Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Radical Right is Angry at President Bush

The folks on the radical right are really angry at President Bush. The truce in Lebanon is seen as waving the white flag to Hezbollah and Iran. The irony delights me.

See Glenn Greewald's take on the situation, Bombing away terrorism, at Unclaimed Territory.
There is, at long last, a growing recognition that waging more wars does not make us stronger or more secure. It does exactly the opposite. Those who want to pursue our failed policy in Iraq indefinitely or who want to attack more countries -- in the process alienating the whole world even more and exacerbating the Islamic radicalism which even the President says is what causes terrorism -- are not people who are "strong on security." They are gradually, though inexorably, destroying our security through a mindless militarism which becomes more reckless and crazed the more it fails. And this bloodthirsty militarism becomes more desperate as the sense of weakness and humiliation felt by its proponents -- including those in the White House -- intensifies.

If George Will can come out and say that John Kerry was right about how best to approach terrorism and the Bush approach does nothing but increases it, then perhaps we can soon reach the point where national journalists will understand that there is nothing "strong" about wanting more and more wars, and nothing "weak" about opposing warmongering and advocating more substantive, rational and responsible methods for combating terrorism.

The Iraq War and subsequent occupation, and now Lebanon, has put paid to the notion that one can fight insurgent militias from the air. A military victory requires overwhelming ground support with many hundreds of thousands of troops for a decade, and even then the results are doubtful.

Yet we have the radical right still in a muddle about military actions to defeat a network that is not an army in any sense of the word.

As Greenwald ably points out, the radical right is now branding President Bush as weak and defeatist the same way they branded others who proposed other methods and necessities for fighting terrorism. Don't get me wrong, I believe President Bush is beyond weak and defeatist, but for radically different reasons.

Claiming one's opponent is irrational is risky business. Rationality lies too often in the eye of the beholder. However, the radical right's irrationality has done more to shift my political thinking radically leftwards than anything else. Their denial of evidence, logic, and distrust of science mixed with old time apocalyptic Biblical narratives about the end time leads me to suspect the rationality of their belief system.

One wonders how the war planners in the Administration feel about the efficacy of the tactics used in Lebanon to bomb and invade Iran. I am sure cooler heads in the military and intelligence communities see it not quite as handsome as originally proposed. The radical right has such a strangle hold on military and intelligence thinking one despairs of contrarian views seeing the light of day.

Meanwhile, I unapologetically grow more radicalized towards the left. If the radical right can turn on President Bush for his latest blunder in Lebanon, there is no hope for them ever coming to grips with reality.

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