From Andrew Sullivan, a long time blogger aghast at our treatment of prisoners in the Mideast.
As I headed back from my early, morning, dental check-up I bumped my car’s radio control panel and found myself listening to the Jerry Springer Show on “Air America.” Jerry was talking about Iraq and the dialogue was the complete opposite of what I could have expected to hear from Rush Limbaugh. Iraq veterans were calling in to bad-mouth President Bush.
The avalanche is about to roll over this Administration and the reelection obsessed GOP Congress. It will be much worse for them than even I thought after Bush squeaked past Kerry and the Democrats were in mourning.
As I listened to the outrageous Springer say things I couldn’t help but agree with I thought about another darling of the early Bush Administration; the Enron gang. A recent movie: The smartest guys in the room, could just as well be a metaphor for the Bush Administration.
Everyone thought the Bushies were geniuses when in reality they were only swaggering, high stakes, Texas gamblers. They saw an opportunity and took it. They lied (or bluffed if you want to euphemize it) to protect their hand. When their lies were detected they tried to discredit the truth tellers. Thousands lost everything as a result of their lies but they made out like bandits (they all but controlled our three branches of government.) Called on the carpet when things began spinning out of control they blamed others for their mistakes. Now they are being ridden out of town on a rail. The rail for Republicans is November 2006.
Today Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is telling America that abandoning Iraq would be like letting the Nazi’s take back Germany after WWII. Although it is undoubtedly true that life in a Civil War would make life worse for Iraqi’s this is a lousy historical analogy.
Here’s another analogy that is no worse and also involves Nazi’s. What we were told about Iraq was like the Nazi’s “big lie.” It was so big, in fact, that it was too big to believe anyone could lie about it with a straight face. But since the lie was told with a straight face too many of us believed it.
Ah, but that’s what gamblers do all the time. They do it with a poker face.
Robert Samuelson is one of my favorite economic analysts. I agree with him that the port deal with Dubai was badly handled. Why?
“The idea of letting an Arab-owned company, Dubai Ports World, run container terminals at five U.S. ports struck many Americans as an absurdity. Why not just turn control directly over to Al Qaeda? In late February, a CBS News poll found that 70 percent of respondents were against the deal and only 21 percent in favor. The company’s withdrawal last week can be seen as a triumph of public opinion.” Read it all
Democrats had a easy cheap shot to fling at the President. I almost don’t blame them for doing it. The Republicans though. What a bunch of wimps.
Bush was elected as a result of, and on the heels of, a Christian resurgence that began several decades earlier. His undoing could be the result of a similiar religious revival in the world of Islam which I doubt he ever gave any thought to.
The idea of dying for a noble cause is ancient. Its best remembered in secular terms by our famous patriot, Patrick Henry, who proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
I have no idea if Henry, a product of the religiously skeptical Age of Enlightment, even believed in an afterlife but he certainly argued that death was a worthwhile price to pay for liberty. American soldiers hang their helmets on such sentiments. Now imagine the pleasure that the ultimate sacrifice would bring if you were allowed more virgins in the afterlife than you are allowed wives in this one.
If you want to really appreciate the tarbaby that George Bush got us into check out this jaw dropping video.