Ya' know, there comes a time in any human discourse where one needs to leave the track of rhetoric and measured political posturing, and lay bare the real issue, the 800 lb gorilla in the living room that we try to ignore. Beyond the lack of WMDs, beyond Abu Graib, beyond yellowcake, beyond the manipulation of fear politics and beyond the legal rightie problems lies the raw nerve we as progressives (given our polite, inclusive, and timid nature) refuse to ackowledge as obvious: The US is increasingly striving to be the "christian extremist" equivalent of Iran.
We see this in the increasing pressure to include specific religious teachings in our public schools, particularly in science, as well as denomination specific public, mandatory prayer. We see it in the courts, with a state supreme court judge wanting to conjoin jurisprudence with the ten commandments. And we see it in an ideology of pre-emptive violent aggression in a part of the world we understand least, against a people who meant us no harm.
Starting next monday, the internationally respected journalistic powerhouse, the BBC, will begin airing a series of specials which report among other things what we've heard before and to a large degree believe: W had a calling from god telling him to invade Iraq. If true, this is indeed a huge win for the extremists (both the Islamists and the "christians"). It also portends a loss and a death knell for the rest of us, and our democracy.