Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Something catching my attention

Well, today I'm here at home sick with that nasty head cold my daughters have had for the better part of a week. While I feel like death on a plate I've been trying to do a bit of reading - not going so well needless to say.

Anyhoo, through the haze I stumbled on to the following, commenting on the character of the loyal opposition to the Bu$hCo regime:
How long will it take until we can return to the top-dog days when the rest of the world hewed, or at least made like it was hewing, to our every national whim?

For the following I'll probably stand accused of calumnious decontextualization, but frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn. For all the cry and bluster about the human toll of America's current war regime, the principle concern of the mainstream opponents of the George W. Bush foreign policy apparatus is that it has diminished American power. Whereas some of us--libertarians and far leftists principally--opposed the foreign meddling from the outset as immoral and illegal, the mainstays of the current opposition opposed it at first only because they felt that the specific public justifications were dishonest and later because it additionally didn't work. I remain entirely unconvinced that the majority of Democratic opposition to the war in Iraq would have either materialized or lasted long if Baghdad were less bloody today, even though, as Arthur points out to infinity and beyond, it was murder with the first death, a crime increasing only in magnitude as time went by.

The rationale is that American democracy remains the number-one model for free society, and we must lead, as they saying goes, by example. I ask you: given the current fruits of American democracy, and who can honestly argue that the current government is anything other than the native fruit of that thorny tree, how on earth do you propose that it would be valuable for the US to reacquire whatever influence it may have lost? Shall we turn every other country on to our example, so that a few centuries hence each and every nation on earth can be ruled by a blood-soaked moron who dreams the King James but doesn't understand a word because they all talk so fuckin' funny?
My emphasis added. The assumption of American Exceptionalism has a certain feel-good quality for a nation that has become addicted to boosting self-esteem at all costs. It would be wonderful to harbor the belief that the US is a gentle giant with good intentions that has temporarily lost its way, and will redeem itself once King George is deservedly given the heave-ho. If only that were true. There are too many victims of US economic and military power - past and present - who would beg to differ. Indeed, one of the dirty little secrets is that the US reputation had been sullied long before Bu$hCo. True, the current White House regime is especially noxious, and any mild check on the power the White House attempts to wield would be an improvement - but let's not fool ourselves. The projected Democrat majorities in the House and possibly Senate (if they come to pass - as efforts to thwart democracy at home in the form of gerrymandering and fraud are indeed arduous hurdles to clear) will perhaps take some of the edge off - a lame duck White House will I hope do less damage at home and abroad. But as long as the fundamental mentality that characterizes the elites of both parties remains the same, there will be no stomach for the fundamental changes in the way our government does business that the decades of state terrorism our rulers have perpetrated will come to an end once and for all.

In the mean time, perhaps we'll see a return to those more "humane" forms of genocide such as economic sanctions and such against our designated enemies du jour rather than the bomb 'em all and let God sort 'em out policy that has characterized six years of absolute GOP rule. As for habeas corpus rights, the unPatriot Act, illegal wiretapping etc., I won't exactly be holding my breath for any return of those civil rights and liberties that have been decimated this decade. As far as spreading our version of "democracy" to the rest of the world - God help any nation that catches our particular disease.

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