IN THE NEWS
Perhaps it's finally dawning on more people that, for a faction of the Republican Party, the goal of US foreign policy after 9/11 isn't simply the defeat of Al Qaeda. Instead, for this radical right coalition, the 9/11 attacks merely energized them for a broader "clash of civilizations," which has both domestic and international dimensions.
Otherwise, how can you explain their willingness to bar women from combat duty, at a time when the military needs everyone it can get? Or, earlier, why was there a decision to dismiss several Arabic translators because they were gay, when turning a blind eye (in other words, actually following the "don't ask, don't tell" policy) seemed necessary for the war in Iraq?
There is a group dedicated to a broad Kulturkampf, both at home and abroad. The dogged campaign to eliminate evolution from Kansas' K-12 curriculum is connected to the effort to send evangelical missionaries (and even Christian rock music) to Muslim countries. Their war is different from the one normally depicted as official US foreign policy. It's also the unofficial campaign of many people in the executive and legislative branches of the US government. It's time for people to stop acting surprised by news items like the ones cited above and recognize this movement for what it is.