the next morning on ABC News. “It isn’t just Afghanistan,” he added, on MSNBC. “I don’t think if you got bin Laden tomorrow that the threat has disappeared,” he said on CBS, pointing toward other countries in the Middle East.
Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is the first country,” he declared on CNN. By Jan. 2, Mr. McCain was on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, yelling to a crowd of sailors and airmen: “Next up, Baghdad!”
Now, as Mr. McCain prepares to accept the Republican presidential nomination, his response to the attacks of Sept. 11 opens a window onto how he might approach the gravest responsibilities of a potential commander in chief. Like many, he immediately recalibrated his assessment of the unseen risks to America’s security. But he also began to suggest that he saw a new “opportunity” to deter other potential foes by punishing not only Al Qaeda but also Iraq.
“Just as Sept. 11 revolutionized our resolve to defeat our enemies, so has it brought into focus the opportunities we now have to secure and expand our freedom,” Mr. McCain told a NATO conference in Munich in early 2002, urging the Europeans to join what he portrayed as an all but certain assault on Saddam Hussein. “A better world is already emerging from the rubble.”
Frankly, I find that scarier than Dick Cheney, who I don't think actually believes (or cares) about a "better world" just one that's safe for multinational corporations. Bush is a vacant child who parrots talking points that make him feel like a man. McCain actually believes this drivel:
To his admirers, Mr. McCain’s tough response to Sept. 11 is at the heart of his appeal. They argue that he displayed the same decisiveness again last week in his swift calls to penalize Russia for its incursion into Georgia, in part by sending peacekeepers to police its border.
His critics charge that the emotion of Sept. 11 overwhelmed his former cool-eyed caution about deploying American troops without a clear national interest and a well-defined exit, turning him into a tool of the Bush administration in its push for a war to transform the region.
“He has the personality of a fighter pilot: when somebody stings you, you want to strike out,” said retired Gen. John H. Johns, a former friend and supporter of Mr. McCain who turned against him over the Iraq war. “Just like the American people, his reaction was: show me somebody to hit.”
Whether through ideology or instinct, though, Mr. McCain began making his case for invading Iraq to the public more than six months before the White House began to do the same. He drew on principles he learned growing up in a military family and on conclusions he formed as a prisoner in North Vietnam. He also returned to a conviction about “the common identity” of dangerous autocracies as far-flung as Serbia and North Korea that he had developed consulting with hawkish foreign policy thinkers to help sharpen the themes of his 2000 presidential campaign.
Just what we need. A president whose first reaction is: "show me somebody to hit".
I remember writing a long time ago that John McCain is the man George W. Bush was pretending to be, right down to the flight suit. The Real Thing is actually far more dangerous than the cheap imitation. If he wins this thing, we could find ourselves in a very, very serious crisis, of both economic stability and national security ---- and very likely of our government itself. This man is unstable.
The funny thing is that I don't think the Big Money Boyz expect the Republicans to win this election so they didn't think there was much danger in putting Buck Turgidson on the ballot. You can't help but wonder if they are having some second thoughts about allowing for even that slim possibility.
digby 8/17/2008 11:15:00 AM