Tuesday, June 29, 2004

As I read, watch news, and listen to the bile and hatred dumped on our current President by certain segments of our society I can’t help but feel at a loss to understand the obvious loathing, disgust and contempt that is being expressed in some camps. As another demagogue launches into a Moorian invective of hyperbolic denunciation, I wonder how anyone imagines any of this will sway anyone. Bush = Hitler? You have got to be kidding me! Is there any sense of perspective in political debate these days?

A very common meme that unifies the current anti-war movement is that the Bush Administration lied to get us to war. IF this hypothesis is correct then we must also assume the Clinton administration lied about the presence of WMD in Iraq in order to continue the disruptive Sanctions program in place. Did Bush et al lie? I don’t know but a simple application of Ockham’s Razor would imply that as opposed to ‘purposefully misrepresenting the truth to forward an agenda’ (aka a lie) our administration acted on what was almost universally agreed on intelligence. Clinton and Bush thought Iraq either had or was pursuing WMD. Saddam’s behavior clearly supported the presence of WMD hypothesis. After all, we have clear examples of co-operative nations disarming without any sort of fuss: Ukraine and South Africa for example. Given this data, plus Hussein’s known ties with terrorist organizations (how long was Abu Nidal a ‘guest’ in Baghdad? How many ‘Palestinian suicide bomber pay-outs’ did he make?). Was this data exaggerated? Misrepresented? Incomplete? Possibly. Maybe even probably. As I stated in Mariskova maybe Hussein was bluffing the whole time in an attempt to save ‘face’ on the Arab street. I don’t know if such a thing is knowable at this point. In any case, I cannot see how one could construe it as ‘lying’.

And on this whole Bush = Hitler thing. When The Patriot act inters 35 million American muslims then perhaps we could debate who was more Fascist, Bush or FDR.


I think one of the problems with our modern society is that we are so comfortable sipping our triple-shot latte’s in the air-conditioned theatre watching the latest Moorcumentary that we forget what totalitarianism really is like. What deprivation is like from the view of our tinted-windows out of our SUV. What struggle encompasses when the greatest scandal of the past decade is a President’s ability to get Oral sex.

But don’t take my word on it, because I’m just as far removed from these things as the rest of America. I’ll rely on Adam Michnik, who’s memory of such things is much more recent than ours.

I remember my nation's experience with totalitarian dictatorship. This is why I was able to draw the right conclusions from Sept. 11, 2001. Just as the murder of Giacomo Matteotti [leader of Italy's United Socialist Party] revealed the nature of Italian fascism and Mussolini's regime; just as the great Moscow trials showed the world the essence of the Stalinist system; just as "Kristallnacht" exposed the hidden truth of Hitler's Nazism, watching the collapsing World Trade Center towers made me realize that the world was facing a new totalitarian challenge. Violence, fanaticism, and lies were challenging democratic values.

That seems to me to be a reasonable perspective on the issues of the day. Hopefully the rest of us can learn from it.


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