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Sunday, July 1

The Tragic Legacy We Are Stuck With

I received Glenn Greenwald's new book a couple of days ago. I am only finished with Chapter One but there are some good points to make already. The first chapter makes a very solid case for Bush's having a Manichean view. The term Manichean refers literally to a religion founded in the third century by a Persian prophet, Manes. Its doctrine is starkly simple - everything, and everyone is seen in terms of absolute good or evil. A leader perceiving the world in these lights, as Bush does, can justify any means to achieve his ends as the ends themselves are absolutely good. The religious evangelicals have a similar view. It is easy to see how this worldview can justify all collateral damage. Someone who is not a deep thinker probably does sleep well at night believing he is doing god's will. "Those who believe that they are on the path of righteousness, who are crusaders for the objective Good, will frequently become convinced that there can be no limitations on the weapons used to achieve their ends."

Chapter One essentially follows Bush's rise in popularity to the heights of post 9/11 and on down to his dismal position with the 30 percent base being the only ones left. Greenwald makes a pretty damning statement on page 16 "Many Americans, perhaps most, hate a losing war more than they hate an unjust war". I hope that is not true. Some of the loss of followers is due to conservatives distancing themselves from Bush in an effort to save their careers. Greenwald says, "In that regard, there is a serious, and quite revealing, fraud emerging in the political landscape - namely, that the so-called conservative movement is not responsible for the destruction wrought on the country by the Bush presidency and the loyal Republican Congress that followed him. Even more audacious, the claim is emerging that the conservative movement is actually the prime victim here, because its lofty 'principles' have been betrayed and repudiated by the Republican president and Congress that have ruled our country for the last six years." Greenwald debunks that theory very neatly and enumerates the well known conservatives and their new take on Bush and his policies.

There will be a further report when I finish the book. I leave you with these two quotes with which Greenwald begins his book:

"Let me just first tell you that I've never been more convinced that the decisions I made are the right decisions." (GWB, Sept. 12, 2006, speaking to a group of right-wing pundits in the White House)

"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." (Abraham Lincoln)

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