Monday, April 21, 2008

The Pro-War Elitists

Glenn Greenwald has written another stellar post in which he destroys Bill Kristol for getting all uppity about Americans not being willing to sacrifice sufficiently to win in Iraq. Kristol's recent whining about sacrifice is a bit odd, considering that he only calls on a very small segment of society to sacrifice, and that segment does not include Kristol's family or himself. In fact Kristol's lament that society is not willing to sacrifice enough to win is perverse, not only because he does not share in the burden, but because he benefits from those who do carry the load. He makes a very good living writing columns, and making the rounds on television calling on more sacrifice.

Greenwald briefly touches upon a truth which I would like to further develop when he writes:
Given that accusations of "elitism" are all the rage, is there anything more definitively elitist -- more repulsively elitist -- than continuing to sermonize to a tiny segment of the population that they must continue to give up everything -- even their lives -- while the sermonizers give up absolutely nothing?
Greenwald labels the call to sacrifice from those who refuse to sacrifice "repulsive elitism", but that hardly scratches the surface. What could possibly be more elitist than the following exchange between ABC News White House reporter Martha Raddatz and Vice President Dick Cheney:
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.


RADDATZ So? You don’t care what the American people think?

CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.
First, there are not "fluctuations" in the polls. This war has been seen for the disaster it is by wide majorities of the American people for years now. But the larger point here is how blithely the administration just disregards the will of the people if the people do not agree with them. It's like we are a fiefdom being ruled by the unquestionable decree of royalty. If the serfs do not agree with the royalty, so? This attitude nearly defines elitism. Unfortunately, John McCain only promises more of the same: no matter what the people think we are there for the duration.

This arrogant attitude is the height of elitism. President Bush has declared time and again that he doesn't pay attention to the polls. This lack of care about what Americans think may have it's place in certain circumstances but to continuously tweak us for having the wrong opinions by setting policy irregardless of the peoples wishes is the height of elitism. This nation was founded in large part upon the notion that the will of the citizenry would guide the nation. Even if the citizenry of the time was only considered to be land owning white males, the founding concept should remain as we evolve in our politics.

The administration has even practiced a form of generational elitism, claiming that the threat posed by terrorism was great enough to revoke traditions and constitutional precepts which guided this nation for over 230 years. The threat was not great enough to have a war tax in order to pay for Bush's Iraq bungle. There was no need to ration foodstuffs or oil, or to have a draft... all measures which past generations resorted to in order to respond to the emergencies they faced. So this generation was not asked to actually sacrifice, yet Bush saw fit to mangle several constitutional amendments, and article one of the constitution, while putting article two on steroids...all in secrecy. What sort of twisted elitist outlook lead this administration to dispose of the rule of law and the constitution, remaking the fundamental meaning of our nation in response to a conflict which has not yet claimed 10,000 American lives? Just look at the widespread catastrophic death attendant with America's past national crisis' and try to convince me that Sept. 11 meant the Bush administration had to toss away our national heritage to keep us safe, while calling upon us to go shopping in order to do our part in the war effort.

The elitism of the Bush administration goes beyond domestic politics. America now purports to determine which foreign citizens may be disappeared from their own nations, tortured, held without charge and given perfunctory show trials allowing evidence gained by the torture of the accused and others to be used against them. There was a time not long ago when American citizens could count upon our government to defend us from the depredations of foreign governments. But now, because of the Bush administrations wretched policy's, we are witness to the top legal minds of the State Department being expressing confusion as to whether or not Americans would be considered torture victims if they were waterboarded by a foreign government. All of this because the Bush administration found that the Geneva conventions were "quaint". This reeks of elitism. Geneva was lawfully ratified and guided our international conduct for decades prior to the Bush administration, yet they determined to do away with those conventions in secret because they could not be held to codes of international conduct which did not allow them to torture detainees.

This administration was boorish and impudent with our longtime allies who disagreed with us over our invasion of Iraq. This President has instituted a distinctly imperialistic approach to foreign policy, named the Bush doctrine, which policy purports to give America rights no other nation in the world is allowed: The right to engage in pre-emptive war based only upon the perception of threat against our interests. They have even disdained the longstanding policy of this nation during the cold war for no American first use of nuclear weapons. We have loudly condemned nations going to war without having been first attacked themselves, and we would freak if a nation nuked another nation in a first strike. George Sr. termed this the new world order, but George Jr. flushed the new world order and replaced it with good old fashioned bellicose imperialism. All of these policies have been wrought by an insidious mindset that Bush inherently knows what is best, that he is the actual hand servant of God, and to question the efficacy of Bush's ways demonstrates weakness. The result of these policies wrought by the elitist attitudes of the administration during the last seven years has caused lasting harm to Americas international image and standing.

Frankly, the Bush administration and their water carriers can not help but be elitist in order to continue this travesty. They MUST disparage the opinion of the wide majority of the American people, and the international community with their curtly snide one word "so" responses when confronted with the will of the people. The neocons pad their wallets while calling on a slim portion of the populace to continue sacrificing.

So ask me which type of elitist I think will be more harmful to the nation. Someone who puts the wrong sauce on a southern dish and couldn't bowl himself out of a wet paper bag, (I can't believe I brought that up for no good reason) or someone determined to ignore the opinions of a wide majority of the American people in order to keep us involved in a manifestly disastrous military quagmire for the foreseeable future? I think the tone of the question probably betrays my answer...

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