Thursday, September 06, 2007

'President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become "President-for-Life" Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.'

This is part of an article apparently written in all seriousness by Philip Atkinson, author of A Study Of Our Decline. It was published on Family Security Matters, a site that nominally informs families about how to keep their homes secure from terrorists. As they say:

Our mission is to inform all Americans, men and women, about the issues surrounding national security; to address their fears about safety and security on a personal, family, community, national and international level; to highlight the connection between individual safety and a strong national defense; to increase civic participation and political responsibility; and to empower all Americans to become proactive defenders of our national security and community safety.

It's probably just a coincidence, then, that it is owned by right-wing think tank, the Centre for Security Policy...

Still, it's a worrying reminder of how often we here calls to sacrifice our principles because we are threatened by those who hate our principles. It is a theme often elaborated by President Bush, who claims that we are hated because we are free, and whose response to attacks is to remove those freedoms. We are told that 'there are no options that we should take off the table' from torture to pre-emptive nuclear strikes on a non-nuclear country. The example above is only notable because it follows these arguments to their logical conclusion. Democracy is weak, and slow, and often wrong, and full of checks and balances.

I happen to believe that our claim to be civilised is based exactly on what we are prepared to 'take off the table'; in saying that there are certain things that we will never do. If we're not prepared to behave differently than those whose behaviour we deplore, what separates us from them?