Saturday, August 12, 2006

Busting taboos is a specialty of the Bush administration

* lieberman:
"“I’m worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don’t appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us — more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long Cold War,”

* digby:
"I'm sure all this macho talk is emotionally satisfying to some people but there is no reason that Democrats should allow themselves to be trash-talked into another Iraq style debate where the only parameters that can even be discussed are the how not the why. That's what they are trying to do --- get us into a position where we will start saying "ok, yes, this is WWIII, but I don't think we are at war with Iran and North Korea --- just Iran." Or "of course this is an existential threat and we are in a global war against islamic fascism, but we should get the UN involved, don't you think?"

I remember that feeling of being bulldozed on Iraq like it was yesterday. Many of us knew the war was ill timed and unnecessary (not to mention illegal and immoral) but it was clear from the beginning that there was nothing we could do. It was like watching a car accident in slow motion. We are in the midst of another attempt to create a crisis for which the only answer is more war and once again I get the sense that the entire system is paralyzed by it.

I don't think the American people are on board at the moment, but if the Democrats don't supply an alternative narrative --- and do it with strength and conviction --- many people will think that the decison has already been made and there's nothing anyone can do about it. That's where the Republicans want the country be in November --- scared Republicans streaming to the polls to support their government and disillusioned Democrats staying home.

But there is something much bigger at stake than domestic politics and much more dangerous, I think. Newtie and his friends are using the specter of this WWIII and a nuclear armed Iran to begin the process of removing the taboo against a US first strike.

The great big neoelephant in the middle of the room is tactical nukes. We have proved with Iraq that we can't back up our big threats with conventional warfare. So what we are left with is "shock and awe" and there is only one thing left in our arsenal that can carry that mail
Busting taboos is a specialty of the Bush administration. The taboo against torture is now pretty much fully inoperative. The taboo against genocide is being currently tested. Nukes are the most efficient way to get there so that taboo is being discarded too.
If we let Gingrich and Lieberman get away with this insane, reckless rhetoric comparing some would-be bombers with Hitler and Stalin and characterizing the GWOT as an existential threat requiring extreme violence, within a very short time period the slow motion car wreck will have begun and we will wake up one morning to find Cheney and his pals have exercized their "only option to win.""

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