Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, March 10, 2003  

Good God, have you seen the headlines today? Zoinks!

From the Times: "Stocks Fall on War Fears," "Russia Says It Will Vote Against U.S.-Backed Resolution on Iraq," "North Korea Fires Antiship Missile in Test Launch." The Post: "Iran's Nuclear Program Speeds Ahead, U.S. Says," "Soaring Gasoline Costs Hurting Routines." And in the international press, from the Guardian: "Iranian-backed militia moves into northern Iraq,"[Iraqi] Refugee crisis threatens."

Outside of the White House's inner circle, does anyone still think this war is a good idea? Whatever benefits might have come when the hypothetical war was proposed last fall have mostly been lost in the most impressive display of anti-diplomacy, lies, threats, and generalized stupidity coming from Washington. Tom Friedman, long one of the most robust supporters of the war, is looking on in horror:

"The problem that Mr. Bush is having with the legitimate critics of this war stems from his consistent exaggeration on this point. When Mr. Bush takes a war of choice and turns it into a war of necessity, people naturally ask, 'Hey, what's going on here? We're being hustled. The real reason must be his father, or oil, or some right-wing ideology.'"


Mr. Bush growls that the world is demanding that America play "Captain, May I" when it comes to Iraq — and he's not going to ask anybody's permission. But with Iraq, the relevant question is not "Captain, May I?" It's "Captain, Can I?" — can I do it right without allies? No.

Things have gotten out of control. Right now, some people have their reading glasses on, so when they see headlines like today's, it's easy to dismiss them as unrelated to the Great Bush Bumble. But every day someone like Friedman stops to take a bigger look at things and starts seeing the connections. Iran scrambling to build nukes, North Korea testing missles and revving up their own nukes, gas prices skyrocketing, markets across the globe plunging--all of these result from demented American foreign policy of the past year. I have a bad feeling things are only going to get worse.

[Update: You should always read Atrios before blogging. He found a story from the Times of London that has identified yet another person who's starting to feel queasy about the Iraq Debacle: George HW Bush.

"The first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity.

"Drawing on his own experiences before and after the 1991 Gulf War, Mr Bush Sr said that the brief flowering of hope for Arab-Israeli relations a decade ago would never have happened if America had ignored the will of the United Nations.

"He also urged the President to resist his tendency to bear grudges, advising his son to bridge the rift between the United States, France and Germany.

'You’ve got to reach out to the other person. You’ve got to convince them that long-term friendship should trump short-term adversity,' he said."]


posted by Jeff | 12:06 PM |
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