March 14, 2003
Out to Lunch
According to NYTimes columnist Paul Krugman, a growing number of insiders in the media, the State Department, the Treasury Department and even the Pentagon, "don't just question the competence of Mr. Bush and his inner circle; they believe that America's leadership has lost touch with reality."
Bush's inner circle, Krugman says, "seems amazed that the tactics that work so well on journalists and Democrats don't work on the rest of the world. They've made promises, oblivious to the fact that most countries don't trust their word. They've made threats. They've done the aura-of-inevitability thing how many times now have administration officials claimed to have lined up the necessary votes in the Security Council? They've warned other countries that if they oppose America's will they are objectively pro-terrorist. Yet still the world balks."
Reality is not allowed to creep in and upset the obsessions, Krugman says, and he refers to the administration's "almost childish unwillingness to face up to problems that they don't feel like dealing with right now."
North Korea's nuclear program, for example, "isn't a rumor or a forgery; it's an incipient bomb assembly line."
Jill Nelson, On presidential lust: for sex or for war. One tears up a family, the other tears up the whole world. See MSNBC Some analysts are saying there is a good chance there will be thousands of US casualties if the US invades Iraq. See The Manchester Times. Bush administration hawks are baffled by Blair's attempts to accommodate opposition to Bush's war. "Why not just go for it?" one administration official is quoted as saying. See Telegraph. They have no concept of respect the opinions and concerns of others. That damn democracy stuff just gets in the way. The New York Observer has an editorial that wails, a fusillade against Bush, a Mike Tyson-style attack. "On one hand, a callow and blustering President has assured us that his goal is right by confusing the despot in Iraq and the atrocities of 9/11," says the Observer. "On the other hand, those political leaders who oppose going to war have failed through a shockingly craven silence that seems strange and almost calculated; never have opponents of a war seemed so lame and dumbstruck, almost as though they were watching an engineer drive a locomotive right into the side of a building." The press conference was "more a blustering tape loop than exchange with the press ... President George W. Bushıs performance in front of a docile collection of game-show hosts posing as reporters ought to frighten all of us. We live in terrible times, dangerous times, and all this man can do is mouth platitudes and assertions put on his podium cards by his war-crazed handlers. Eight times he interchanged the war on Iraq with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and eight times he was unchallenged. Amazingly, in the immediate aftermath of the Presidentıs disgraceful performance, news outlets described him as 'solemn' and 'determined.' These pieces must have been put together before the President actually spoke, because there was nothing solemn or determined about him; 'clueless' and 'lost' would have been closer." Read this for a concentrated dose of rage. Blair's government is collapsing now, as the head of the House of Commons has suggested he would resign if Blair plunges the country into war without a UN resolution. The Independent.