I’ve always been a fan of George Bush, on the simple grounds that the American empire needs taking down several notches and George Jr has been the right man for the job. It was always odd to listen to liberals and leftists howling about Bush’s poor showing, how he’d reduced America’s standing in the family of nations. Did the Goths fret at the manifest weakness of the Emperor Honorius and lament the lack of a robust or intelligent Roman commander?
On Bush’s Jr’s fitful watch Latin America edged nervously out of Uncle Sam’s shadow. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia boldly assert their independence and thumb their noses at Uncle Sam. Twenty years earlier, and even when Bush Sr sat in the Oval Office, the “strong leadership” craved by Americans of all political stripes would have seen Chavez and Morales briskly toppled, their estimable reforms swiftly aborted and the kleptocrats handed back the keys to the presidential office by the CIA and their local right-wing allies.
Barely a month went by in Bush Jr’s second term but that some liberal or left pundit would predict a US attack on Iran. Lurid scenarios were drawn of the US and its local ally, Israel, unleashing the bombing sorties to Iran’s nuclear complex. It turns out that the Israeli high command made numerous requests for clearance for its planes to overfly Iraq on their way to Iran, but were adamantly nixed by George Jr.
What is Obama’s progressive base getting by way of reward? The pickings are very slim. The whole raison d’etre of Obama’s campaign in the primary phase – the period when the progressive constituency has to be allured – was to turn the page not only on Bush time but on Clinton time, to move on. So… so you’ll find the rest of this unsparing, and important assessment in the latest issue of our newsletter, now available to subscribers. You’ll also find part one of Paul Craig Roberts’ three-part Guide to Economics in the 21st Century. And you’ll find Alexander Cockburn’s TransAmerica Diary and in it, at long last, homage to a conspiracy even he believes in – the Secrets of Jekyll Island.