Tuesday, April 25, 2006

History, and the rubble remaining

"History? We don't know. We'll all be dead," Bush remarked in 2003.
"We cannot escape history," said Abraham Lincoln.
The living president has already sealed his reputation in history. --- from Sidney Blumenthal's latest Article, " Revolt of the Generals".

W's remarks show a pretty cavalier attitude towards 'History'. Afterall our grandchildren and great grandchildren will have to live with the consequences of the 'stuff' that happens now. Strategic and tactical errors of an empire tend to have consquences that effect future generations. In "W's shallow analysis, since his generation of Americans will be dead, it doesn't matter.

Just before reading this http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329461895-103677,00.html, I came across an article by Tom Englehardt at the Working for Change website,: http://www.workingforchange.com/index.cfm

This passges tie in with what Blumenthal and others are noting:

"How time flies and how, to quote Donald Rumsfeld's infamous phrase about looters in Baghdad, "stuff happens." Looked at in the light of history, the incipient collapse of the Bush project seems to have occurred in hardly a blink. Its brevity is, in a sense, nearly inexplicable, as unexpected as water running uphill or an alien visitation. We are, after all, talking about the ruling officials of the globe's only "hyperpower" who have faced next to no opposition at home. In these years, the Democratic Party proved itself hardly a party at all, no less an oppositional one, and the active antiwar movement, gigantic before the invasion of Iraq, has remained, at best, modest-sized ever since. At the same time, in Iraq the administration faced not a unified national liberation movement backed by a superpower as in Vietnam, but a ragtag, if fierce, Sunni resistance and recalcitrant Shiite semi-allies, all now at each other's throats.

What makes the last few years so strange is that this administration has essentially been losing its campaigns, at home and abroad, to nobody. What comes to mind is the famous phrase of cartoonist Walt Kelly's character, Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us." Perhaps it's simply the case that -- in Rumsfeldian terms -- it's hard for people with the mentality of looters to create a permanent edifice, even when they set their minds to it.

And yet, it wasn't so long ago that every step the Bush people took on either "front" came up dazzling code orange, brilliantly staving off rising political problems. As a result, it took just short of five miserable years, which seemed a lifetime, to reach this moment -- years which, historically, added up to no time at all. Is there another example of the rulers of a dominant global power -- who fancied themselves the leaders of a New Rome -- crashing and burning quite so quickly? In less than five years, Bush and his top officials ran their project into the ground. In the process, they took a great imperial power over a cliff and down the falls, without safety vests, rubber dinghies, or anyone at the bottom to fish us all out. "

Thank you Tom Englehardt. The title of his article is:
"In the rubble ; History ambushes the Bush administration".
At the risk of quoting four paragraphs here is how the article ends:

"Undoubtedly, the Bush administration is not yet out of ammunition, either figuratively or literally. Even as they stand in the rubble of their world, top Bush officials remain quite capable of making decisions that will export ruins to, say, Iran and create further chaos in the oil heartlands of the planet as well as here at home. I don't sell them short, nor do I see a Democratic Party capable of taking the reins of the globe's last standing imperial power and doing a heck of a lot better. Still, there's something consoling in knowing that history remains filled with surprises and that the short, rubble-filled, disastrous career of the Bush administration looks likely to be one of them."

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