Let's see here... this
fellow says Bush, when he took us to war, "oozed a smugness bred of incuriousness and an airy dismissal of dissent. He knew what he knew with such fiery certainty that even now he seems incapable
of facing reality. He's like a kid who refuses to accept the fact that
there is no Santa Claus."
This is, of course, another comment on Bush's establishing a commission to find out why he was fooled so
badly by the spooks and spies. He's has appointed the commissioners - Lord Hutton
and Dennis Miller? No, the usual crew.
Hey, how many suspects get to pick their own jury? Cool. The man has brass balls.
And the item is worth a read.
Blame, Blindness . .
Richard Cohen, The Washington Post, Tuesday, February 3, 2004;
And it ends with this:
But any truth commission worth its name would have to look beyond the government. It would be instructive to examine the yahoo mood that came over much of the nation once
Bush decided to go to war. The decision -- its urgency -- seemed to come out
of nowhere. Yet most of America fell into line, and in certain segments of the
media, the Murdoch press above all, dissent was ridiculed. On Fox TV, France
was called a member of the "axis of weasels" and antiwar demonstrators in Davos were disparaged as "knuckleheads." Colorful
stuff, but wrong, irresponsible and craven.
I do not take myself off
the hook. The mood got to me, too. And
while I kept insisting that the Bush administration was exaggerating the case for war, was in too much of a hurry and was
incapable of assembling a true coalition, I nevertheless went along with the program.
There is much cause for concern here. A consensus -- based on
false facts, outright lies and exaggerated fears -- took over the nation. We
didn't go on a bender, as we did after Pearl Harbor, and incarcerate a particular ethnic group, but we did go to war when
we plainly did not have to. More than 500 Americans and thousands of Iraqis have
died for a mistake. Peace has not been brought to the Middle East and America
is not only no safer than it was, it may well be in even greater danger. This
was no mere failure of intelligence. This was a failure of character.
Why? No newspaper column could
provide all the answers. But we were clearly unnerved by the events of Sept.
11, 2001, and the subsequent -- and now mostly overlooked -- anthrax attacks, which disproportionately affected the news media. Saddam Hussein provided us with a nifty and useful personification of evil -- not
to mention spurious links to al Qaeda. He was something familiar, Hitler and
Stalin all over again. There was an understandable urge to settle some scores. Finally, though, there was smugness -- the sort of American exceptionalism that
so rankles non-Americans. No one better exemplified that than Bush himself. He proclaimed a divine right to unilateralism, oozed a smugness bred of incuriousness
and an airy dismissal of dissent. He knew what he knew with such fiery certainty
that even now he seems incapable of facing reality. He's like a kid who refuses
to accept the fact that there is no Santa Claus.
By all means, proceed
with the independent commission. A huge mistake has been made, and we need to
know why. But if for a moment we think that it was the CIA alone that took us
to war, then we will have learned nothing from what happened. That would be the
gravest intelligence failure of them all.
Oh yeah, the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer ran an editorial this week with the headline 'Whoops' doesn't work for wars - so I guess a few folks are getting a bit grumpy about things.
a deeply frightened and angry population will still reelect (or elect) Bush by a landslide.
We're a forgiving people, even if a bit too smug for the French.
smug for the French? Now there's a switch! Oh, the irony!
will also note the Post item mentions that it "would be instructive to examine the yahoo mood that
came over much of the nation." The use of "Yahoo" is curious. The term was made popular, in its current sense, by Jonathan Swift in Book Four of Gulliver's Travels
- you could look it up. Read it carefully.
But I have mentioned Swift far too often here.