Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Liberty versus theocracy: which side do you think Bush is on?

Thinking about the "global war on terror," which as we know he considers the Iraq to be an integral part of, Andrew Sullivan claims, rightly enough, that Patrick Buchanan
obviously admires the muscularity of the Jihadists' religious politics. His lament is that Christians are not as tough. Buchanan likes nothing more than conflict, and a good civilizational conflict between Christian and Muslim theocrats would doubtless thrill him. And from 9/11 onwards, many members of the religious right have indeed opined that Islamist loathing of American 'decadence' is partly deserved. The real war, however, is between liberty and theocrats of all kinds, between limited government and religious statism....
I couldn't agree more.

But there's an obvious follow-up question: which side of the war between liberty and religious statism do you think George Bush is on? More pointedly, which side of that debate do you think Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Bob Jones, Gary Bauer, or Ralph Reed fall? In other words, on which side does the much-vaunted "base" of the Republican Party fall? Do you really think these people are all completely misguided in their fervid love for Bush?

Answering that rhetorical question ought to raise some very serious worries for Andrew about what exactly underpins Bush's Middle East policy. Nor is it irrelevant to note that Saddam and the Baathists, whatever else they were, were certainly secularists....

No comments: