Thursday, May 06, 2004

For the War, Against Bush?

It becomes possible to think that way. If this were a sports team, this would be the point at which you think about firing the coach to try to salvage the season. The only trouble with that is the guy who's the only alternative. Every time he says something sensible, it seems that within 24 hours he turns around and says something boneheaded. But then maybe that's what they've been trying to tell us about him all along.

Maybe we will end up being to the Middle East what France was to Europe. Under Napoleon, they liberated Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland from brutal, backwards rulers. And their armies spread the concept of liberty and democracy, more by examples than by organized action. And yet they ended up being the object of insurgencies and revolts among the very people they had liberated.

What we won't have is a congress of reactionary powers joining forces to drive us out and re-impose the old order. But those seeds of liberty remained, and within a few lifetimes the nations he had touched rose up and freed themselves.

It's not what I want. But after this week, the line between realism and pessimism seems less distinct.