Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

George W. Bush was right

In his press conference yesterday, the Leader of the Free World said, "I understand that we're going to be in a long struggle against radicals and extremists." It's true -- the world does face what will probably be a long-term struggle against extremism, specifically religious extremism. However, Mr. Bush was wrong about everything else.

In the first place, he made this assertion as a rationale for increasing the size of the U.S. armed forces. As he went on to say, "[W]e must make sure that our military has the capability to stay in the fight for a long period of time. I'm not predicting any particular theater, but I am predicting that it's going to take a while for the ideology of liberty to finally triumph over the ideology of hate."

But the U.S. military has nothing to do with this struggle. Finding a "particular theater" where the U.S. can bomb and shoot more people is not going to further the triumph over the "ideology of hate," whatever that may be. Nor is "prevailing" in Iraq, over an enemy unnamed and undefined. Unfortunately, the Democrats in congress are also calling for an increase in the size of the armed forces, so that the U.S. can fight -- whom, exactly? Why? No-one seems to know.

Mr. Bush's second error is his implicit assumption that the enemy lurks abroad somewhere. In fact, in the generational struggle against religious extremism, Mr. Bush is on the wrong side. He is on the same side as Osama bin Laden, along with his friends James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, Anne Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Senator Brownback. Their vision of this struggle is that it's a question of which religious ideology prevails, fundamentalist Christianity, or fundamentalist Islam. In fact there is nothing to choose between them. The future of humanity depends on the final defeat of both of these "ideologies of hate."

Finally, he completely omits the essential truth of the War on Terror and the projection of U.S. military power into the Middle East. U.S. elites would not care one whit whether the people of the Middle East were Salafists, Christians, or Flying Spaghetti Monsterians; nor whether the Middle East was governed by a new Caliphate or 6 million individual hippie communes, but for one small matter that Mr. Bush scarcely ever mentions: that stinky black goo under the sand. And muslim "radicals" do not care one whit about our "freedom" and would in fact have no reason to be hostile to the United States at all if the United States did not fill their lands with soldiers for the purpose of controlling that toxic sludge.

That's what's going on in the world. Please, please, let us not increase the size of the U.S. military. John Kerry, shut up.

No comments: