Sunday, November 05, 2006

Steering the Scylla and Charibdis

Orson Scott Card has a brilliant essay at The Ornery American; some of the best, simplest explanations of why, in accordance with my views as it happens, G W Bush stands out as a wise and just leader for the times we live in.

Here online there is a vast amount of information available about US politics; it's all up front and out there. I was quite taken with the Ornery statements of values. A country whose interpretation of the ordinary is as a stand alone free thinker is quite mesmerising.

Scott-Card was the co-author of a fine novel I read when a young teen: the Abyss, which was, unusually, a fine novel based on a film (though the film was unreleased at the time of publishing). It was quite gritty and real from my point of view then, and unusual too in its concern for characterisation in a Sci Fi genre. He seemed to have a certain integrity; he still does.

I love the way he defends the "War on Terror" terminology used by Bush:

"it is precisely those people -- the common people of the Muslim world, most of whom hate us (or claim to hate us, when asked by pollsters in police states) -- whom we must treat as if they were not our enemies."

He applauds the deliberate vagueness of the term.

I personally think a "War on Islamofascism" would be as good, if not better, but then that is one of the formulations Bush himself has recently used.

I also love his analysis of the Bush strategy for the Middle East. This idea of confronting your enemies at a time and place of your choosing. Of carefully selecting which ones to pick off and which to play against each other. He points out that the right decisions have already been made. It is a bold essay, whose botom line is terrifyingly simple:

"It's an astonishingly twisted game -- and as long as we don't do anything really, really stupid, like withdrawing from Iraq, all these various treacheries will inevitably lead to the fall of the tyrants in Iran, and therefore in Syria, and therefore the taming of Hezbollah in Lebanon."

Wow. Like standing on the dotted line in a motorway full of careering traffic.

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