George Bush's speech last night--in the edited form I saw it--was not a masterpiece of public speaking (the man can't even read a speech coherently), but for deluded logic it should win the Nobel Prize.
His thinking reminds me of the story about the guy flying into Jerusalem. The man in the seat next to him leans over with suspicion and asks Are you a Palestinian or a Jew? To which the traveller replies Neither. I'm a tourist.
Bush has established a premise in his mind--Axis of Evil, international tairism etc. etc.--and now, working backwards, is trying to squeeze a big awkward universe into it.
When he accuses us (who I note are being called "the Left" again--how lovely!), of having no plan to deal with the situation in Iraq, he is forgetting that we don't work from the same flawed premise.
Withdrawal will send an emboldening message to Iran?
So what? Who said we had a right to interfere with Iran in the first place? To be honest (and I may wind up in a British prison for saying it), I don't blame them for wanting nuclear weapons with an historical enemy like the U.S. amassing at their borders.( And they don't want to exterminate the state of Israel. That was just sabre rattling. Or bullshitting, as we would say in the bars.)
Islamic extremists will use oil as a bargaining tool?
Talk to some freaking Muslims, George. I have. They say the greatest recruiting tool for Islamic extremism (and let us not forget, there is a phenomenon called Christian extremism too)--the greatest recruiting tool is U.S. and British military aggression. If we had opted to talk with our friends and our enemies in the region and portrayed ourselves as reasonable men, diplomats rather than lunatics, one of the root causes of Islamic extremism--the perception, right or wrong, that the West oppresses Muslims wherever it finds them--would have been taken away.
But what do I know. I'm just a middle-aged poet, too soft around the middle to understand that war makes peace and peace makes war.
Democracy? as Allen Ginsberg once said. Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather boa!