Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Thursday, June 17, 2004


Anti-Americanism & its Consequences

Just when I was ready to concentrate on something productive -- I ran across something too good not to pass on: this piece, in Salon, adapted from a speech to U.S. Intelligence analysts. A few quick excerpts (emphasis added):

On the risk of re-electing George W. Bush:
Even now, however, America's critics continue to distinguish between the U.S. administration, which they fear and despise, and the American people, with whom they feel sympathy.

But the pictures from Abu Ghraib prison may have finally changed that. If the American electorate, knowing what it knows and, above all, having seen what it has seen, proceeds to reelect George W. Bush in November, the moderating distinction between the American administration and the American people will be eroded or perhaps erased -- with what violent consequences no one can predict.
On the practical consequences:
But, aside from the U.K., [The EU allies] will give the U.S. none of the substantial help it needs in Iraq. They would presumably be willing to contribute to a U.N. and NATO operation, so long as the U.S. reduced its visibility and relinquished command and control. But short of such a dramatic volte-face by Bush, the Europeans are not about to ride to the rescue.

So here we can register a genuine and serious injury to U.S. national security that is directly traceable to popular anti-Americanism. It is largely a self-inflicted wound, the result of the Bush administration's contemptuous treatment of America's European allies.
On the need for new leadership:
Some European commentators have said that there are few doctrinal differences, in foreign policy, between Kerry and Bush. But they quickly add that removing Bush from office in November will still make a decisive difference to international security, including the global struggle against terrorism. The need to correct grievous errors alone speaks for the importance of putting a new foreign policy team into the White House, a group that has no incentive to conceal embarrassing blunders or to continue failed policies.
Now get back to work....

[UPDATE: When you're done reading the article, read what Digby has to say about it: "The real argument is that a vote for Bush is to validate his failed policies and convince the rest of the world that we truly are nation of dangerous fools. This will not increase our safety, I'm afraid. In fact, nothing could help the terrorists more than to put this rogue administration back in office."]


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