An article in the Post asks if the War on Drugs has undermined the War on Terror. This question seems to me to be as fully engaged with reality as the question of whether or not a man who has self-amputated both arms with a band saw has undermined his ability to fly by flapping them.
Another notes with something like surprise or regret that little progress has been made at "ending tyranny in our world." You don't say? Little progress has been made on perpetual motion mechanics, and the alchemists never did trasmute lead into gold. Outside of a a bad Aronofsky film, there is no fountain of youth.
So the metaphorical war to eradicate demand for the world's most popular non-essential commodity has run up against a less metaphorical war against a more insubstantial euphemism, whose imagined prerogatives are daily undercutting the President's impossible goal. Complicating matters is the fact that the President does not, in fact, care to "promote democracy," a fact made plain by his actions and clarified by an unnamed bureaucrat who pithily slaps down an unnamed official working on "democracy issues": "Policy," says the bureaucrat, "is not what the president says in speeches."
What the President says in speeches, meanwhile, is totally mad:
Sharansky invited Bush to Prague this spring hoping to jump-start the democracy agenda. Bush advisers saw it as a chance to reaffirm his vision of ending tyranny. "Some have said that qualifies me as a 'dissident president,' " Bush told the gathering. "If standing for liberty in the world makes me a dissident, I wear that title with pride."Some? Who? How many? When? Presidential infelicity is an old joke now, but for the holder of the world's most powerful single office--the man who commands a half-trillion-dollar-a-year military apparatus, forty-billion-dollar-a-year intelligence services, the departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Justice--to call himself a dissident . . . That's perhaps the most seriously untethered self-concept since the last time some guy all highed up on PCP stepped in front of a moving bus, confident that his super strength would bring it easily, painlessly to a halt.