Sunday, May 20, 2007

David Broder Hails Bush and Blair "Courage"

David Broder makes another original contribution to the genre of astoundingly bad punditry in today's Washington Post. His column, titled "Western Allies In the Twilight", is a sentimental tribute to Bush's and Blair's war-like courage. No, really.

Broder writes:
The 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington and the 7/7 London subway and bus bombings shook both Bush and Blair from any sense of complacency and armed both men with a conviction that their preeminent mission was to combat the forces behind those assaults. Both men now believe -- no, are passionately and permanently convinced -- that the terrorist threat from radical Islamists is one that must be resisted at all costs. (Bold mine)
Set aside the "9/11 shook Bush from any sense of complacency" spin, which strikes me as patently absurd. Focus instead on the words Broder uses to describe the not-complacent Bush and Blair: they were "armed" with a conviction that their "preeminent mission" was to "combat" Islamic extremists, who had to be "resisted at all costs".

The "Mission Accomplished" military fantasy world that George W. Bush inhabits? David Broder lives there too. Broder actually appears to regard Bush as some sort of virtuous military action figure.

Here, Broder approvingly quotes Blair:
"It's not about us remaining true to the course that we've set out because of the alliance with America. It is about us remaining steadfast because what we are fighting, the enemy that we are fighting, is an enemy that is aiming its destruction at our way of life and anybody who wants that way of life. And in those circumstances, the harder they fight, the more determined we must be to fight back. If what happens is, the harder they fight, the more our will diminishes, then that's a fight we're going to lose. And this is a fight we can't afford to lose."
This is the kind of moronic wingnut stuff that Bush says all the time. It is moronic in that (1) it makes a carricature of Islamic extremists' goals -- no, their primary aim is not to destroy the American/Western way of life; (2) it vastly exaggerates the threat posed by Islamic extremists -- no, these people do not have the ability to destroy the American way of life; and (3) it assumes that the only alternative to Bush's and Blair's catastrophic policy is to capitulate to the evildoers, convert to Islam and impose sharia law in America. Here is Broder's take on what Blair had to say:
Those are brave words, and a grateful Bush spoke from the heart when he said, "What I know is the world needs courage. And what I know is this good man is a courageous man."
Those are brave words! Which brings us to Broder's conclusion:
History will record that both of them saw the threat to the West posed by terrorism and responded courageously. The wisdom of their policy and the conduct of their governments are not likely to be judged as highly.
Will history "record" that they "saw the threat" and "responded courageously"? It seems to me that history's judgment will be that they thoroughly misjudged the threat and completely bungled the response. But was it a courageous bungle? That seems to be what Broder is suggesting by sounding a skeptical note about the wisdom of the Bush/Blair policy, after having drooled all over Bush/Blair's manliness. Does that make any sense? What exactly was "courageous" about Bush's and Blair's reponse to the threat posed by Islamic extremism?

2 comments:

Fred said...

Good to read you again!

Chaela said...

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