The Talking Dog interviews Erik Saar, who was an Arabic linguist at Guantanamo Bay. You want to read this.
Why is it that whenever right-wingers wanna criticize the “viciousness” of the left, more often than not, they use e-mails and blog comments instead of, say, the words of writers (bloggy and non-bloggy) and leaders? Like Lanny Davis in the Wall Street Journal‘s OpinionJournal, making some big and brave statement about “McCarthyism” on the left towards Shoeless Joe Lieberman as indicated by the well-considered and crafted comments on blogs and e-mail responses. The Lieberman-lovin’ Davis writes, “The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony. Here are just a few examples (there are many, many more anyone with a search engine can find) of the type of thing the liberal blog sites have been posting about Joe Lieberman” and then quotes the mean meanies of the left, like at Daily Kos. But not, you know, Kos, or Hunter, or McJoan, or DarkSyde, or any of the other posters. Nope, it’s commenter “tomjones.” …
… When the Rude Pundit wants to go trawling for right-wing hate, he doesn’t need to look to his hate e-mails, with their occasional threats of violence. He doesn’t need to point to the comments on right-wing blogs. He can just point to the blogs themselves, or turn on the goddamn radio or the fuckin’ Fox “News,” or open the newspaper to read the vomitous rantings of every other conservative columnist talking about liberals despising and destroying America. They can only pick nits; we have to swat hissing cockroaches.
This is really quite revealing of the neocon mind set — and the increasingly large gulf between that mind set and what American power and influence can support:
“The position that we’re taking in the UN is just nuts,” a former White House official close to the US decision-making process said during the negotiations. “The US wants to put international forces on the ground in the middle of the conflict, before there’s a ceasefire. The reasoning at the White House is that the international force could weigh on the side of the Israelis — could enforce Hezbollah’s disarmament” . . .
A former US Central Intelligence Agency officer confirmed this view: “I am under the impression that George Bush and Condoleezza Rice were surprised when the Europeans disagreed with the US position — they were running around saying, ‘But how can you disagree, don’t you understand? Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.'” (emphasis added)
And a tough and dangerous one to boot. This is supposed to encourage the French to plunk their people down in the middle of a hot LZ?
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.
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.