"Ever since 9/11, there's been this attitude among the Bushies that the most important thing is to convince the world that America's enemies (who are now identical with Israel's enemies) represent the ultimate in evil -- the Wal-Mart of evil, the Pittsburgh Steelers of evil, the Dr. Evil of evil. Once that goal has been accomplished, why then of course the "free world" will line up and enlist in Uncle Sam's army. Or so the thinking seems to be.* what's the latest re lamont? things seem to be looking ok - apart from the faux-website hacking story.
In other words, the PR strategy is also the diplomatic strategy -- and, as we've seen in Iraq, the military strategy as well. Mike Gerson (Bush's chief speechwriter, crafter of all those fine phrases about freedom and democracy) really is running the war. And when you let your speechwriters run your war, you have no right to complain when you lose.
To paraphrase a slogan, Manichaeism is not a plan.
A unilateralism that reflects an accurate reading of underlying power relationships is one thing -- it may be ugly, but it can certainly "work," from a realpolitik point of view. Just ask Otto von Bismark. But a unlateralism based on nothing more than a conviction of one's own inherent superiority is a foreign policy disaster waiting to happen (and now it's happening.)
Perhaps a sneak attack on Iran would revive popular popular enthusiasm for endless war -- it's one of the reasons I fear it so much. But that still wouldn't fill the additional combat boots needed to fight the evildoers on their home turf, whether that's Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran. For that America needs either a much bigger army or many, and more cooperative, allies.
This, of course, brings us back to where we started -- with the seemingly indestructable neocon belief that when America proposes the world disposes, simply because we're the good guys, or the leader of the pack, or both.
That attitude may warm the heart (or other organs) of your average AEI think tank dweeb, but the pope can tell you how well it works when you don't have the heavy divisions to back it up."