JD Lasica has a post that wonders why no one is running with the story that Bush engineered a connection between Iraq and 9/11. I think, strangely, that this doesn’t come as a shock to most Americans. I have a feeling that a lot of people knew that we were on thin ice in invading Iraq, and wanted it to happen anyway. They weren’t looking for a justification, they were looking for an excuse. That’s the (new?) American way: troubles at home (terrorism, economy) are best fought abroad. Bending the truth is not only OK, it’s good practice.
I’ve been puzzling over this for a while. The early views of the war among the undergraduates in my class were mixed. Many felt as though it was going to happen, so they might as well support it. It seemed as though they were less interested in the truth than they were interested in the style and rhetoric of the position. That was late February.
Later in the semester, when we talked about the Freedom of Information Act, many said that we should just get rid of it. One student said “the authorities know more about this than we could ever understand, and we should trust them.” The consensus was that the FoIA was just a way for lefties (like me) to sully America.
I think that we are seeing a new emphasis on style (fascists love style!), so if the confrontation is to happen, it needs a charismatic leader, who will not only ask the right questions, but will do so in a way that is entertaining and engaging. I don’t honestly think Dean is the best man for that job. We need a crusader, someone who will take up the mantle of truth, justice, and the American way, and run with it. I’m thinking Samuel L. Jackson.