Friday, May 11, 2007
Americans are sick of the unrepentant arrogance of this elite. But the realisation has come at a very heavy cost
Friday May 11, 2007
".....And yet to visit the US at present, as I have done, is to experience an overwhelming sensation of drastic impending change. It's not merely that President Bush, to whom Blair so disastrously tethered himself, is "in office but not in power". Most Americans can't wait for him to go, Congress is beyond his control, and the Senate majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, has told him that the war in Iraq is lost - for which statement of the obvious Reid was accused of "defeatism" by the vice-president, Dick Cheney.....
Along with the collapse of Bush's authority, all these episodes are connected to the great disaster in Iraq. And all illustrate the hubristic, impenitent arrogance of the people who have been guiding America's destiny - as well as ours, alas - for the past six years. What one senses so acutely are the conditions building for a political perfect storm, which will engulf and destroy the whole neoconservative project.
In Washington I took part in a debate with Christopher Hitchens, my old sparring partner and drinking companion (mots justes, all of them), who supports Bush with a defiance worthy of a better cause. He surpassed himself by insisting that his friend Wolfowitz is a wronged man. A World Bank committee reportedly disagrees, and has found that Wolfowitz did violate the bank's rules in the matter of his lady friend's salary......
....One who did understand is Matthew Parris, the former Tory MP. Before the 2004 presidential election he said he wanted Bush re-elected: his presidency was halfway through an "experiment whose importance is almost literally earth-shattering" and should be played out to its inevitable failure.
But that failure must be demonstrated beyond contradiction. "The theory that liberal values and a capitalist system can be spread across the world by force of arms... should be tested to destruction ... The president and his neoconservative court should be offered all the rope they need to hang themselves."
His wish has come true; neocons are dangling all around us. In a flicker of self-knowledge, Wolfowitz told a recent World Bank meeting: "I understand that I've lost a lot of trust, and I want to build that trust back up." But it's too late, for him and all the other courtiers. They never really enjoyed the trust of most Europeans, let alone Africans and Asians, and they have now lost the trust of the American people.
All the readings on the barometer and the wind gauge say the same thing. The perfect storm is gathering. Unfortunately the collapse of the neocon project comes at a very heavy cost, not only to the people of Iraq but to all of us. "