Friday, December 15, 2006


If Only Life Were Like the Movies

Part of the technical sophistication that made The Godfather such a great film was the movement from oldish looking coloring in the film to more modern coloring by the end and movement from the simple block montage in real time at the beginning to a much more sophisticated, indeed dazzling interwoven editing of the 'whacking' of the leaders of the other four families, interspersed with Michael's first christening as a godfather, at the end of the movie.

That last change added an impact to the film too. You couldn't really figure out what these different wise guys were doing (particularly the 'cop' and the guy going up endless flights of stairs with roses in a box) and then it became clear in a crescendo of violence. Very nice.

And the Corleone family was safe with a new, strong, steady leader, just when it appeared that they would be beaten down by Don Barzini and the other families.

Would that President Bush could engineer a surprise set of interconnected actions that 'whack' our more visible enemies and brush back the Jihadis from the plate, metaphorically speaking, for a while. He should do it about this time in 2007, roughly a year before he leaves office. If only life were like the movies.

Ah yes, if only. But alas, George Bush has less vision then even the most unsophisticated directors, not to mention the likes of Coppola and Scorsese. Hell, even Tarantino looks like a complete genious next to the "guide to hell in a handbasket". (Yes, that is mine and you can use it).

I like Tarantino, but I wouldn't vote for him for president. Still he has 1,000 times the vision of George Bush.
Little harsh there. When Coppola or Tarantino make a decision, no one actually dies. I detect the opposite of wussification in our President but perhaps that's what I want to see. Time will tell. I think History will be harsher on the Republican Congress than on Bush.

I think we will need to agree to disagree on this. First, I think so far as history is concerned, the president gets blamed and the Congress but rarely--at least so far as popular history is concerned.

My supposition is that history will judge Mr. Bush quite harshly. It will unlikely blame 9/11 on him and will give him props for grabbing the megaphone @ Ground Zero; rallying the country; and throwing the Taliban out on its ear.

But Iraq is such a mess. None of our policy goals have been achieved--remember that deposing Saddam was a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.

You may not believe that international good will such as we enjoyed in the aftermath of 9/11 is worth anything but it helps to build coalitions. The president squandered that by his cowboy diplomacy in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq has destabilized the middle east and empowered Iran and Al Qeda.

I think the Republican Congress will be a footnote while Mr. Bush's utter failure to understand history and his failure to solicit and listen to other points of view different from his Neocon inner circle will render him history's whipping boy--to date, the worst American president.

Our other presidents upon whom history has frowned, are considered failures b/c they did little or accomplished nothing. George Bush screwed up in the information age.

George Bush: the Ishtar President


Exactlly the point about the directors, no one dies. And yet when Bush makes poor decisions, thousands die. Perhaps he should switch places with a director. He seems to think he can get the outcome he wants just by wishing it to be, which of course a director can.

I agree with Tony here. Bush will be history's whipping boy for his utter failure to use the information that was at his fingertips.

Time will only tell what horror awaits due to his reckless policies that have led to a strenthening of al Qaeda, and Iran, and I might add, a weakening of our forces. Congress should share some responsibility for this, but Bush is the figurehead, and it will be Bush who bears the brunt of the criticism..... as he should.
T, same message received. I still disagree. Mike, you have to dismount from the horse that al Qaeda (in Afghanistan and Pakistan) is strengthened by America's actions when it is just the opposite (as they tell each other all the time) but unfortunately the war is not America vs. the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan it is a world wide war against Jihadists and the Afghanistan is but a minor front. Iraq is a major front because of the huge oil reserves and central location. Any weakness appears to engender boldness on the part of the Jihadists, and we appear to be showing weakness, again, with more weakness planned (and urged by the committees). For smart guys, you two seem to be missing a valid big picture view. Do you really want a retreat to fortress (sarcasm) America and a hope for the best? I see that as a form of madness.

Christopher Caldwell, senior editor of the Weekly Standard, has a piece in the 12.17.06 Sunday NYT Magazine Section called "The Vanishing: Why hardly anyone mourns the passing of George Bush's authority."

I recommend it for its lucidy, not merely b/c it is a neoconservative assessment on George W. Bush as the Ishtar President.

The strengthening of al-Qaeda is perhaps limited to Iraq, but forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan are strengthening again.

Fighting and idea with an army seems like a form of madness to me. Declaring war on a tactic (terror) seems like madness to me.

And finally, considering that the stated policy is to cut off the head of the monster, why haven't the U.S. focused more on capturing or killing Bin Laden? Do you remember GWB's "sacred oath" that he would be brought to justice? What ever happened to that?

Total policy disaster if you ask me.
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