Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The end of ideology?

Deertown Times links to this revealing BBC news story: Iran's gulf of misunderstanding with US.
In the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, there were some tentative steps.

In Iran, vast crowds turned out on the streets and held candlelit vigils for the victims. Sixty-thousand spectators respected a minute's silence at Tehran's football stadium.

Some of Iran's leaders also sensed an opportunity. America quickly fixed its sights on the Taleban in Afghanistan with whom the Iranians had nearly come to war just three years earlier.

With a common enemy in the Taleban, the two found grounds to co-operate.
After the Afghan war, US negotiators worked closely with Iranian counterparts to form a new Afghan government.

Some of the talks between US and Iranian officials moved beyond Afghanistan and there was hope that it could lead to tentative re-engagement and eventually a restoration of relations.

But back in their respective capitals, there were voices of dissent.

Debates in Washington and Tehran paralleled each other. Hardliners and moderates clashed about whether it was worth talking to the other side and whether it could ever be trusted.

The article succinctly tells how the Bush Administration missed opportunities to alleviate tensions with Iran by erecting a hard line stance of confrontation rather than at least attempting to negotiate US/Iran differences based on shared interests.

I suspect if the Bush Administration has an ideology it is a simplistic ideology of using escalating military action as the solution to all conflicts at the expense of all other solutions. This strategy gives the lie to their espousal of spreading freedom and democracy around the world. It makes the concepts of freedom and democracy meaningless. This strategy of large-scale military conflict is not an ideology in itself.

Despite the pronouncements of the Bush Administration that we are fighting a new kind of war, they persist in fighting this new war using old strategies and tactics that do not apply in what is a postmodern world political order. We have a group of people who cannot move beyond Cold War thinking: use large military interventions when they perceive an opponent is militarily weak, and use brinksmanship when they perceive an opponent is militarily strong.

The Bush Administration claims Saddam Hussein could have eventually produced weapons of mass destruction. Now, very conveniently, this claim supports the US invasion of Iraq. This is supposed to be the rope that ties bin Laden and Hussein together. Well, anybody with enough smarts and cash can produce weapons of mass destruction. Instead of concentrating resources on those who have announced they are actively seeking WMD, the US has focused on bogeymen, Saddam Hussein being the most notable example.

The Bush Administration pursues a strategy against terrorism that clothes itself as an ideology, yet the strategy they pursue negates any claim to ideology. When “kill all the suspects” is the ideology, we are at end to ideology, or at the door of totalitarianism. That is a harsh thing to say. The Bush Administration is, in many ways, the unwitting victims of their own strategies. However, continuing revelations as to what transpired within the Bush Administration between 9/11 and today has made many former allies skeptical of Bush Administration claims and competency. The Bush Administration brought this state of affairs on their own heads. The days of sympathizing with their mistaken policies are at an end for most of the people living on the planet.

The Bush Administration does not know how to protect the US from terrorists nor does it know how to nurture nascent freedom and democracy movements. To do either requires an ideology and they have no ideology of which to speak except a strategy of outdated militarism.


At 11:53 AM, Blogger -epm said...

I think the ideology of the Bush administration is that of a religious zealot. Bush simply believes he is God's special servant on earth. The Moses of our time. It's not so much that he seeks to understand the will of God, it's that he's convinced that he IS the will of God.

He is a Crusader. He is a divinely empowerd being. He is above all Earthly law.

I really believe this.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Lynn said...

epm -

There is certainly evidence from his speeches that his religious beliefs play a part in his foreign policy decisions. Revelations from Administration insiders do not contradict the opinion.


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