As the Middle East starts looking more and more like a powder keg, as tension rises in the fertile crescent, as Iraq seems to inch ever closer to civil war, as the real threat seems to loom larger in North Korea, and as other world problems such as global warming seem ever-more pressing, there are some who still defend the Bush-Cheney administration’s six year running obsession with subduing Iraq.   

According to VOA News:

Republican Congressman Christopher Shays says that while there have been mistakes, progress is being made. “We made mistakes in our efforts to secure and rebuild the country,” he said. “But we are correcting those mistakes and progress is being made. Yes, the task is difficult but that only reinforces the need to closely examine our roadmap for success.”

Roadmap for success?  This war seems more like a ride with Toonces the Cat.

It seems impossible for some to transcend this remarkable arrogance that justifies all actions and helps drive US efforts to remake the world in its own image. 

A six year obsession?  As many know, it has really been a twenty year obsession that began with the neo-cons at the PNAC, who are really just updated versions of 19th century proponents of Manifest Destiny and 20th century Wilsonian idealism.  The belief in America’s divine mission to spread the “virtues” of democracy and capitalism was originally well-intended, but has somehow transmuted, over the years, into a near-fascistic need to control and police those who are out of step, particularly when they sit on essential resources or strategic locales.  The “shining city on a hill” of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount became John Winthrop’s Providential justification for a New World takeover and Ronald Reagan’s metaphor for American privilege, to be defended at all costs, leveraged as needed, disseminated for a price, and exported when advantageous.  His ideological children, the neo-cons, took their father’s idea one step further—use force to get the job done.

Historically, Manifest Destiny has been extremely convenient in that it has provided a religious and social justification for personal aggrandizement.  The more that the chosen prosper, the more they are able to spread that prosperity to others. 

This approach is not a conspiracy, but an organized political stance.  The right has said so itself, in the abstract language of the academy through turncoat neo-cons like Frances Fukuyama and adherents like William Kristol, and in the bully pulpit of the media, through transparent vehicles such as Fox News.  Its adherents are now seeing its tragic failures, both in Iraq and Afghanistan.   


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