He Came, He Blew Smoke, He Left

May 31, 2007

And so ended the emperor’s visit to Edison, N.J. You’d think he could have buffed up a couple of new lies, instead of just mouthing the old ones, but he’s a busy fella and that vacation in Crawford looms on the horizon.

In honor of the occasion, already receding from memory, here’s an essay on “Bush’s Amazing Achievement” in the New York Review of Books:

One of the few foreign policy achievements of the Bush administration has been the creation of a near consensus among those who study international affairs, a shared view that stretches, however improbably, from Noam Chomsky to Brent Scowcroft, from the antiwar protesters on the streets of San Francisco to the well-upholstered office of former secretary of state James Baker. This new consensus holds that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a calamity, that the presidency of George W. Bush has reduced America’s standing in the world and made the United States less, not more, secure, leaving its enemies emboldened and its friends alienated. Paid-up members of the nation’s foreign policy establishment, those who have held some of the most senior offices in the land, speak in a language once confined to the T-shirts of placard-wielding demonstrators. They rail against deception and dishonesty, imperialism and corruption. The only dispute between them is over the size and depth of the hole into which Bush has led the country he pledged to serve.

Read the whole thing here.

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