Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bush-Blair press conference

I'm suffering a bit of incredulity burnout here, but I'll try to blog this a bit. Digby has a post on it. Taylor Marsh mentions it here and here. Think Progress has video of some of it. I guess the the wackiest thing in the transcript that digby posts is this:
For example, you know, the notion of democracy beginning to emerge scares the ideologues, the totalitarians, those who want to impose their vision. It just frightens them.

And so they respond. They've always been violent.

You know, I hear this amazing kind of editorial thought that says, all of a sudden, Hezbollah's become violent because we're promoting democracy. They have been violent for a long period of time. Or Hamas?

One reason why the Palestinians still suffer is because there are militants who refuse to accept a Palestinian state based upon democratic principles.
[emphasis added] Uh, last time I checked "those militants" (Hamas) won the Palestinian elections. I think for Bush, "democracy" means "being like us". He just can't imagine a democratically elected government hostile to Israel or the United States. So he gets really confused when the democratically elected governments (Hamas, Iraq) are unfriendly to Israel. He doesn't understand that the more democratic the Middle East becomes, the more unfriendly it will be to Israel and the United States, at least in the intermediate term. It's going to take an enormous amount of bridge-building before "people power" in much of the Middle East is pro-US. And of course right now, bridges are being blown up rather than built.

I have to echo Sullivan's dismay here, even though I don't share his hawkish stance:
But he is so out of his depth - rhetorically, strategically, politically, intellectually - that it is hard to have much confidence in his leadership. This is one reason why I couldn't endorse him for a second term. He is an incompetent. He is too incompetent to lead the West at this time. He is simply without the skills to navigate the very treacherous waters we are all now in. He is being outmaneuvered at every turn by wily enemies who are becoming more dangerous and emboldened by the day.

Bush, in a word, is overwhelmed. He has no idea what to do except return to the catechism of freedom versus terror, like an ideological security blanket. Of course that it what this is about. The trouble is: freedom is being defended by the incompetent and the clueless. In Bush's blank, bewildered eyes, you see the image of someone who is finally beginning to see reality. And it's something with which he simply cannot cope. Our enemies, moreover, see the weakness in the president and they are ruthlessly exploiting it. And we have more than two years left to survive.


Anonymous Sarah said...

I think that is the crux of the problem with "middle east democracy" - those who support exporting democracy (by force if necessary) seem to assume that the governments there will be Western style democracies - but Western style democracies evolved out of Western culture, affluence, etc etc - not out of a vacuum. Even though Bush is too incompetent to see this, why are all his cronies equally imcompetent? Well, I guess some of them are competent, but when they raise concerns about Bush's master plan, they are quickly ousted...yeah, I don't know how we (or the rest of the world) can survive another two years.

10:08 PM, July 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Expanding on what Sarah said, I think it's important to remember that the wiz kids who brought us the Greatest Strategic Disaster in American History got "democracy" egregiously wrong in two ways. First, of course, clowns like Bush and Rice and Wolfowitz and Perle -- to the extent they weren't lying through their teeth -- apparently never considered that in most of the world, the Will o' the People doesn't quite line up with "informed" opinion in Chevy Chase and Bethesda.

But even that fundamental stupidity pales compared to their misreading of "democracy" in their own country. They would never have got their Iraq project off the ground if they'd been honest or candid about the costs and benefits. So they chose the easy route -- smearing sceptics, lowballing, dissembling. Consequently, they guaranteed that the project would never get the resources it really needed, never get the breadth and depth of support to see it through inevitable setbacks.

This latest Bush ejaculation only confirms what most of us have long known: The clown isn't worth listening to, in the same way that trained parrots aren't. And given their track record, I'm astonished that anyone pays attention to a single syllable from the neo-cons or their mouthpieces -- Smilin' Billy Kristol, Chuckie "Strangelove" Krauthammer, Davey Brooks. Irony of ironies, the last guy to demonstrate strategic imbecility at the neo-cons' scale was old Saddam himself!
-- sglover

5:58 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Thanks for your post sglover. It is interesting how little getting Iraq TOTALLY WRONG seems to count. From the fact that Rumsfeld still has his job to the fact that people still pay attention to neocon pundits, the consequences for screwing up seem very low. Interestingly, the first person to lose a job over Iraq may be Joe Lieberman.

8:13 AM, August 06, 2006  

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