Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly:
ISLAMOFASCISM....Spencer Ackerman spent last week visiting the Muslim community in Dearborn, Michigan, and comes back with a news flash for the president about the term "Islamofascist":
Practically everyone I've spoken with in Dearborn, from oncologists to students to clerics, brings up the term unprompted to explain how they feel themselves under collective suspicion from the Justice Department, a tone they feel Bush has set himself by using the phrase.
....Last week in the Weekly Standard, the apparent inventor of the phrase, Stephen Schwartz, dismissed those who'd be offended by "Islamofascism" as "primitive Muslims." That should tell you all you need to know about those who use the term. I confess to using it, if ironically, in a recent piece, and here in Dearborn I learned precisely why you and I shouldn't. The people it infuriates aren't primitive. They're the moderate, pro-American, well-integrated Muslims who form one of the greatest bulwarks against Al Qaeda that the U.S. possesses, and they see the term as draining their Americanness away.
It's remarkable that anyone needs to be told this, but obviously they do. So now they've been told. And I have some advice of my own for George Bush: you should probably avoid any phrase that's used primarily in the fever swamps of the hawkish blogosphere. Following their lead will merely dig you into an even deeper hole than you've already dug all by yourself.
If you think that Bush needs to be told this, then I have to ask, "What do you think Bush intended to accomplish using the word?"
Keep in mind that this new term, "Islamo-Fascists" was disseminated throughout the GOP's talking heads - Joe Lieberman almost slipped and said it on the first day that the term was taken out for a spin (it was the second or third day after Lieberman lost the Connecticut primary).
I think that we, who have been blown away by the cloddishness of this administration these last six years, keep thinking they are inept. I suggest to you that they are not inept, and that they have been wildly successful at everything they've done. Bush used exactly the right word to achieve what he intended.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, the Neocons behind these wars, the GOP (Ken Mehlman, Santorum, Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, et al), these aren't statesmen working towards world peace. You don't call people names if you want to get along with them. It's one of the most important lessons taught in kindergarden.
The Bush administration does not want peace - they want a wider stage of hostilities. It's after that wider stage of hostilities that what Bush-Cheney are after happens: The U.S. will control oil in the Middle East. Whether it's through the Saudis (after antagonizing and then annihilating all in the Middle East whom object and join the opposition against the U.S.) or some other way, it's pretty obvious that's what Bush-Cheney are after. It's the only way that "fighting them over there" makes any sense at all.
Read Juan Cole, August 6, 2006, "One Ring to Rule Them."
And Read Sy Hersch.
Bush and Cheney want to broaden the conflict to include Iran and Syria. They have wanted to do this, they have intended to do this, since, at least, Bush's "axis of evil" SOTU speech. We know now, as we did not know then, that Bush was looking for any excuse to attack Iraq BEFORE 9/11/01.
Everybody knows that Bush attacked Iraq with insufficient troops and had no plan to rebuild the country. This keeps coming up every 3 months since "Mission Accomplished," and nothing changes. Nobody has yet to ask Bush or Rumsfeld, "The situation gets worse there, you keep saying that we're 'staying the course,' and that you're not going to be doing anything differently. . . . what is it that you're hoping is going to change?" The follow-up to whatever the answer Bush or Rumsfeld give should be "HOW???"
If the past is the prologue for the future, and everything that this administration had done these last six years has been for the enrichment of the upper class, the dismantlement of (by bankrupting) government), and using the vestments of power (keeping the nation at war) for the continual rule by the corporate power behind the Conservatives (AND if I'm wrong, and Rove isn't able to steal the election), Bush will need a spectacular October surprise in order for Republicans to hold on to Congress after this next election.
I'm sure that he and Rove have a series of spectacles they can set off, if they need to. Such as killing Osama bin Laden. Grudgingly. Bush only "accomplishes" something in his War on Terror when he must for political survival or gain. I think a more accurate name for it is "The Grudging War."
The rest of the time, Bush-Cheney and the GOP are in pillage-mode on America.
There is one other point.
Bush (and Cheney, but specifically Bush) doesn't care if he's liked or popular by the American people. I doubt that Bush has any close friendships, and that's part of what made Bush attractive to the powerful who put him in the White House. "Wanting to be liked" wasn't going to get in the way of doing and saying whatever was necessary to implement the Republican antisocial policies. They give their legislation touchy-feely titles ("Clear Skies Initiative" and "Leave No Child Behind") that bear no resemblance to what the programs in actuality do.
So the more that Americans react negatively to what the Bush administration is doing, the more that Bush and Cheney will ramp up their plans. They'll speed it up not because they're having second thoughts, but because they know that the American people are getting wise to what's going on, we are waking up, and Bush-Cheney have to get it off the front pages before any organized movement can coalesce to stop them.
That's how Bush & Cheney have gotten away with it so far. Too much heat on Israel in Lebanon? Agree to the cease-fire, wait a few days before giving Israel the go-ahead (on a "take out the trash-Friday") to do a massive operation, down and dirty. If Hezbollah doesn't retalliate, go quiet for a few days until the furor dies down. And then do it again.
This has worked very well for Bush and Cheney. Nobody, least of all the American citizens, has stopped them.
Filed under: Bush, Cheney, Islamo-Fascism, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kevin Drum, Washington Monthly, Juan Cole, JonBenet Ramsey, John Mark Karr, Hezbollah