Friday, November 10, 2006

Helen Szamuely has a great post reacting to the US election result at EURef here.

I had a phone message today from a liberal friend asking innocently what I thought of the US election result. I said very simply in eight words -with a :-)- that I thought the Republicans got what they deserved- believing as I do in the democratic process and that Republicans have failed to show the necessary leadership.

On the other hand, I don't for a minute trust the Democrats. Why? Because there is a reason why the Republicans behaved so badly, and that is to compensate themselves for having to face daily a Democrat party that always knows better but is never good enough in a reasonable discourse to suggest in what way that might be (we know they want to quit Iraq but still can't say so publicly except by insinuation), which posits spurious friends and talks down actual enemies. It's that deliberate lack of seriousness that has undermined the whole integrity of US politics. It's been one long fillibuster, and its effectiveness in lulling the Right has been taken as evidence of political know-how. In the sense that the political vacuum has made idle hands of Republicans, the Devil has made use of them. And the judgement is just.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In the wake of the US election (yes, I do mean wake), we are moved to ask the big questions, such as "Can Borat Save Western Civilization?"

Well, no. But still.

And actually (a few minutes post posting here), according to the BBC Borat "has a series of real life encounters with unsuspecting Americans in which he makes the most outrageous, sexist, racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments."

So maybe. (of course, the best joke, in the best tradition of jokes, at least concerning the anti-Semitic part, is that the comedian is Jewish- I think Aunty meant to say anti-Jewish. Bless.)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And lo, the blind have seen, and the US has voted Democrat.

(coincidentally co-front page stories at BBC views news online)

I don't know about the US population, but I certainly feel galvanised.

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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