Dover Bitch

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who cares what anybody thinks?

All day long, John McCain has been praised by pundits for his "courageous" position on the surge. DB agrees with Glenn Greenwald, that supporting this escalation is the only option he has left. But to take it a step further, it seems that the reason he is universally lauded by the media is that he is doing what he thinks is right, despite what other people think.

McCain could find a job in a heartbeat at a conservative think tank or with some lobbying group that feels the same way. But he's a representative in a democratic republic. Which means he's doing a crappy job.

But the contradiction that is largely ignored is this: The current policy is largely based upon how its supporters believe "the terrorists" will view our leaving "defeat in" Iraq. You cannot claim it is courageous to ignore what Americans think but appropriate to base your actions on what a bunch of fanatics half-way around the world might think.

And the worst part of that is that all the evidence in the world tells us that there's really no point in trying to influence the way they think about us. On Sept. 10, 2001, no nation in the history of the universe appeared more powerful than the United States and that didn't stop these radicals from picking a fight with us. Five years later, we've only demonstrated that there are limits to what we can accomplish. An additional 20,000 or so soldiers in Baghdad are going to finally convince the terrorists that they should learn not to mess with us? It's absurd.

This post isn't to suggest that we give up combating terror and working to make the world and our country safer. I'm just saying there's no point trying to model our behavior in a way that is intended to send some sort of message. We have a president that has essentially refused to admit obvious mistakes because of the way that would look, and yet this same administration expects to thwart our enemies' efforts to declare victories?

In the meantime, if our representative government feels like worrying about what somebody thinks about its actions, shouldn't it be our concerns that guide it?

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