Thoughts on "Bush's War"

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Thoughts on "Bush's War"

Postby jjoyce » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:01 pm

My quick hits: Completely engrossing narrative on five years of Iraq that includes interviews with nearly everyone but Bush, Cheney and Rice. A lot of interview and press conference footage was used to get their statements from throughout the period.

I guess the biggest conclusion I had was over the complete tragedy that resulted entirely from Bush's lack of leadership and the situation that is created from essentially pitting higher ups (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz, Bremer, etc.) against each other. With guys like Rumsfeld in desperate need of defining some kind of legacy for himself, you had others like Powell and Rice forced to dig in instead of working toward consensus. I'm not talking about compromise, I mean the inability of all players to set aside their own (significant) baggage in order to do what's best for the country.

I can deal with policy and even political differences, but when all the evidence is laid out like it was on Frontline, what sticks out most is the continued inability of the Bush White House to function as a team. I found myself siding, over and over again, with people like McCain, Powell, Armitage and even Rice who, more than anything, were routinely astonished at how Rumsfeld and Cheney got their way.

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Postby Wesmon » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:48 am

I only saw pieces of it. It seemed like most of it was previous Frontline reports re-edited into a more comprehensive view of the war.

I wonder about the supposed split in the executive administration that they suggest in this piece. I knew about Powell and the State Dept being dragged kicking and screaming into this. And I knew about the CIA's opposition. But I never heard anything about Rice being vocal in her opposition to Cheney. Rice's actions in continued support of this administration have never shown her to be anything but a total pawn in the game.

The only thing I saw that was new to me was the supposed real consideration that was shown by Bush to the side of his administration that opposed Cheney and Rumsfeld. They make it look like there was real debate here, yet Cheney is always there by Bushes side making his decisions for him.

And what was with that meeting where they gathered everyone together at Camp David to hash out strategy and Bush disappeared out the back door and showed up in Iraq? As cynical as I am, that one really blew my mind in terms of how disorganized and unengaged the guy really is.

Frontline is easily the best investigative news program on TV. And for anyone interested in this show who didn't see it, you can watch Frontline online for free. The link to this show is here-

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Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:35 pm

I watched this on Frontline's web site. Among other things it's a great retrospective of classic Donald Rumsfeld one-liners: "Freedom's untidy," "Old Europe," "I stand for 8-10 hours a day." Man, that guy knocks 'em dead. Permanently dead.

I was just sorry they left out "unknown unknowns." Maybe that could have been included in a Smokey and the Bandit-style blooper reel.

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Postby Schabow » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:46 am

Yeah, I watched both parts as well and found it pretty engrossing. Some of those excerpts were from other Frontline episodes, but nonetheless, this put together in one nice, tidy package was really something to see. I knew Powell got screwed a bit within the administration, but damn, he really totally got shafted. I must admit, I felt sympathy for him. Although, my impression of Cheney remains the same: He is a fucking heartless and soulless sleazy dickhead.

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