Friday, October 14, 2005

The Naked Gun Model for Understanding Geopolitics

I was reading Juan Cole's dissection of one of Bush's speeches about terror and evil-doers and all that. Cole is an expert on the Middle East and has little trouble mocking Bush's ideas about secular Baathists, Shiite Iran, and Sunni radicals all colluding against the United States. All of these groups have specific interests and agendas. But Bush lumps them, along with Chechen separatists, the Bali bombers, and Abu Sayyaf of the Philippines into one group. In another post today, Cole reminded us that the neo-cons also claimed that Cuba and Iran were working together on biological weapons.

All these disparate groups don't like the US. But most of them don't like each other as well. secularists, members of opposing religious sects, leftists, it's difficult to imagine them forming deep, long-lasting alliances. All of this reminds me of the opening of the first Naked Gun movie. In it, all of the United State's enemies of the time are sitting around a table plotting. The Soviets, Khomeini, Arafat, Gaddafi. I think Idi Amin was there too. Anyway, they are all sitting around one table scheming against the US. The scene is absurd if you have even an inkling of how the world works. Yet I can't shake the feeling that this is how Bush sees it. All these groups that have separate agendas and, in fact, hate each other as much - or more - than they hate the US are somehow working together in a grand conspiracy.