Saturday, October 15, 2005


Billmon over at Whiskey Bar has a thoughful post this morning, speculating on the consequences of Bush's hubris. In short, the U.S. has isolated itself from the international community to such an extent that potential regional threats (e.g. Iran, Syria, Venezuela) can act badly with impunity because Bush has squandered the capital of influence and bargaining. In other words, the arogance of the current administration has made the world far more unstable with little chance of achieving strategic balance via global leadership or intimidation.

Thinking this over, it occurs to me that the Bush loyalists (growing fewer by the hour) probably don't care what the international community thinks, given their barroom bully posturing masking deep insecurity and ignorance. Some years ago I had the pleasure of hearing Kurt Vonegut speak at a commencement at Rice University. One line of his stuck in my head, and I think of it often: "Only a fool says he doesn't care what his neighbor thinks." Indeed.