"The reason I part with the neocons is that I don't think in any reasonable time frame the objective of democratizing the Middle East can be successful," Mr. Scowcroft said. "If you can do it, fine, but I don't think you can, and in the process of trying to do it you can make the Middle East a lot worse."
Is there any reason these words couldn't have come from a leader of the "opposition party"? Does anyone really doubt that democracy does not come from the end of a gun? Isn't that the real lesson of Vietnam? Does anyone doubt that democracy does not come from the deaths of over 2000 Americans, and over 100,000 Iraqis? Does anyone really believe that democracy comes from the maiming of almost 15,000 Americans? And what about the 52% of Americans who think think Bush lied to get us into this debacle? Do they find no voice in Washington, no voice with Howard Dean or the DLC or the Democratic Party? The 50% who think Bush should be impeached if it can be shown he lied about the reasons for this quagmire (Sen. Kerry won't even call it that yet, lest he be tarred again by the "Swifties," I presume). Do we get the leadership we deserve, or the leadership our voter apathy delivers up to us?
It isn't that we are moral monsters. It isn't that we are so concerned with our own navel-gazing and our childish ideals of our purity and innocence, or our seasonal panic over "the pagan festival of Hallowe'en" or fear of a gay planet or terror at the thought of yet another abortion. Katrina washed all of that away. So perhaps it is just that our politicians are once again racing to get in front of the parade. Frankly, I hope that's all it is.
Because I'm beginning to think that, despite Katrina and the national rock it turned over, we'd still rather join the Church of Meaning and Belonging, rather than the Church of Sacrifice for Meaning and Belonging. In fact, I'm sure we would. But I'm not sure reality is ever going to allow us to.
And the refusal to adjust to that, is the biggest threat facing this country, and its culture. It is the refusal to accept responsibility for our actions.