Or don't. I'm easy.
You know, it's interesting because it ties into a discussion I'd been having with suitboyskin a few months ago.
World War II destroyed the American mindset.
Let's face it, it wasn't hard to figure out who the "good guys" and who the "bad guys" were in that war. One side was stuffing people into ovens and practicing ruthless imperialism. The generation that went off to war were able to do so without any overarching guilt involved in their participation in the war, and the United States... well, it saved the day by coming into the war late in the game and being geographically isolated enough not to have a home front...
...and ever since then, it has been a very easy thing for politicians and pundits to type American action as "good," regardless of what may, in fact, actually be motivating it. This has led to a widespread "black and white" view of global politics that is compounded by the ignorance of the American population.
How many large-scale military operations, in the wake of World War II, have been not only justifiable, given all the facts, but successful? And yet, often we now have lines being drawn within the media that villify those who would speak in dissent to American policy.
Which brings me to my main point here: you hit something important when you said that George W. Bush is only a pawn in a larger, more sinister scheme. The conservative public responds to him because of his "frat boy" personality (regardless of the fact that his particular experiences bear little to no resemblance with theirs), and because they feel he is being straight with them. I think he is, I don't think the man is smart enough to realize that he is not really in charge, and that what is coming out of his mouth most of the time doesn't make any sense if you know what he's talking about.
...but they love him because he and the media forces that have been supporting him are suppressing pundits like Wallerstein and the longer view, in favor of a jingoism originally formed in the wake of WW2, but that hasn't been earned by the United States since. In fact, let's be frank, whomever was responsible for 9/11 (possibly bin Laden, but who knows for sure anymore) was pissed off, and given that the attack seemed to originate from the Middle East, an area frequently subjected to American meddling, often to the detriment of the people there. For over 50 years, the United States has been playing musical politics with the locale, and, while I obviously can not condone any act of terrorism, much less one as destructive as 9/11, I can certainly see how those responsible may have been motivated.
This is not being discussed in the greater media because it would lead to too many uncomfortable questions about the role of the United States in Middle Eastern politics (something that the general public not only doesn't know about, but chances are they don't even want to know), and questioning the moral fiber of the United States... well, let's just say, it's not a popular topic.
So, with that in mind, how is the invasion of Iraq (an act that has been revealed to the entire world outside of America to have been one of blatant financial imperialism) being characterized? As a mission to enlighten. I don't want to get nasty, but I really think that is pushing buttons in the evangelical Christian mindset, which is meshing with the whole America = Good / Everyone Else = Bad nonsense I was discussing before.
What do I think?
I remember when I was in a high school history class, there were these two idiots who sat in the back of the class and would every once and a while make a statement to the effect of, "we should take over the world" or "we should just take them over," and similar nonsense like that. Never mind that taking over the world is inheriting a myriad of problems former countries were unable to solve. Never mind that invading another country makes its citizens hate you. Never mind that the proposal would require manpower and military might that would make the Death Star look like a pea shooter.
They were two stupid teenagers, but unfortunately, I think that they were tapped into the pulse of the American global mindset.
I'm going to vote for John Kerry and hope enough people do so for the sake of at least backing off this kick we're on. I don't know whether he can be elected or not. This is one of the first times I have seen so much media power concentrated on a particular point of view that is so repulsive to me. The idea of moving out of the United States to protect my personal freedoms was one that I was considering before I realized that, with Bush in office again, and as a lame duck, I would be probably have my destination country bombed before long.
Of course multilateralism is the answer, but that runs so counter to nationalism, which has its hooks very, very deep in the American conciousness, that I don't really see any existing political power going for it.
Perhaps the time has come for a new revolution?