George Will

For example, in his Saturday response for the Democrats to President Bush's weekly radio broadcast, Sen. Edward Kennedy said that the administration's arguments for war against Iraq were not merely, in Kennedy's view, mistaken, they were a conscious dishonesty -- a ``distraction.'' Such statements are perhaps predictable from a senator who recently cited, approvingly, the writings of Karen Kwiatkowski.

The Weekly Standard reports that she, a retired Air Force officer, has written about ``the Zionist political cult that has lassoed the E-Ring'' of the Pentagon (the offices of senior civilian Defense Department officials). She says the war in Afghanistan was ``planned of course before 9/11/01'' because of ``Taliban non-cooperation'' regarding a trans-Afghanistan pipeline. She says that with ``Bush and his neoconservative foreign policy implementers''-- those E-Ring Jews -- resembling propagandists like Lenin, Hitler and Pol Pot, ``all evidence'' points to ``a maturing fascist state'' in America and, in foreign policy, ``fascist imperialism touched by Sparta revived.''

On Sunday, when the Spanish election was going badly for U.S. interests, so, too, was Russia's presidential election -- if it can be dignified as such. Vladimir Putin used bribery and intimidation to pull people to the polls after a campaign in which the state apparatus propagandized for him and marginalized his competitors. In the process, Putin managed to further delegitimize himself with a 71 percent landslide.

This was a large milestone on Russia's rapid slide back into authoritarianism. The slide cannot be blamed on the Bush administration. But because the central tenet of the administration's foreign policy is that U.S. security increases with the spread of democracy, the administration must be dismayed by the traducing of democracy in a nation that spans 11 time zones.

Also on Sunday, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the deposed president of Haiti, accompanied by one of the shrillest members of Congress, California Democrat Maxine Waters, flew, against the wishes of the Bush administration, from his brief exile in the Central African Republic to Jamaica. Although it is uncertain what Aristide's return to the Caribbean portends, it cannot be counted as helpful to U.S. ``nation-building'' in Haiti. But, then, what could be?

Monday morning's headlines suggested a loss of U.S mastery of events. But, then, belief that events can be mastered is the root of most political misfortunes.

George Will

George F. Will is a 1976 Pulitzer Prize winner whose columns are syndicated in more than 400 magazines and newspapers worldwide.
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