Shelby Steele tells us that the reason is white guilt. America feels guilt over the shameful colonial history of whites and this makes America suspectible to the accusations of the anti-war faction here at home. The result? A long and minimal war, where we are holding back when we should just do a lot of shock and awe. To kill the Islamoterrorists, even if we end up killing most of other people there, too. Or perhaps especially if we end up killing most of the others, too:
Possibly white guilt's worst effect is that it does not permit whites--and nonwhites--to appreciate something extraordinary: the fact that whites in America, and even elsewhere in the West, have achieved a truly remarkable moral transformation. One is forbidden to speak thus, but it is simply true. There are no serious advocates of white supremacy in America today, because whites see this idea as morally repugnant. If there is still the odd white bigot out there surviving past his time, there are millions of whites who only feel goodwill toward minorities.
This is a fact that must be integrated into our public life--absorbed as new history--so that America can once again feel the moral authority to seriously tackle its most profound problems. Then, if we decide to go to war, it can be with enough ferocity to win.
Steele thinks that we need a ferocious war, the kind of war where lots and lots of people die, because somehow this will defeat Islamic terrorism, and he is giving the administration a permission to ignore white guilt and to just get on with the business of ass kicking. Steele can give this permission as he has a black father.
So now you know. Though Steele's analysis fails to cover the reasons for this war and the administration's inability to manage the occupation. Or the fact that the Iraqis are Caucasians. Or the fact that the Bush administration doesn't pay any attention to the anti-war factions.
William Kristol agrees that a ferocious war would kick ass. Preferably someone else's ass, as Kristol prefers to urge others on in this war business. He is peeved at the administration for going all soft in the middle of the Iraq seduction, and he really hates the effeminate Europeans for that:
Yes, that's the view from Foggy Bottom. And it's true the Europeans don't fear the Bush administration any more. Nor, unfortunately, do others. One might also note that, despite all the goodwill built up by our outreach to the capitals of Europe,
President Bush seems much weaker today than he was in the bad old days of unilateralism and bellicosity, and so does the United States. But the State Department is popular, and at least we don't look like Neanderthals in the drawing rooms of Europe and Georgetown.
Condi and her colleagues may come home and say, privately, it ain't so. But it is so. Much of the U.S. government no longer believes in, and is no longer acting to enforce, the Bush Doctrine. "The United States of America understands and believes that Iran is not Iraq." That's a diplomatic way of saying that the United States of America is in retreat.
To both Steele and Kristol I say this: Viagra is the solution you are looking for. Much neater and quicker than slaughtering a lot of people just so that nobody will find out.