Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Defending the War

This is...


It's from the NY Review of Books, that review of Podhoretz's scrawl, World War IV: Mein Long Struggle (no, wait...), and the things Podhoretz has said and actually expected people to believe, apparently, ai.

From the review:

....what is the strategy that makes the current war different from previous ones? Here the neoconservative analysis is on slightly firmer ground. Podhoretz points out that religious terrorism is less the result of poverty than of political oppression. As long as millions of Muslims are ruled by dictators, terrorism will grow apace. The neocon strategy, adopted by the US administration, is to "drain the swamps," to get rid of terrorism by democratizing the Middle East. That dictatorship breeds terrorism is certainly plausible. But "draining the swamps" doesn't work as well in practice as it might in theory. First of all, some of these swamps are US allies, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who have just been promised arms sales and military aid by the US government worth billions of dollars. And democracy is not always the best antidote against Islamism, since Islamist parties, such as Hamas, have a way of winning elections, partly because they are opposed to the US.

Some of the dictatorships, such as the Iranian regime, are themselves active sponsors of Islamist terrorism. But as the US has attempted to drain the swamp in Iraq, Iran has been greatly strengthened, while the Iraqi swamp is far from drained. Not only has the war unleashed a state of anarchy and civil war, but it has turned Iraq into a breeding place of revolutionary violence, and reduced much of the country to such a state of destitution that one third of the population needs emergency aid just to survive and over two million Iraqis have fled the country.[6]

And this:

...criticism of the Bush administration has indeed become more common as the war in Iraq has degenerated into bloody chaos. Much of Podhoretz's book reads like the heartfelt cry of a lonely man who feels increasingly abandoned by pretty much everyone. For not only are the hard left anti-Americans and the hard right isolationists undermining Bush's noble mission, but as Podhoretz describes it, the cause is opposed by conservative "realists," because they are coldhearted anti-idealists, by Democrats, because they are antiwar, and by "liberal internationalists," because they trust international institutions more than American power. Only George Bush and those unconditionally loyal to him are still on board. What's more, for Podhoretz they are the only source of truth.

It would be absurd to claim that those who doubt the efficacy of the Bush Doctrine fail to recognize the horrors of Saddam Hussein's regime, or the desire among Arabs and Muslims, no less than other people, to live prosperous lives free of tyranny. Equally nonsensical is the notion that only the supporters of Bush's war are serious about fighting Islamist terrorism. Or that anyone who sees merit in attempts by some European Muslims to rec-oncile their religious orthodoxy with Western democracy is a dupe who defends extremism, or a coward who has been intimidated by acts of terror. Yet these claims are being made in World War IV, as well as other places.

Here is how Podhoretz describes Bush's critics:

"...They seem to take it for granted that Arabs and/or Muslims are so different from most of their fellow human beings that they actually like being pushed around and repressed and beaten and killed by thugs, whether dressed in military uniforms or wearing clerical garb. For our part, we wonder whether Muslims really do prefer being poor and hungry and ill housed to enjoying the comforts and conven-iences that we in the West take so totally for granted...."

There is more -- all of it, I regret to say, familiar to me, as a reader* of such blogs as

World Views

Kim du Toit

Sistah Toldjah

Miss Ann


All of whom say whack shit like this all the time, with utter, utter seriousness. I think they just wear crazy hats, so, well, what can we expect?

*That's me! Reading the crazy right so you ain't have to!

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