Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Four More Years?

Someone asked John Kerry when he would bring the troops home. He said he thought he could do it by the end of his first term.

Four more years? That was the chant we heard from inside the Garden last week. It was not what we heard on the streets, where half a million people marched for peace.

Now Kerry has taken a dive in the polls. Paul Krugman explains that deep down, people love war. I dunno. I can think of a few occasions in history when masses of people cheered going off to war -- as in 1914. But they all thought they would be home by Christmas. The cheering never lasted four years.

Alas, fear and hatred stay around longer. David Brooks rakes the embers by dwelling on the madness of suicide bombers as if they were a race apart -- as if war itself was not suicide bombing.

The word is that the dreadful events in Russia have strengthened the poll ratings of Vladimir Putin - just as 9-11 strengthened Dubya Bush. If so, it’s a case of rallying around the flag, but it cannot last. Russians have paid a terrible price for the imperial ambition of their rulers. It brought down the Czar and it brought down the Soviet Union.

I guess an American can say that without being accused of being unpatriotic. Or can he?