The Endless War
As a side note, I have a somewhat lengthy article in the current edition of The American Conservative magazine (only the Table of Contents is online). The article explores the differences between rational thought and partisan allegiance, and in particular examines the complete abandonment of conservative political principles by supporters of George Bush, for whom allegiance to the leader and the party have assumed absolute paramounce.
Finally, someone at The Washington Post appears to be an admirer of Us Magazine, or People Teen, or something, and they are offering a new (?) feature entitled "Off Hours" which, as they put it, "featur(es)Washington's top decision makers in their off hours -- outside the office and inside their lives."
Today's version contains vapid and oh-so-humanizing details about Attorney General Alberto Gonzaels' not-at-all-contrived-or-self-conscious interactions with his son and wife, but it also contains this significant revelation:
But as Gonzales pumped up a hill, he said he wasn't troubled by critics. He was troubled by terrorists. "I stay up at night," he said, rounding a corner near the water. "I read the reports. Sometimes I ask myself, when will it end?"
The river rippled away from the shore. "The answer is -- it probably never will."
That is an extremely important yet virtually never acknowledged truth revealed by the selfless Gonzales (who doesn't care at all about criticism of him, only about the dangers posed by terrorists). The "war" on terrorism -- which justifies everything from lawbreaking to expanded presidential powers across the board, and which means that we should be muted in our criticisms of the Commander-in-Chief (when we are allowed to voice them at all) -- is expected to end . . . right around never.
All of those Bush defenders who are constantly justifying radical changes to our country based on this "war" are not advocating short-term, temporary or finite changes. They seek fundamental and permanent changes to our system of government, and to transform the United States into a country that is in a state of war that literally has no end. That is not news to many people, but it is still striking to see it acknowledged so nakedly and starkly as Gonazles, likely unguarded by the family puff piece, admitted to it here.