Rose Garden of Good and Evil

By Piatak, Tom | The American Conservative, October 8, 2007 | Go to article overview

Rose Garden of Good and Evil


Piatak, Tom, The American Conservative


[A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, Glenn Greenwald, Crown, 303 pages]

Rose Garden of Good and Evil

By Tom Piatak

THE BOURBONS were famously said to have learned nothing and to have forgotten nothing. In A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, Glenn Greenwald makes a persuasive case for applying the same description to the Bush administration. Greenwald ably chronicles its pervasive incompetence and stupidity-and the object on which most of that incompetence and stupidity has been lavished, the needless war in Iraq. Proving that it has indeed learned nothing and forgotten nothing, Greenwald demonstrates that the administration is seeking to magnify the disaster in Iraq by pushing for war with the country that may well have been the major beneficiary of our invasion, Iran. Overall, he offers some genuine insights into the sorry state of contemporary American politics.

The author notes that the drive to attack Iraq began long before Sept. 11. Bush's motivations for signing on to this adventure are not entirely clear, but probably stemmed, at least in part, from a desire to avenge Saddam Hussein's defiance of his father and reported attempt to assassinate him, just as Bush's desire to seek the presidency in 2000 was related to his wish to avenge Bill Clinton's victory over the elder Bush in 1992. Whatever his motivations, Sept. 11 was critical to Bush's success in convincing Americans to join his vendetta against Hussein, with 70 percent of Americans telling pollsters in September 2003 that they believed Hussein was directly involved in the terrorist attacks and countless millions clinging to that belief today, despite a complete lack of evidence.

The Bush administration is trying to use the same sort of sleight of hand to generate support for war with Iran, making much of its associations with terrorist organizations. But, as Greenwald notes, the groups Iran supports are Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are focused on attacking Israel, not the United States. He argues forcefully that hostility to Israel should not, by itself, be grounds for war with Iran: "If there are valid arguments for deeming Israel's enemies to be enemies of the U.S., then they should be made explicitly and clearly, without the type of misleading obfuscation that President Bush and his supporters clearly intend to create by implying that Iran supports anti-U.S. terrorist groups." And it can also be noted (although Greenwald does not) that since Iran poses a far graver threat to Israel than the United States, Israel can reasonably be expected to use its regional military superiority to deal with it.

As Greenwald observes, the Bush administration could not have succeeded in convincing many Americans that Saddam Hussein was "another Hitler" without the complicity of the media: "our country's most influential media outlets turned into little more than glorified megaphones for amplifying government claims." He rightly places the blame for this on the cozy relationships among the members of the overclass in our imperial capital: "the most powerful political officials in Washington and the most influential media stars are part of the same system and nearly all are abundant beneficiaries of it." Despite the lip service all Republican politicians now pay to Ronald Reagan, virtually none has shown any willingness to emulate him and confront this corrupt system-or even to leave Washington after making it to the Promised Land.

Bush is certainly no Reaganite. As Greenwald documents, Bush has "presided over massive increases in domestic spending, the conversion of a multibillion dollar surplus into an even larger deficit, the creation of vast new bureaucratic fiefdoms, [and] an unprecedented expansion of the powers of the federal government." That Bush is no conservative was obvious long before he steamrolled his way to the GOP nomination in 2000 on the basis of little more than his name and an unprecedented amount of corporate contributions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rose Garden of Good and Evil
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.