Praying For A Terrorist Strike:, The GOP's Newest Political Strategy
Jul 11 2007, 01:47 PM
Group: Valued Member
Joined: 23-October 06
Member No.: 145
How to explains these people's character? What drives them?
Praying for a Terrorist Strike:
The GOP's Newest Political Strategy
William Norman Grigg
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum made the grand crusade against “Islamic fascism” the central focus of his unsuccessful 2006 re-election effort.
On numerous occasions the preening Keystone State solon – who couldn't glance at a mirror without seeing Churchill's bulldog demeanor glowering back at him – insisted that it was the “destiny” of “this generation” to fight an apocalyptic war against radical Islam. Unlike his more equivocal comrades in the Republican branch of the War Party, Santorum made it clear that his preferred “exit strategy” for Iraq would be to invade (or at least bomb) Iran.
After long acquaintance with, and scrutiny of, Mr. Santorum, Pennsylvania's voters decided he was more Church Lady than Churchill,* and gave him a chance to pursue new opportunities in the private sector. So Santorum delivered a suitably melodramatic farewell address and retreated into a comfortable sinecure as a Washington lobbyist.
Despair not for Rick Santorum during that bleak season when he, like Churchill before him, toils in the exile into which he was cast by an ungrateful electorate. He has never abandoned the hope that the American public will come to embrace the wisdom of a generational war. It's just that Santorum has now invested that hope in the murderous intentions of the Islamic fanatics he has warned about. To put the matter bluntly, Santorum is obviously hoping, and perhaps even praying, for Americans to die at the hands of Jihadists.
How else are rational people supposed to understand the following remarks offered by Santorum during a July 7 interview on Hugh Hewitt's syndicated radio program:
“[C]onfronting Iran in the Middle East as an absolute linchpin for our success in that region.... And while it may not be a popular thing to talk about right now, and I know public sentiment is against it [namely, the war in Iraq and expanding the conflict to Iran] ... between now and November, a lot of things are going to happen, and I believe that by this time next year, the American public’s going to have a very different view of this war, and it will be because, I think, of some unfortunate events, that like we’re seeing unfold in the UK. But I think the American public’s going to have a very different view....”
As others have pointed out, Santorum is not the only prominent Republican figure to predict that wayward Americans, having allowed themselves to doubt the divine insight of the Dear Leader, will soon be smitten by the chastening hand of history.
Just weeks ago, Arkansas Republican chairman Dennis Milligan, who describes himself as “150 percent” behind Bush and his Iraq war, said in an on-the-record interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: “At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country.”
Both of those abhorrent comments are riffs on a familiar Rovian theme: Vote Republican and support the Dear Leader, or die. Speaking of Rove: In the current issue of American Spectator conservative actor and economist Ben Stein, a long-time war supporter who now considers the Iraq venture to be “an unmitigated disaster,” describes a recent dinner at Rove's house with GOP adviser Aram Bakshian. Both Rove and Bakshian were “very upbeat about the GOP and the war,” which to minds as cynical as my own suggests that something Santorum would consider usefully “unfortunate” may soon transpire.
People like Santorum and Milligan (and Dana Rohrabacher, the stupidest consequential public figure not named Bush or Hannity) ache for disaster. They pant after it with vulgar, undisguised lust. They are tremulous with unconsummated desire for validation in the form of dead Americans and ruined cities.
Revolting and vile as this is, it is not unique. In fact, these repellent people are firmly and squarely in the interventionist tradition of American politics, in which cheerfully anticipating the death of Americans has a long and venerable history.
Writing in Foreign Affairs a dozen years ago (excerpt), the late Establishment historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote that “it is to Joseph Stalin that Americans owe the 40-year suppression of the isolationist impulse.”
Stalin's regime slaughtered scores of millions, helped precipitate the Second World War, and (thanks to the connivance of Washington) acquired thermonuclear weapons capable of incinerating much of the world – but at least he wasn't an isolationist. Stalin and his successors were immeasurably useful allies for the American Power Elite against their common enemy – Americans and others who wanted to cultivate their own gardens and live in freedom and peace.
In 1947, Senator Arthur Vandenberg described Washington's foreign policy at the beginning of the Cold War as that of “scaring hell out of the American people.” In the same year, Senator Robert Taft, who yielded to nobody in his detestation for Communism and other forms of collectivism, described himself as being “more than a bit tired of having the Russian menace invoked as a reason for doing any – and everything that might or might not be desirable or necessary on its own merits.”
By 1950, American public sentiment was fiercely anti-Communist and just as passionately opposed to the interventionist foreign policy “consensus.” It was at that moment of crisis, recalled former Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1954, that the Korean war “came along and saved us.”
Saving the plans of Acheson and his comrades cost the lives of more than 50,000 Americans in a war that has never formally been brought to an end.
