Blossoms of Death.
One of the rhetorical (and false) axioms the the power-consolidating White House has relied on is this one: your pretty civil liberties mean nothing to you if the Islamo-fascists get you, and so you best give up a few so I can prevent Osama from shimmying down your chimney like an evil Santy Claus. It has been by this (false) logic--and the resulting fear of many Americans--that Bush has seized extra-Constitutional powers. It is also by this logic that Bush has justified his half-witted invasion of Iraq. Yeah, sure, things are "a little rocky" in Baghdad, but the blossoming garden of Democracy is far better than the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein.
As have so many of the paradoxes upon which Bushian policies rest--we must cut down the trees to create healthy forests, we must give tax dollars to the wealthy to feed the poor, etc.--this one is beginning to collapse inward. With yesterday's report of 600,000 dead, with the flowering civil war (Baghdad's only blossoms are IEDs), with the simmering rage rippling across the Mideast, it is well to point out one more: Bush, for all his fine intentions, has killed more Iraqis than Saddam ever could. If life is the ultimate civil liberty, Bush's unshakeable faith in Democracy will do little for the hundreds of thousands killed in his grand experiment. Worse, they did not sacrifice their lives for their own vision of the future, but the vision supplied by the arrogant, ignorant brain trust at the Project for a New American Century. Saddam or Dick Cheney--does it much matter to the dead?