March 31, 2005
WHEN JAW-JAW IS WAR-WAR:
Why World War IV can't sell (John Brown, 4/01/05, Asia Times)
In a recent essay (Are we in World War IV?) Tom Engelhardt of Tomdispatch commented quite rightly that "World War IV" has "become a commonplace trope of the imperial right" of the United States. But he didn't mention one small matter - the rest of the US, not to speak of the outside world, hasn't bought the neo-cons' efforts to justify President George W Bush's militaristic adventures abroad with crude "we're in World War IV" agitprop meant to mobilize Americans in support of the administration's foreign-policy follies. That's why, in his second term, Bush - first and foremost a politician concerned about maintaining domestic support - is talking ever less about waging a global war and ever more about democratizing the world.
Rather, it's proved much easier to win than even the neocons expected. With less than two thousand men lost and democracy imposed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Ukraine, Palestine, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Togo, etc. and elections beginning to occur even in supposedly unreformable places like Saudi Arabia and Egypt it's just hard to think of it as a conventional war. Perhaps we need a new term for the kind of global conflict where we can topple a regime just by talking tough. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 31, 2005 6:20 AM