Monday, September 17, 2007

Strong opinions

Interesting commentary in the news this weekend:

In The Daily Mail, Correlli Barnett writes Bush the Jihadist: How the world was plunged into an apocalyptic war.
...exactly why did Osama Bin Laden decide to attack the World Trade Centre and other American targets?
It is clear enough that Bin Laden himself and Islamist militants everywhere are motivated by sheer hatred of America, her global hegemony and her materialist civilisation. This goes hand in hand with a passionate religious belief in the righteousness of the cause.
...Bush and his neo-con cronies have been all too willing to accept the challenge.
Why? Because just as much as Bin Laden and his fellow jihadists, they, too, see world affairs in simple terms of ideological conviction.
Remember, Bush and his vicepresident Dick Cheney are fundamentalist Christians, while Bush's own political base lies in his fellow fundamentalists of the American 'Bible belt'. And tragically for Britain, Tony Blair passionately shared Bush's belief that world policy must be inspired by religious faith.
The grim truth is that when George W. Bush declared "a global war on terror", he was really announcing a jihad of his own - a struggle to convert the whole world to American-style capitalist democracy.
...if only George W. Bush would abandon his paranoid search for ideological monsters, we could all sleep more peacefully in our beds.

From James Wolcott, in Vanity Fair: The Simple Life: White House Edition.
From the slapstick genius of his China trip to his spitball contests with the press, Bush has the makings of a major reality-TV star. With some image tweaking, the author proposes, a 24-hour "Prez Channel" could turn the administration's dismal ratings around.

Glenn Greenwald: American war culture in a nutshell:
...within this ugly dynamic lies much of the explanation for what has happened to our country since the 9/11 attack, and the personality type that continues to drive it today.
Or, as FireDogLake puts it: Why Do Republicans Want to Punish the Troops for George Bush’s Failures?

For a break from political rhetoric, some other news/commentary:

In The Miami Herald, a story by Lisa Arthur on a politician who's found something worthwhile to do with her life, Janet Reno leads a musical history tour.
...the woman who left an indelible mark on U.S. history by serving as the country's first female attorney general is adding to her legacy with a ``mix tape.''
She is the brains behind Song of America, a three-CD, 50-song ''history book'' that is due in stores on Tuesday.

And, in the Achenblog, Joel writes about huge homes and how their owners should pay a debt to society: Giant Houses: Impermissible? principle we have a government that says that you can't alter your environment without getting permission, and that permission costs money. But -- correct me if I'm wrong -- we don't require people to get a permit to be a carbon pig.

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