Wednesday, October 27, 2004
"I guess you'd say I'm a good steward of the land" (George W. Bush)
"Or maybe you'd say nothing of the kind" (The New Yorker, "A Failed Presidency")
This will be my last post before the election, barring a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the capture of Osama Bin Laden, or both. If it's your first time visiting the Node, I hope you'd take a spin through our archives and read what we've had to say about this Administration's "war on terrorism". I've tried to hew to as non-partisan a tone as possible, although it became apparent early on that the facts would not be flattering to the Bush administration. Before you do that, though, here's a couple of paragraphs from the New Yorker's endorsement of John Kerry, their first endorsement in the magazine's 80-year-plus history:
'. . . In Bush’s rhetoric, the Iraq war began on March 20, 2003, with precision bombings of government buildings in Baghdad, and ended exactly three weeks later, with the iconic statue pulldown. That military operation was indeed a success. But the cakewalk led over a cliff, to a succession of heedless and disastrous mistakes that leave one wondering, at the very least, how the Pentagon’s civilian leadership remains intact and the President’s sense of infallibility undisturbed. The failure, against the advice of such leaders as General Eric Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, to deploy an adequate protective force led to unchallenged looting of government buildings, hospitals, museums, and—most inexcusable of all—arms depots. ("Stuff happens," Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld explained, though no stuff happened to the oil ministry. [emphasis mine]) The Pentagon all but ignored the State Department’s postwar plans, compiled by its Future of Iraq project, which warned not only of looting but also of the potential for insurgencies and the folly of relying on exiles such as Ahmad Chalabi; the project’s head, Thomas Warrick, was sidelined. The White House counsel’s disparagement of the Geneva Conventions and of prohibitions on torture as "quaint" opened the way to systematic and spectacular abuses at Abu Ghraib and other American-run prisons--a moral and political catastrophe for which, in a pattern characteristic of the Administration’s management style, no one in a policymaking position has been held accountable. And, no matter how Bush may cleave to his arguments about a grand coalition ("What’s he say to Tony Blair?" "He forgot Poland!"), the coalition he assembled was anything but grand, and it has been steadily melting away in Iraq’s cauldron of violence.'
. . .
'The damage visited upon America, and upon America’s standing in the world, by the Bush Administration’s reckless mishandling of the public trust will not easily be undone. And for many voters the desire to see the damage arrested is reason enough to vote for John Kerry. But the challenger has more to offer than the fact that he is not George W. Bush. In every crucial area of concern to Americans (the economy, health care, the environment, Social Security, the judiciary, national security, foreign policy, the war in Iraq, the fight against terrorism), Kerry offers a clear, corrective alternative to Bush’s curious blend of smugness, radicalism, and demagoguery. Pollsters like to ask voters which candidate they’d most like to have a beer with, and on that metric Bush always wins. We prefer to ask which candidate is better suited to the governance of our nation.'
That's the question I ask, and resoundingly the answer in this election is John Kerry. I suspect a majority of Americans will agree.
Andrew 2:39 PM : |
New York Times
The New Yorker
The Atlantic Monthly
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