I used to get pissed at least once a day about something that the Bush Administration had done. Maybe a lie. A manipulation. Fearmongering. An omission. Neo-McCarthyism. And I stress the "at least" part, because normally it was more.
But at some point over the past year or two, something a switch flipped off. I fear have become fatigued, apathetic, and jaded. I stopped paying so much attention to public affairs. It was depressing enough that the news is so bad on a daily basis. But to realize that, outside of a relative passionate few, most people didn't give a shit anyways, well, that was numbing. My heart wasn't really into it anymore. And the past seven years became kind of a blur, better to be forgotten.
But then PBS brought it all back. The Frontline special, "Bush's War", that ran last week. Is nothing short of amazing. I Tivo'd it (sorry, "DirecTV DVR'd" it doesn't have a nice ring to it) and could only handle watching so much of it at a time. That is how pissed I got.
If you didn't pay attention to the lead up to the Iraq War, if you were to bust to pay attention during the first years of the war, and maybe now you feel it's your patriotic duty to catch up, well Bush's War is a riveting way to do so. It's 4 1/2 hours (yes, I know, but you owe it to your country. You're a patriot, remember? If you don't watch it, the terrorists win) of interviews with most of the behind the scenes players and the journalists who did their best to cover it. The grudge match between the CIA and the Pentagon over military matters and intelligence, and the parallel political war between the State Department and Department of Defense are given thorough attention.
The obvious villans in the whole affair are Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. Fucking pricks. Ahmed Chalabi and John Yoo are high on that list as well. Bush himself appears to be, as we have always guessed, an enabler to Cheney and Rumsfeld's wishes.
Condeleeza Rice has a mixed legacy. She often tried to do the right thing behind closed doors, but when she failed, she just went along in public and did the bidding of her superiors. And she's still doing the same shit today. George Tenet had a chance early on to do some good and keep the focus on Afghanistan, but in the end, possibly in the name of personal ambition, caved, and went along with the program.
Colin Powell is the major political tragedy here. I wish he would have just resigned after being humiliated left and right. Instead, although he harbored more doubts than virtually anyone, he ended up making made the case for war to the UN. And, being Colin Powell, he influenced countless numbers of people who were on the fence towards war.
So, now I'm pissed all over again. More than anything I wonder how, after all the bad judgemnts, after all the poor decisons, after all the cut corners cut, how, how! how? Bush and Cheney are still in office. I used to wonder this many times a day. I guess it was a nice little mental vacation I had there for awhile. Thanks, PBS, for putting an end to that. Assholes.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The point of all this rambling is that "Bush's War" is available online for free.
Here's a preview.