Monday, April 30, 2007

My Heroes

Yesterday, my best friend Jim came by and watched my son's practice baseball game with me and we had a chance to talk politics, one of our favorite things to do.

In the course of our discussion, I realized I had two heroes-- World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and former CIA director George Tenet.

Wolfowitz is currently embroiled in a controversy. I'll leave that alone for the moment.

Wolfowitz is the quintessential conservative chickenhawk-- he has long been hawkish in his foreign policy views, after having never served in the military-- he used student deferments to avoid service in Vietnam, like much of the Bush administration, including VP Dick Cheney.

Wolfowitz was, of course, one of the prime movers and shakers in getting the administration to rush into the current war under false pretenses.

This administration rewards loyalty, and Wolfowitz was appointed to the head the World Bank.

In 2001, his marriage collapsed, with rumors of an affair.

The current scandal arose over his acceptance of the World Bank position. It turns out that his girlfriend Shaha Riza worked there already. World Bank rules forbade them both being employed there, so she was placed on an outside assignment with a promotion and raise.

This did not look good, and a firestorm has erupted.

Most normal people would resign and quietly accept some other position to avoid bringing damage to the administration. Not Wolfy. He's going to dig his heels in and fight. Every day brings a new headline and new damage to the Bush Administration's already trashed image.

Hero #2 George Tenet just published his "modestly titled" memoirs, as NYT columnist Maureen Dowd put it, "At the Center of the Storm: My Years With the CIA." He claims, among other things, that there was never serious debate about the march to war. Okay, Mr. "Slam-dunk." I love how a guy who was a part of that process is claiming not to have been. Whatever sells books, I guess.

By the way, George, when you appeared on the front page of the New York Times on December 15, 2004, you appeared pretty happy to be recieving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from W. The caption said that you, as CIA director, built the case for war. I'm sure there was some kind of misunderstanding.

His book is fueling the fires of this administration's collapse. My hero.

One of the people who have immediately attacked Tenet is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She's on my short list to become a hero. She has promised to ignore a Congressional supoena. I wonder if she knows the penalty for ignoring a supoena. She will offically become my hero when I see her doing the perp walk to jail for ignoring the supoena.

The way that this administration is collapsing into a fury of backbiting and stupidity would be highly amusing if it weren't for the 3,351 US deaths to date, according to the Iraq Casualty Count Coalition-- not to mention the tens of thousands more physically and psychically wounded. Or the tens of thousands of Iraqi dead, or the millions of Iraqis living with an increasingly violent and chaotic situation.

As I've watched this unfold, this war that has now dragged on longer than World War II, something was nagging at me-- that I'd seen it before-- guys trying to do something they thought would be easy, then getting in over their heads. It occurred to me that I'd seen it in the Disney movie "Fantasia," specifically "The Magician's Apprentice" segment.

Problem is, there's no magician to return home and undo these idiots' mess. The only satisfaction I get is that their continued incompetence and arrogance are further damaging the political party that got them to power.


busterp said...

I totally agree. I used to jump to the sports first with our daily paper; now it's the front page and letters.

Following the blunders then the bigger blunders lying about the origial blunders is fascinating.

Grant Miller said...

You are my hero.

Skylers Dad said...

There is nobody I would like to see hang more than Condi. Or throw her ass in prison and make her some big gals bitch.

Now there's pay per view TV!

Beth said...

Fan-damn-tastic post, Johnny Yen. I'll have to send this one around my crowd.

Bubs said...

It looks like Tenet's really mad at having been thrown under the bus by his former boss. I heard an interview with him where he kept saying something to the effect of "men of honor don't do this" referring to his treatment by the Bush administration. What a spectacle.

Erik Donald France said...

Spectacle, indeed. The Democrats are finally showing a real difference vs. the Repubs' again. The *will* withdraw the bulk of US forces from Iraq. Too bad we can't have a vote of no confidence for Bush TODAY. Parliamentary elections IMMEDIATELY. We shouldn't have to impeach presidents to try to get rid of them early.

Danny Tagalog said...

I hope you keep this momentum going.

The whole world waits!

Johnny Yen said...

It's gripping, isn't it?

I don't know if you were reading my blog when I told the story of the day the war started. It was my first year teaching sixth grade in Cicero, a blue-collar, mostly hispanic suburb-- the kind of place the kids who fight these wars come from. Instead of my social studies lesson, I let the kids talk to me about the war. I told them to mark the date in their minds-- it was the high-water mark of America as an empire.

And the lesson I put off that day? We were supposed to begin the unit on Rome.

I've always wondered if I was the wind beneath your wings.

Skyler's Dad-
That might make me sign up for a premium channel.


Tenet invoking "men of honor" is like Richard Speck calling Charles Manson a homocidal maniac.

Parlimentary elections, with Proportional Representation-- now there's an idea.

The administration seems to be doing it's best to spoil any iota of a good legacy that could possibly be left.

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