The more the White House tries to force-feed democracy to tempestuous parts of the world, the more it discovers that you may be able to spin and scare voters in the U.S., but the Middle East is not so easy to manipulate. W. believes in self-determination only if he's doing the determining. Fundamentalists in America like to vote for Mr. Bush, but elsewhere they're violently opposing him.
Like many other presidential candidates I've interviewed, W. said he liked Winston Churchill. But if he really had read Churchill, he would at least have understood that the Middle East never turns out the way you expect. Churchill, who called Iraq "an ungrateful volcano," would not have been surprised by the new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll showing that close to half of Iraqis approve of attacks on American forces.
The State of the Union is a non-event. But Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, being blown up by a roadside bomb has forced the media to focus on what the Bushies try to hide -- all the injured and maimed coming home from Iraq.
A more honest TV moment was Christiane Amanpour labeling Iraq "a black hole." The "spiraling security disaster," she told Larry King, had robbed Iraqis of hope, "and by any indication whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of American soldiers killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse."
But, hey, how could the Bushies have known that occupying a Middle East country -- and flipping the balance of power from one sect to another -- without enough troops to secure it could go wrong? Who on earth could predict the inevitable?
You mean there are cultural differences in the Middle East? Who'da thunk it? State Department? CIA? Maybe Habib down at the 7-11 knew, but who asked him?
You mean they might not like what we're doing
Shit, there's 'cultural differences' between here where I sit and Reno, thirty miles away and I don't need any highly paid advisors to know it. They'd probably be wrong about it anyway.