Neoconservative "Dean Scream"?
As for the "healthy" repercussions that the Weekly Standard is so eager to experience from yet another war: One envies that publication's powers of prophecy but wishes it had exercised them on the nation's behalf before all of the surprises -- all of them unpleasant -- that Iraq has inflicted. And regarding the "appeasement" that the Weekly Standard decries: Does the magazine really wish the administration had heeded its earlier (Dec. 20, 2004) editorial advocating war with yet another nation -- the bombing of Syria?Andrew Sullivan sees a civil war between conservatives (“maybe invading countries is a difficult and tricky enterprise”) and neoconservatives (“We’re going to Afghanistan! We’re going to Iraq! We’re going to Syria!! We’re going to Lebanon!! We’re going to Iran!!! We’re going to Saudi Arabia!!! We’re going to Jordan!!!! We’re going to Pakistan!!!!! YEEAAAARRRGGHGH!!!!!!”)
Neoconservatives have much to learn, even from Buddy Bell, manager of the Kansas City Royals. After his team lost its 10th consecutive game in April, Bell said, "I never say it can't get worse." In their next game, the Royals extended their losing streak to 11 and in May lost 13 in a row.
Sullivan sees this George Will column as opening a new front against the neoconservatives. (He points out a few “rhetorical hand grenades”, too.) I’m doubtful that this conservative sniping will have much effect on the Bush administration’s actions, but it’s welcome nonetheless. If only to bolster my own hope that reality has some kind of foothold on the other side of the aisle. How many people have to shout at the Bush administration before it is capable of hearing? (Sounds like a line from “Blowin’ in the Wind”.)
All this blather about “World War III or World War IV?” (Stephen Colbert does a great take) is crazy. It’s rhetoric is designed to get us involved: if it’s a World War, whose side are we on? Israel’s, of course, we’re supposed to think. My view is that it’s a second-rate regional spat and we should stay out of it to the extent that we can. There’s a hideous convergence of interests here between the Neocons (who, despite Iraq, want to use this violence as an excuse to invade more countries) and the Rapture Ready crowd (who want the conflict to expand because they think it will trigger their ascension into heaven). That these two factions wield enormous influence in today’s American political scene does little to bolster my faith in humanity. Their partnered insanity is likely to carry the Republican Party, and thus our government and country over a cliff if sane people don’t start speaking up now. And if that means I have to march in the streets shoulder to shoulder with George F. Will of all people, then so be it.
As an aside, isn’t it somewhat blasphemous to think that human actions could sway God’s choice of time for the Rapture? As if God were some sort of dumb countdown mechanism that you could manipulate like a school kid tricking teacher into thinking class is over by setting the clock ahead. “If we blow up Damascus now, we can trick God into having the Rapture early! Let’s do it!” I’m an atheist, so maybe this isn’t for me to say, but I always thought Christians had a somewhat grander vision of their deity. (But if, as Dobson says, liberal judges are more powerful than God, perhaps fooling God is not so difficult after all.)