Neocon wet dreams and the judgment of history

Sputtering to the finish line, George W. Bush will go on national TV tonight to give his farewell address. Based on his recent press conference and interviews, we’ve already gotten hints of how he intends to spin his legacy. As Tracy Dingmann put it, “He slumped, he squinted, he contorted his face and mocked his detractors with a fake whiny voice… In summing up his eight years in office, Bush was proudly unreflective.”

Ahh, but it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. Certainly not the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And Bush’s foreign policy — that was to have been his supreme triumph.

Of course, that’s the way it wasn’t. Continue reading

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Good bye to all that

The new issue of Harper’s (January 2009) has an special three-page edition of the Harper Index – this one devoted entirely to “A retrospective of the Bush era”.

As we say good bye to the old year and to the reign of W, here are just a few of the choicer items. Read ’em and weep. Happy New Year!

Continue reading

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. It was originally called Armistice Day.

Good post on the subject at the New Mexico Independent by Kate Nelson —
Costs of war: Those who did their duty deserve proper care

And then there’s this. Read up on the new G.I. Bill of Rights.

Accomplishing Something Terrible

By now, most Americans are cognizant of the fact that today marks the five-year anniversary of President Bush’s “mission accomplished” speech. A vast majority agree that this war was a mistake – in terms of both lives sacrificed and the long-range damage to our economy.

And now we’re learning more about the toll taken in the broken bodies and minds of our veterans — and what’s not being done to care for them.

The Rand Corporation just released a report, Invisible Wounds of War examining the impact Iraq has had on the health of returning veterans. Rates of post traumatic stress disorder, depression and brain injuries are examined. Continue reading

(Really) Scoring the Surge

On the eve of General David Patraeus’ testimony before Congress, an emerging critique is worth mentioning.

Due to an increasingly bleak national economy and a spirited presidential contest, interest in the Iraq War is waning. Into this vacuum has slipped a narrative that the president’s troop surge strategy is “working.” The narrative has been repeated countless times the past three months by the president, members of Congress and political pundits.

The “surge is working” mantra was making in-roads, as evident by a recent Pew poll (hat tip to Huffington Post).

Absent facts, the folks who brought you claims of making their own reality were intent on shaping public opinion, much the way they’ve been doing for the past five years. Continue reading