Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Neocon meets neocon 

Filling in for Atrios, Avedon points to a speech by Cold War historian John Gaddis, shocked that it tells of Bush calling Gaddis in to talk about his critique of the administration's doctrine of preemptive war,

Via Dave Trowbridge, an astonishing story from Yale prof John Gaddis:

Late in June, I had a cryptic e-mail from a former student, now working in the White House speech-writing shop: "the boss has read your book, and has told all of us to read it."

I wasn't quite sure which boss he meant, but soon there was a call from Condi Rice which cleared things up: "The President has read your book, and has told all of us to read it. Could you come down and brief the National Security Council staff?"

And this book was not about the liberal media or how wonderful George Bush's policies are - far from it. Like Dave, I am flabbergasted.

I'm unsure of where the shock lies: Gladdis does not criticize Bush policy, but the failure to successfully implement it.

Gaddis criticism does not take the form of "It was a bad idea to invade Iraq," but "the invasion of Iraq was botched." As pointed out in the comments, Gaddis drinks deeply from the lie that,

[E]very intelligence agency in the world also believed that [WMD were there, and it may be that Saddam Hussein believed that also. That they weren't, was universally unexpected."

Gaddis is a neocon through and through,

"We face a new situation in which containment and deterrence are no longer enough," Gaddis said. "The Bush strategy of pre-emption comes in. We have to anticipate where attacks will come and how to deter them."

Characterizing the war as an attempt to establish Iraq as a model of democracy, Gaddis said Iraq's example will permeate throughout the world.

"Some of our allies in that part of the world are also authoritarian -- Serbia, even Israel -- so is the Bush strategy aimed at them?," Gaddis said. "Yes, I think it is, but not all at once. If you can establish some semblance of democracy in Iraq, its ripples will spread everywhere else."

Gaddis said the war would ameliorate the quality of life for Iraqis, and is not merely a capitalist, oil-related venture.

"Oil is part of the picture, but so too is security and humanitarianism," Gaddis said. "What does this mean for the Iraqis, the Middle East, the U.S. and other parts of the world? It means a better life, not a perfect life, but one that is freer."

Is it incredible that Bush read a 160 page book promoting the Bush foreign policy and that the author played pointing out obvious failures to successfully implement it as being at odds with the White House? No.

Is is good that people are filling in for a traveling Atrios. Sure, but I will welcome his return.

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Sure, it's not surprising that bush would spend his reading time reading about himself. At least not to us liberals. You never know who's going to read something and find it to be 'the last straw' as it were.

I've really enjoyed the guest bloggers. They've done an excellent job.
So I am having a bad day. I blew out a tire I bought used, yesterday. I am stuck in Kalamazoo until tomorrow morning so I will miss some of the work day. I also ran into an ex-lover today for the first time in almost five years, we made plans to get together this evening since I was stuck in K-zoo anyways. I just went over to her house and had a lovely visit with her kids, but one of them was in the process of becoming rather ill so we had to call it an early night.

Then I come over to Eric's space adn he puts a big old smile on my face. I read the same bit earlier today and couldn't really figure out the big deal either after reading up a little on Gaddis. I find it refreshing that the one person i find who thinks the same thing I do is you. (of course I havn't looked for others yet) But I laud you for making my shitty day a little less shitty.


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