Monday, November 28, 2005

What Happened Here

I happened to be reading this small book of truths at the same time, last week, that you and your Cheney were spewing venom at those who sought to set the record straight about the origin of your war. The book, Bush, is Eliot Weinberger's What Happened Here, a collection of essays whose subtitle--"Bush Chronicles"--initially attracted my attention because of its similarity to the one we have given to these pages. The similarity, Bush, does not end there. Weinberger shares my perspective on your presidency, and the first of these essays dates from the time of your first inauguration. From there--with a brief sideswipe at your linguistic gymnastics--the chronicle moves on to the day after 9/11, three weeks after, one year after...progressively tracking your response, and eventual use of that dreadful event to promote the agenda of your war.

It's a remarkable book, Bush. It combines carefully--though passionately--argued opinion with long sections, toward the end, which simply provide long litanties of plain facts and unglossed quotations from your own mouth and the mouths of your enablers. In all, it's a damning history of the lies, half-truths, exaggerations and deceptions with which you and your people justified the march to a war which had been intended, if not planned, well before the events of 9/11 provided you with the perfect pretext with which to persuade the American people. It's also a pitiless exposure of the inbred cronyism of the small circle of your supporters and your administration, and a history of the utter managerial incompetence to which this cronyism has led.

In fewer than two hundred pages, then, Weinberger manages to condense a fully reasoned, fully coherent, albeit angry opposition to the policies and practices of your administration. It's unfortunate that his voice is heard more abroad, in Europe, than in our own country, because it is an essential and implacable one. It pulls no punches. It lets you get away with nothing, Bush. The breadth of his resources of information, along with his devastatingly accurate eye, exposes your duplicities without mercy. I hope it finds a lot of readers amongst those who follow "The Bush Diaries."

I sense a kingship with Weinberger, since we both come from a literary layman's point of view. He lays no claims to punditry. His book does differ, though, from what we're doing here. First, it covers a much greater time span: we have been working on this diary only since your second (questionable--Weinberger touches on this, too!) election. It's much less friendly, much less conversational, much less personal. But indispensible, I think, in its overview. I wish you'd read it, Bush. But I doubt you will.

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