Monday, March 27, 2006

I think I see a common thread running through a few stories today that seem unrelated. First, a New York Times story a lot of people are talking about:

...During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, [President Bush] made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times....

Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised ... possible ways of provoking a confrontation....

"The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." ...

Next we move to the West Coast:

  More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against "the virtue terrorism" of popular culture....

"Battle Cry for a Generation" is led by a 44-year-old Concord native, Ron Luce, who wants "God's instruction book" to guide young people away from the corrupting influence of popular culture.

Luce, whose Teen Mania organization is based in Texas, kicked off a three-city "reverse rebellion" tour Friday night intended to counter a popular culture that he says glamorizes violence and sex....

Military metaphors abound in Luce's descriptions of the struggle. He tells young people of how "an enemy has launched a brutal attack on them." At a pre-Battle Cry rally Friday afternoon on the steps of City Hall, Luce told his mostly teenage audience that "terrorists of a different kind" -- advertisers -- were targeting them and that they were "caught in the middle of the battle." ...

And back here in New York, we have this in the New York Post:


March 27, 2006 -- PREZ-ENT ARMS!

WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won't say if she's running for the White House -- but she's already drafted a presidential-size army of campaign staffers that dwarfs John McCain's outfit and those of everyone else in the field....

You see where I'm going. In every case, right-wingers are jonesing for war.

(Not the kind where they could actually get die or get hurt, of course. But war anyway! War is cool!)

Right-wingers love war. Right-wingers love to think they're at war (as long as they're not physically in the line of fire). If they can't have a real war (enjoyed from a safe distance), they want a metaphorical war. But they prefer a particular kind of war: a war in which they can say the other guy declared war first.

So Hillary isn't staffing up for multiple campaigns -- she's engaged in a "troop buildup." MTV's programming is literally comparable to 9/11, according to Ron Luce. (Also see the press release for his rally and the rad war-hungry graphics at the Web site for his campaign.) And Saddam -- well, it must have been a huge disappointment to Bush when he could never get the Brutal Dictator to shoot down a plane with U.N. markings.

Last month, when the story of Bush's desire to provoke Saddam first broke in the U.K. press, Juan Cole speculated that it might be a sign Bush is still drinking or on drugs. Naaah -- not necessarily. It's just a sign that he's a purebred Americanus bellicosus -- a right-winger who's sure he's peace-loving and slow to anger, but who's just itching for a war he can blame on someone else and watch other people fight.


See also: Mahablog (Bush), Shakespeare's Sister (San Francisco rally).


UPDATE: Garbled parenthetical fixed.

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