Friday, February 14, 2003
How not to make the case.
American hawks are annoyed that the French, Germans, and Belgians — not to mention many Americans — share Joschka Fischer's exasperation with Bush's war plan. But Paul Berman notes that President Bush hasn't even bothered to present the case that America's war with "Muslim fascism" is Europe's war, too:
Bush has failed to present the current war and its impending new Iraqi front in terms of a democratic struggle against totalitarianism. He has failed to discuss in any serious way the moral aspect of the war, has failed to present the war as an act of solidarity with horribly oppressed Iraqis and other victims of Muslim fascism, has failed to show the humanitarian aspect of the war, has failed to present the war in the light of the long history of anti-totalitarianism. The president has failed, all in all, to present the kind of arguments that might enlist the enthusiasm of people like Fischer, not to mention the enthusiasm of people in the Muslim and Arab world.
"Excuse me, I'm not convinced," Fischer said. We should listen carefully. Maybe Fischer is not convinced because the Bush administration has presented a series of side arguments about weapons, U.N. resolutions, and dark terrorist conspiracies and has failed to present the main argument, which is the single huge argument that has always sustained the Western alliance. This argument is the one about totalitarianism. It is the argument that says: The totalitarians are dangerous to themselves and to us, and we had better fight them.
Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 14 February 2003 at 2:51 PM