Sunday, September 19, 2004

Presidents and Terrorism: Using Blood to Heighten the Global Drama

There's a growing body of expert opinion that says that Bush is making terrorism worse, and that this is therefore evidence that his policy is failing. But this criticism, while factually grounded, completely misses the policy point. The increase in anti-US terrorism shows that the President's policy is succeeding. Whether or not he consciously wants to make it worse, more terrorism serves his interests. And perhaps equally important, more terrorism is fun for him: it puts him at the center of a global drama in which he plays a delicious role. Were peace to break out tomorrow, Bush would be a weakened and diminished man. But as long as the pot keeps boiling he only goes from strength to strength.

The rapper and actor Ice-T recently said: ""I'm scared of Bush. We need a peaceful president, not someone who is entertained by war."

But why should we need to depend on a president's character being "peaceful?" A president should be constrained by law. He should be bound by civilization. If he starts killing people for glory he should face charges like anyone else who commits a homicide without a valid explanation of self-defense.

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