Vanity Fair article on the Bush Presidency.

#1
There is a fascinating essay in Vanity Fair about George W Bush's increasing and increasingly fatuous and selective use of history to justify his f*ck-ups in Iraq. See HERE.
It was written by David Halberstam, now sadly departed, who wrote a very good book on the Vietnam war, "A bright, shining lie."


III. The Perils of Empire
You don't hear other members of the current administration citing the lessons of Vietnam much, either, especially Cheney and Karl Rove, both of them gifted at working the bureaucracy for short-range political benefits, both highly partisan and manipulative, both unspeakably narrow and largely uninterested in understanding and learning about the larger world. As Joan Didion pointed out in her brilliant essay on Cheney in The New York Review of Books, it was Rumsfeld and Cheney who explained to Henry Kissinger, not usually slow on the draw when it came to the political impact of foreign policy, that Vietnam was likely to create a vast political backlash against the liberal McGovern forces. The two, relatively junior operators back then, were interested less in what had gone wrong in Vietnam than in getting some political benefit out of it. Cheney still speaks of Vietnam as a noble rather than a tragic endeavor, not that he felt at the time—with his five military deferments—that he needed to be part of that nobility.

Still, it is hard for me to believe that anyone who knew anything about Vietnam, or for that matter the Algerian war, which directly followed Indochina for the French, couldn't see that going into Iraq was, in effect, punching our fist into the largest hornet's nest in the world. As in Vietnam, our military superiority is neutralized by political vulnerabilities. The borders are wide open. We operate quite predictably on marginal military intelligence. The adversary knows exactly where we are at all times, as we do not know where he is. Their weaponry fits an asymmetrical war, and they have the capacity to blend into the daily flow of Iraqi life, as we cannot. Our allies—the good Iraqi people the president likes to talk about—appear to be more and more ambivalent about the idea of a Christian, Caucasian liberation, and they do not seem to share many of our geopolitical goals.
 
#2
Thank you. Indeed, fascinating. In addition to my interest in the the viewpoint of both pieces of writing, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of language. I will look out for other works.
 
#3
Bovvy you might like this as well:

Bush and Cheney's tortured secrecy

Can the White House win a constitutional showdown with Congress over executive privilege after shredding the nation's trust?
By David Cole

July 12, 2007 | The Bush administration, already arguably the most aggressive advocate of unchecked executive power in the history of the American presidency, has done it again. President Bush has defied a congressional subpoena for testimony and documents related to his politically and legally suspect firing of a group of U.S. attorneys. Invoking "executive privilege," Bush directed two former White House employees -- Sara Taylor, who was his political director, and Harriet Miers, who was his White House counsel -- not to testify about any "White House consideration, deliberations or communications" on the matter. Taylor said little of substance before lawmakers on Wednesday, while Miers retreated from testifying at all. Bush has refused not only to turn over any documents, but even to delineate which documents he claims the privilege protects. Congress claims constitutional authority to demand the documents; the president claims a constitutional privilege to refuse that demand.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/07/12/exec_privilege/index.html
 
#4
And this is the flagpole that Blair nailed his colours to...

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.
 
#5
flamingo said:
And this is the flagpole that Blair nailed his colours to...

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.
"Sad" isn't quite the word I'd have chosen, Flamingo. Before anything else, I just want to say that I'm not anti-American in any way, shape, or form. And to that end, I fervently hope that this maniac is held to account by his countrymen before it's too late.

Not by any means an expert on American constituional affairs, but would someone please reassure me that there is absolutely NO WAY (on any grounds whatsoever) that this buffoon can try to suspend / delay elections? I'm becoming increasingly convinced that if he thinks he can, he will. And I, for one, would hate to hve been in WW2 if Germany had the military advantage America has today 8O
 
#6
spunkymonkey said:
flamingo said:
And this is the flagpole that Blair nailed his colours to...

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.
"Sad" isn't quite the word I'd have chosen, Flamingo. Before anything else, I just want to say that I'm not anti-American in any way, shape, or form. And to that end, I fervently hope that this maniac is held to account by his countrymen before it's too late.

Not by any means an expert on American constituional affairs, but would someone please reassure me that there is absolutely NO WAY (on any grounds whatsoever) that this buffoon can try to suspend / delay elections? I'm becoming increasingly convinced that if he thinks he can, he will. And I, for one, would hate to hve been in WW2 if Germany had the military advantage America has today 8O
Don't want to frighten you or anything. But do a web rummage for 'rex84' and the 'military commissions act.'

And you don't have to say you are not anti American. Anti neo con does it. Lots of Americans themselves are anti neo con. Its the neo cons who are the anti Americans.
 

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