I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dominoes and the Blame Game

There were a couple of related pieces on the Internets yesterday that deserve more commentary than they have received especially since both relate to the conflict braking out on two side of Israel. The first is by E.J. Dionne, Big Bang Theory In Ruins, although I think it would be better named the reverse domino theory in ruins.
The most intellectually honest case for the war in Iraq was never about Saddam Hussein's alleged stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction. It was the Big Bang Theory.

Not to be confused with theories about the origins of the universe, the Middle East Big Bang idea was simple and seductive. Unlike other arguments for the war, it was based on some facts, though also on some wishful thinking. The point was that the Middle East was a mess. A nest of authoritarian regimes bred opposition movements rebelling against the conditions under which too many people lived and energized by a radical Islamist ideology. Some of them turned to terror. In this bog of failure, moderate Muslims were powerless. They were frequently jailed or killed.

The situation's hopelessness argued for a hard shove from the United States to create a new dynamic. Installing a democratic government in Iraq would force a new dawn. Newly empowered Muslim democrats would reform their societies, negotiate peace with Israel and get on with the business of building prosperous, middle-class societies.

It was a beautiful dream, and even when the administration was asserting things that turned out not to be true, it held the dream out there for all to contemplate.
Iraq instead has turned into a bottomless pit filling with both treasure and lives, the Democratic elections in both Palestine and Lebanon resulted in terrorist groups gaining a Democratic legitimacy and Afghanistan once again falling into the hands of the Taliban. So the big bang theory turns out to be just the latest neocon wet dream that has failed when up comes face to face with the cold wall of reality. So who do they blame? The people on the home front of course, just like they blamed the inevitable loss in Vietnam on those at home. This brings us to the second piece,
Stabbed in the Back!
The past and future of a right-wing myth

I suggest you read the entire thing for the background and history of the neocons blaming everyone but themselves for their failed ideology but I'm going to fast forward for some quotes that are pertinent today.
On domestic issues as well as ones of foreign policy, from Ronald Reagan’s mythical “welfare queens” through George Wallace’s “pointy-headed intellectuals”; from Lee Atwater’s characterization of Democrats as anti-family, anti-life, anti-God, down through the open, deliberate attempts of Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove to constantly describe opponents in words that made them seem bizarre, deviant, and “out of the mainstream,” the entire vernacular of American politics has been altered since Vietnam. Culture war has become the organizing principle of the right, unalterably convinced as it is that conservatives are an embattled majority, one that must stand ever vigilant against its unnatural enemies—from the “gay agenda,” to the advocates of Darwinism, to the “war against Christmas” last year.

This has become such an ingrained part of the right wing’s belief system that the Bush Administration has now become the first government in our nation’s history to fight a major war without seeking any sort of national solidarity. Far from it. The whole purpose of the war in Iraq—and the “war on terrorism”—seems to have been to foment division and to win elections by forcing Americans to choose between starkly different visions of what their country should be. Again and again, Bush and his confederates have used the cover of national security to push through an uncompromising right-wing agenda. Ignoring the broad leeway already provided the federal government to fight terrorists and conduct domestic surveillance, the administration has gone out of its way to claim vast new powers to detain, spy on, and imprison its own citizens, and to abduct and even torture foreigners—a subject we shall return to. It has used the cover of the war to push through enormous tax cuts, attempt to dismantle the Social Security system, and alter the very social covenant of the nation. Incidents from the Terri Schiavo case to the teaching of “intelligent design” are periodically exploited to start new cultural battles.
While I hesitate to make comparisons to the neocons and the current administration and Hitler in this case it is almost unavoidable. Tyrants and megalomaniacs use the same divide and conquer techniques to obtain and maintain power. The Jews have been replaced by godless liberals, gays and followers of Islam but the results are the same. I doubt that Hitler believed many or most of the things he was saying about the Jews but he took advantage of deep seated prejudice and fear to maintain his hold on power. I think the same can be said about those currently holding power.

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