August 20, 2006

Well, do we call these grownup Repubs or just weasels who were afraid to speak out before?

Pundits Renounce The President: "For 10 minutes, the talk show host grilled his guests about whether 'George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad.' For 10 minutes, the caption across the bottom of the television screen read, 'IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?' (you can watch that segment here)"

And George Will seesm to have made it his mission in life to take on the neocons. In this column (with a great title: The Triumph of Unrealism) Will both castigates the neocons and notes that John Kerry was right when he suggested that law enforcement would be a better tool against terrorism than the military.

Shocking, but the White House still disagrees. Their hubris is pretty amazing, considering that the death toll in Iraq continues to climb and the Mideast is less stable than it was when "Bring it on" Bush was elected.

Speaking of that, we watched Kathleen Madigan's standup dvd the other night. I think she is funny. Anyway, she said that John Kerry lost the election in 04 because he lacked any personality. He should have just picked one, she said. "After all, George Bush picked Yosemite Sam and people can't get enough of it."

And finally, we heard two stories on NPR this morning during our coffee run that caused us to wait in the car. The first was a great interview with PF Sloan, who wrote "Eve of Destruction" when he was somewhere around 19.

The second was a very insightful interview with Atlantic Monthly's James Fallows about his new article on how to fight terror. He suggests we declare victory in the "war" on terror and go about fighting it with law enforcement and intelligence. (Intelligence would be a nice place to start.)

But his bigger point was that we have been largely effective in harming Al Qaeda's abilities, with one notable exception. That exception? The war in Iraq essentially accomplished exactly what Bin Laden hoped 9-11 would do. As Fallows argues, the goal of terrorism is not to kill people necessarily, but to force governments to react in a way that is ultimately self-destructive. Hard to find a better example of that than our own government's response to 9-11. Israel, he suggests, has also fallen prey to that, reacting to a very real provocation with a policy that have long term negatives for Israel more than they do for Hezbollah.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

a couple of comments:

Bush is disposable now that he doesn't serve an immediate (electoral) purpose and many people are starting to push Bush to the back as they make room for the next great leader that will save America from the evil. I doubt they will go so far as to vote or support a Democrat. Its one thing for Kerry to have been right, its another altogether for them to toss aside a winning strategy of making the Democrats look like weaklings on defense.

States like the US and Isreal think they only have one advantage in this conflict, their superior military force and technology. To admit that billions of dollars in weapons are ineffective for security is to admit our own impotence. So we feel forced in trying to make this about war/force. There's too much money involved to have our government admit that we're spending billions making tools that no longer fit the job.

We have other resources that we can use: diplomatic, cultural, financial and law enforcement/technology. But we are locked into old patterns of behavior that feed right into the terrorists goals. We're predictable.