Ordinarily, I don't like to quote so extensively, but this (from jurassicpork, Brilliant at Breakfast) is just too quotable to be ignored:
Hannah Arendt would’ve described this administration’s increasingly Byzantine dealings as “the inanity of evil.” There’s really no other phrase to describe it.
In describing the nondescript, guilt-free testimony of Adolph Eichmann to an Israeli court as “the banality of evil”, Arendt gave future generations a cautionary tale in miniature as to how easily we can coexist with evil even when it rears its innocuous-looking, balding head. However, she unintentionally left us unprepared for another kind of evil that’s comfortably nestled like a camouflaged snake in what passes for American culture: The inanity of evil.
By this, one can infer that the current administration runs like a crippled Ratso Rizzo in a universally-inhabited dream world of shifting sand, where traction, grace or a step is never lost and bad never happens or, at worst, is casually acknowledged and pre-emptively written off. Indeed, George W. Bush has become quite adept at neutralizing current and future criticism of the war in Iraq by coldly predicting that US casualties will be heavy in the month of August and that’s merely the cost of doing war.
But that’s but one of the many Protean rationales and objectives that one could not have predicted from an administration and army of flacks and drumbeaters who’d assured us in 2003 that US troop casualties would be kept to a bare minimum, that Iraqi civilians would be spared from senseless destruction ("the sheer humanity" gushed Rumsfeld) due to the quasi-divine level of technology of our laser-guided missiles and smart bombs.
Then, after being told to be patient while we await the good news from Gen. Petraeus this September, we were then told not to raise our expectations or expect too much from the man who'd said from the outset that the surge "had a one in four chance of suceeding." The turnaround time from lofty promises to lowered expectations is getting alarmingly more brief.
The most disturbing aspect of this war is not merely the constantly metamorphosing impetuses for invading and occupying Iraq but that the administration never makes it a point to remind us that these expectations have been lowered, that they’d once made pie-in-the-sky promises that Iraq’s war would cost one billion dollars and would be paid for by their own oil revenue, that we could mop up the place with 135,000 troops and be back home by the 4th of July 2003, that we’d be greeted as liberators, that democracy would take root and become the political gold standard for the Middle East.
This constant revisionist mindset, accompanied by the paternal invocation of, “Trust us, we know what we’re doing” fits like a velvet glove over an iron fist with a criminally deferential press and an American “culture”, for want of a better word, that embraces the catchphrase of, “It’s all good.”