The Truth, no joke
I usually shy away from the common Blogland habit of saying that this or that blog post or newspaper column is a "must-read" - but Brian Leiter's fisking of Bush's speech from last week truly should be required reading:
The central delusion that has gripped the American right since 9/11 ... is the idea that every terrorist incident is related to every other one, that the grievances of Chechen separatists have something to do with the grievances of Palestinian suicide bombers which have something to do with Sunni resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq which has something to do with the murderous delusions of religious fundamentalists actually beholden to Osama bin Laden. But these events have almost nothing to do with each other (as we have had occasion to remark previously), except that they serve the propaganda purposes of a decadent and amoral empire. One really can't repeat this often enough: there is no "war on terror," not only because you can't wage war on a technique, but because there is no single agent of terrorism motivated by a unitary set of concerns. The whole "war on terror" is a fraud, and anyone who speaks of such a fake war should be laughed out of serious society. If America had not lost its collective mind after 9/11, there would now be only an international criminal manhunt for bin Laden and other perpetrators of crimes against civilians in New York and London and Madrid (etc.).Read the rest. It is the unvarnished, politically incorrect truth, and it would be nice if we could collectively be done with the fairy tales and have an honest discussion about what is actually going on in the world today.
...It is true that some of the "extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East," but obviously not because the U.S. has supported "democracy and peace" in the region (I assume this was supposed to be a laugh line) ...
...There is no doubt that there are hundreds of millions of people around the globe--most, to be sure, under the age of seven--who entertain fantasies of unlimited power over all their adversaries, from their parents to their neighbors to their distant enemies: part of grown-up leadership is to assess which of these fantasies of power are actually realistic.
[Bush:] "The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century. "
Indeed, it does: it provides, as the communist threat did in an earlier era, a rationalization for foolish and dangerous domestic and foreign policies; an endless distraction from the self-serving agenda of plutocratic elites at home; and a rhetorical trope for a failed leader, whose personal and political corruption would have turned him out of office long ago in a functional democratic society.
(Cross-posted at Liberal Street Fighter.)