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It hit me right in the gut while watching the Sunday evening news. Though it's dangerous to view a single day's news as more than a microcosm of reality, one theme came through in every story.

This administration always supports the desires of its rigid ideologues; the fundamentalist Christians who "get out the vote" and the neo-conservative war mongers--- ahead of anything else, and regardless of the consequences.

Never does this president serve the needs of the American people. This administration always serves the ideologies of its supporters, whose base only includes about 30% of our population.

The wrongfulness of Bush's stubborn support of Israel's unconscionable overreach against the Lebanese civilians, so predictable yet astonishing in its folly, displays once more his flawed world view.

The photos of dozens of recently killed children exposed Condoleeza Rice's outlandish diplomatic ideology for the world to see. Her cavalier statement that supporting an immediate cease-fire would be "premature" because it wouldn't resolve the conflict's "root cause" exposed her own twisted philosophy. As L.A. Times writer Rosa Brooks put it, "When civilians on both sides are having their limbs blown off, it's hard for anyone to focus on root causes."

The pomposity of allowing ideology to trump the lives of innocent civilians, in order to sate the neo-cons' burning desire to engage in war with both Iran and Syria, is both incomprehensible and predictable. In this administration, ideology always trumps decency and humanity.

Upon returning from the Middle East recently, columnist Tom Friedman put it succinctly:
" "America should be galvanizing the forces of order---Europe, Russia, China and India---into a coalition against these [Mid-East violence] trends. But we can't. Why?... Because our president and secretary of state, although they speak with great moral clarity, have no moral authority. That's been shattered by...Iraq."

"The world hates George Bush more than any U.S. president in my lifetime. He is radioactive---and so caught up in his own ideological bubble that he is incapable of imagining or forging alternative strategies."

Friedman continued:

" "Deep down, the world really envies American optimism and naivete'. When we go from being a country that, historically, has always exported hope to being a country that always exports fear...this administration has stolen something from the people...The sort of dark nature of the Cheneys and the Bushes and the Rices,...this...pessimism about the world, this exporting of fear, not hope, has left people feeling that the idea of America has been stolen from them."

Once more, through raw incompetence, the Bushies have succeeded in recruiting more Middle East terrorists than the terrorists themselves could ever hope for. While Lebanon, the only democracy in the Middle East clearly needs our help and leadership, Bush and Rice stubbornly insisted an immediate cease fire would accomplish little. On Monday, Bush continued to ignore the world-wide call for an immediate truce by dismissing any idea of just "stopping for the sake of stopping" without a plan for lasting peace. Well, it would have kept almost fifty children from dying horrible deaths in one attack, but again, what is that compared to the sacrosanctity of ideology?

I'm conflicted by his overwhelming concern for questionable life in a petri dish, already scheduled for destruction, his relish for executing people during his governorship of Texas, by far the nation's most lethal state, and his indifference to the lives of these children. As always with this guy, "stay the course" trumps rational thought.

The fact that Bush ordered an unusual speed-up in U.S. production of missiles to enable the Israelis to elevate the level of their attack on Lebanon further tarnished our bargain-basement image in the Arab world. One asks; how did one administration get stuffed with so many incompetents? Answer: "A fish stinks from the head."

Any of our previous presidents would have used our prestige and status to press our Israeli allies to use some form of restraint in dealing with the very real problem of Hezbollah. With clowns like John Bolton and Rice in charge, this is not possible.

The result: Rice was sent packing by Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. While she attempted to paint the picture as her decision, one need not be a member of Mensa to see she was 86'ed. That's right...America's Secretary of State was bluntly dismissed by Prime Minister Siniora. Atta girl, Condi. Heckuva job!

Under intense world-wide pressure Israel announced a 48-hour air strike suspension over the weekend to investigate the attack on Qana. Since Rice was kicked out of Lebanon, the intelligent thing would to meet with the Israelis, and offer a leading hand at bringing the bloodshed to a close. She finally did so.

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Thomas L. Walsh graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Communications/Journalism degree in 1962. Following a successful business career, he retired to Idaho's Teton Valley in 1999, where he works as a free-lance writer. Walsh and his (more...)
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