Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Don't Know Much 'Bout History
The latest issue of "Vanity Fair" offers a scathing rebuke of the Bush Administration's apparent lack of intellectual rigor and wholesale ignorance of historical precedent vis a vis Iraq. The piece, written by the late David Halberstam (a senseless early death via car accident), takes the president and his "history boys" (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz) to task for stumbling blindly into the Iraq quagmire as the price for doing the "peaceful" business of democracy in a world threatened by Evil. Halberstam doesn't pull punches in his critique of George W. Bush as an intellectually lazy and doctrinaire nincompoop who uses his mis-reading of "history" as a convenient and not very apt excuse for everything he believes, when a nod to God doesn't suffice. In Halberstam's view, the White House, in constant defense of the chief executive, cherry-picks historical references to support his foreign policy view-of-the-week. Halberstam is especially critical of the Bush Administration's bizarre appropriation of Democrat Harry Truman as the latest philosophical Flavor of the Month. Bush, he says, sees himself as the savior of a peaceful world beset by a Nazi-like fanaticism. The fact that the World War II paradigm doesn't fit apparently is of no concern in the West Wing. Simply put, Saddam was no Hitler. Further muddying the intellectual ministrations that pass for thinking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the moronic despotism of the vice president, a man who still sees the world in black and white, when all the brightest minds in Washington urge him to accept that we live in very gray times. If there is any justice in this world, Cheney and his partner-in-war-crimes, Donald Rumsfeld, will get their legal due when the Bushies are run out of Washington. The fact that they continue to profess confidence in the appallingly stupid and insanely expensive campaign in Iraq suggests that the cannibis in the White House is of superior quality, or they are now totally blind to their own incompetence and vanity.