Arthur Silber has penned this piece for C&L In the up-is-down, black-is-white and more than slightly insane world of the Bush administration, I s
July 12, 2005
Arthur Silber has penned this piece for C&L
In the up-is-down, black-is-white and more than slightly insane world of the Bush administration, I still find it amazing that terrorism is George Bush’s best friend, and most commentators and “news analysts” find nothing at all remarkable in that fact:

The bombs exploded in London, but the repercussions are still rippling across Washington.
A surge in public concern about terrorism means a probable boost in support for President Bush and the war in Iraq.

Renewed fear of terrorist sleeper cells will probably spur increased support for tough law enforcement measures such as the Patriot Act, which is up for renewal. And there’s new enthusiasm in Congress for increased spending on domestic security, especially mass transit — an area in which legislators were cutting budgets three weeks ago.

There’s no telling how long the wave of concern will last. If the London attack gives way to months of calm, the increased fear — and any gain in popularity for Bush — may well be short-lived. But for the moment, Washington is back in 9/11 mode.

“The bombings will give both Bush and [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair a boost,” said Christopher Gelpi, a political scientist at Duke University who studies public opinion in times of war. “I think the attacks may help slow the ebbing of [public] support over Iraq, because the bombings make [Bush’s] point about linking Iraq and terrorism.”

Say what? The bombings “make [Bush’s] point about linking Iraq and terrorism”? Is that the point about how we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here? (And even though fighting them in London seems to be A-OK. I’m sure the Brits appreciate that awhole lot.)

Are these people truly unable to grasp that different terrorists can attack us in both places? How hard is that to understand? Billmon:

Try to imagine the reasoning process needed to take the same set of facts we’re all working from, and wind up with that conclusion:
1.) Our flypaper strategy says it’s better to fight the terrorists in Iraq than have them attacking us in the streets of London.

2.) The terrorists are attacking us in the streets of London.

3.) Our flypaper strategy is working!

And the Belmont Club crew are supposed to be thinking hawks!

Why is it so hard for the conservative mind to grasp such simple realities? The terrorists are in Iraq, and they’re also in London. They’re blowing up American soldiers (and Iraqi civilians), assassinating diplomats and generally committing murder and mayhem in one place, and they’re “sowing bombs on buses and trains” in another place. They can actually do both! At the same time!

Now just put in lots of pictures of teeny tiny little conservative heads exploding…

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Are these people truly unable to grasp that different terrorists can attack us in both places? How hard is that to understand? Billmon:

Try to imagine the reasoning process needed to take the same set of facts we’re all working from, and wind up with that conclusion:
1.) Our flypaper strategy says it’s better to fight the terrorists in Iraq than have them attacking us in the streets of London.

2.) The terrorists are attacking us in the streets of London.

3.) Our flypaper strategy is working!

And the Belmont Club crew are supposed to be thinking hawks!

Why is it so hard for the conservative mind to grasp such simple realities? The terrorists are in Iraq, and they’re also in London. They’re blowing up American soldiers (and Iraqi civilians), assassinating diplomats and generally committing murder and mayhem in one place, and they’re “sowing bombs on buses and trains” in another place. They can actually do both! At the same time!

P.S. Related post: The Destroyed Capacity for Thought.

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