Interventionists have always known that Americans aren't naturally inclined to go abroad in search of monsters to destroy, unless the monsters in question kill a suitably large number of Americans. That's why FDR, Dean Acheson, and people of that ilk offered a prayer of gratitude for Josef Stalin six decades ago, and why the likes of Rick Santorum are praying for Jihadists to strike today.
*I do not want to leave the impression that Churchill himself was an entirely commendable figure.
Jul 11 2007, 04:22 PM
Group: Valued Member
Joined: 23-October 06
Member No.: 145
Do you suppose that those that may have once blindly supported Bush even knowing he did 911 now realize that it wasn't going to end there and now their collective guilty as*es are trying to put a halt to the next 911 and nuking of Iran?
GOP senators call for Iraq change now
y ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Several Republican senators told President Bush's top national security aide privately Wednesday that they did not want Bush to wait until September to change course in Iraq.
The meeting that lawmakers had with national security adviser Stephen Hadley came as GOP Sens. Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel announced they would back Democratic legislation ordering combat to end next spring.
Republican support for the war has steadily eroded in recent weeks as the White House prepared an interim progress report that found that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has made little progress in meeting major targets of reform.
Of the GOP lawmakers who say the U.S. should reduce its military role in Iraq, nearly all are up for re-election in 2008.
"I'm hopeful they (the White House) change their minds," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.
Domenici and at least five other Republicans support a bill by Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., that would adopt as U.S. policy the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group Report.
The bipartisan panel, led by Republican James A. Baker III and Democrat Lee Hamilton, said the U.S. should hand off the combat mission to the Iraqis, bolster diplomatic efforts in the region and pave the way for a drawdown of troops by spring 2008.
Domenici, who is expected to face voters next year, said he and other co-sponsors told Hadley the president shouldn't wait until September to adopt the bipartisan policy.
"The only difference of opinion at the moment is, the president wants to deal with the Baker-Hamilton recommendations in September," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., one of the first GOP co-sponsors.
"I think he should do that today because it develops a long-term strategy for what happens in the surge," added Alexander, who also is up for re-election. "It would put him and Congress on the same path, which is what we definitely need."
Members said Hadley did not indicate the White House would switch gears. Bush this week said he will not reconsider the military strategy in Iraq until Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander there, delivers his progress report in September.
"He was not in a position to do anything other than say 'I hear you,' " Domenici said of Hadley.
Other Republicans at the meeting did not call for immediate change, but offered tepid support for the current policy.
Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota said he was seriously considering Salazar's legislation and remained gravely concerned about the lack of progress in Iraq.
"I'm still in the same place, and I don't think there were any hearts or minds changed in there," Coleman said upon leaving the meeting.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who also attended the meeting, is expected to call for a change in Iraq policy after Bush releases on Thursday that interim report on Baghdad's political progress.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a staunch supporter of Bush's Iraq policies, said he and many others would stick behind Bush. But "obviously everyone was concerned, and we're trying to figure out what the answer is," he said.
GOP support has become crucial as the Senate opened debate on a $649 billion defense policy bill.
The Senate on Wednesday voted against advancing a measure that would have restricted combat deployments by requiring that troops spend as much time at home as in battle. The 56-41 vote on the proposal by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., fell four votes short of the 60 needed to cut off debate.
The Senate is expected to vote next week on an amendment by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., that would order troop withdrawals to begin in 120 days and end all combat on April 30, 2008. The House plans to take up a similar measure on Thursday.
Levin's amendment is not expected to survive and Bush has vowed to veto it if it does. But in a signal of growing unease with the war, it has picked up at least one new vote from Snowe of Maine.
Snowe initially opposed setting a firm deadline, contending it would not make any sense to broadcast war plans to the enemy. But the senator, who is not up for re-election next year but faces a strong anti-war constituency, said she decided to switch her position because the situation has grown too dire.
"Frankly, given the fact that the Iraqi government isn't prepared to change its own political direction, we should be prepared to change course with respect to our strategy," Snowe told reporters Tuesday.
Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., also signed on as co-sponsors of the bill; both voted for a similar measure earlier this year.
Hadley's visit to Capitol Hill came as the White House finalized a 23-page progress report on Iraq that concludes the government in Baghdad has made little progress in meeting reform goals laid down by Bush and Congress.
The administration is likely to argue that some progress has been made in reducing the level of sectarian violence and militia control. Iraq also has established several, but not all, of the needed joint neighborhood security stations in Baghdad and has increased the number of capable Iraqi security units.
But the report also is expected to concede that several major goals have not been met, including agreement on new Iraqi laws to allocate oil and gas resources and revenue and to address amnesty for former Baath Party members. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the report will indicate whether there has been "progress at a satisfactory rate, or unsatisfactory rate, and in some cases, maybe mixed results on some of those benchmarks."
(This version CORRECTS to show that Sen. Olympia Snowe is not up for re-election as previously reported.)
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 23rd May 2013 - 01:41 PM|