Friday, March 14, 2003

Intention vs. obsession

The now-too-long buildup to war with Iraq has now given rise to a new round of psychoanalysis of the President and his motivations. Now he’s no longer interested in protecting Americans or enforcing U.N. resolutions or disarming Saddam Hussein. Now he’s just obsessed. “Obsessed” with the intrinsic suggestion of “irrational” is the latest tactic used by the anti-war crowd to smear the president without addressing the issue of the terrorist threat in the post-9/11 world.

So here’s Paul Krugman today, in full character assassination-mode, attacking Bush with an article titled “George W. Queeg”:

Aboard the U.S.S. Caine, it was the business with the strawberries that finally convinced the doubters that something was amiss with the captain. Is foreign policy George W. Bush's quart of strawberries?

It’s beneath Paul Krugman’s station to explain why this war should not be fought, when it’s so much easier to just question the President’s motives and mentality. For the takedown of Krugman, see (who else?) Matthew Hoy’s page today.

Last night on Wolf Blitzer, Ron Silver made mince-meat of Bill Maher, but not before the “Politically Incorrect” outcast regurgitated this spittle:

BLITZER: Bill, why do you think President Bush, who's privy obviously, to the top national security intelligence information, wants to go to war against Iraq?

MAHER: Well, I think it's an obsession. I think it's a leftover obsession in that administration. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they didn't get bin Laden. And if they would just be honest about that and a few other things like the cost of the war I'd be more ready to go along with it.

In psychological terms, this is known as displacement, where the main object of emotion (e.g. anger) is transferred to a substitute. For armchair Freuds like Krugman and Maher, failure to capture Bin Laden, or the inability to confront North Korea, is driving Bush’s war with Iraq. There really can’t be any other reason, right Norman Mailer?

Then Mailer takes us on a fantasy trip that incorporates virtually every leftist cliché ever directed at the United States. I paraphrase: America has allowed big corporations to rob its soul, and destroy the environment. Bush is obsessed with building an American empire, thus the rush to war. Bush's embrace of empire as a way of life is rooted in his near messianic obsessions about good versus evil, a dangerous road that could literally embroil us endlessly in conflicts around the world.

He’s crazy, I tells ya! It takes a special brand of cynicism to engage in this kind of amorphous smear, this baseless insult. If there’s an argument against war with Iraq, then just make it. Unfortunately, for these pundits and their Hollywood amen-corner, the pacifist argument is quickly swept away. What remains is nothing more than a house of cards built with vapid ad hominem attacks.

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