Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bush's Terrible Legacy

Salon ( has a piece on a new book by Glenn Greenwald that examines the legacy of Chimperator Bush's regime. It's not pretty, but sadly, in my view is all too accurate. The introduction to the piece (a quote from Sir Karl Popper, twentieth-century British philosopher of science) says it all:

We all remember how many religious wars were fought for a religion of love and gentleness; how many bodies were burned alive with the genuinely kind intention of saving souls from the eternal fire of hell.

As for highlights of the article, here are some selected quotes:

One of the principal dangers of vesting power in a leader who is convinced of his own righteousness -- who believes that, by virtue of his ascension to political power, he has been called to a crusade against Evil -- is that the moral imperative driving the mission will justify any and all means used to achieve it. Those who have become convinced that they are waging an epic and all-consuming existential war against Evil cannot, by the very premises of their belief system, accept any limitations -- moral, pragmatic, or otherwise -- on the methods adopted to triumph in this battle.

These principles illuminate a central, and tragic, paradox at the heart of the Bush presidency. The president who vowed to lead America in a moral crusade to win hearts and minds around the world has so inflamed anti-American sentiment that America's moral standing in the world is at an all-time low. The president who vowed to defend the Good in the world from the forces of Evil has caused the United States to be held in deep contempt by large segments of virtually every country on every continent of the world, including large portions of nations with which the U.S. has historically been allied. The president who vowed to undertake a war in defense of American values and freedoms has presided over such radical departures from the defining values and liberties of this country that many Americans find their country and its government unrecognizable. And the president who vowed to lead the war for freedom and democracy has made torture, rendition, abductions, lawless detentions of even our own citizens, secret "black site" prisons, Abu Ghraib dog leashes, and orange Guantánamo jumpsuits the strange, new symbols of America around the world.


KipEsquire said...

You mean "excerpt," not "review."

And check your html code; you have a misplaced close-parenthesis in the link.


Anonymous said...

Well, it's wonderful to see Glenn cite my mentor and all-time favorite philosopher of the 20th century. Karl Popper was not known for indulging nonsense, and along with his "buddy" F. A. von Hayek, they could teach the Terror-in-the-White-House a thing or two. Both men, of course, prized an "open and free society," which obviously "the Terror" does not. Instead, he's "selling the country" to Mexico and China. Worse yet, Congress is helping him. Oh for the day when character counted.