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Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush Hardcover – August 3, 2007
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About the Author
Robert Parry is an award-winning investigative reporter who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. Sam Parry is an environmental activist, and Nat Parry is a student of international law.
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That Junior's tenure ended in a Republic-destroying disaster and probably will earn him the distinction as America's worse President ever, came as no surprise to those of us who had read about his upbringing. We did not fail to miss as the author so carefully indexes, how, repeatedly throughout his adult life no matter how much he screwed up or how far he descended down the ladder of moral low-liveness, he always got picked up and dusted off by his dad's rich friends. Each time they made sure he landed on his feet and suffered no adverse political consequences.
As this book also recounts, his young adulthood was a textbook case of a youngster headed nowhere but for big trouble and fast. To wit: Junior's drinking and driving, his problems with alcohol and cocaine more generally; his knocking up girls and then running for cover, his dodging Vietnam by being allowed to jump the line into the Texas Air National Guard; his fear of flying that ultimately resulted in his flunking out of flight school and then being AWOL from military duty, his wasteland of business failures, and finally his general aimlessness and lack of intellectual curiosity or the ability to engage in an adult focus on almost anything.
Any one of these would have cut the prospects of success off at the knees for the average young American adult. And would surely have made the typical young minority American an odds on favorite for a long prison term. Yet for Bush Junior, these "youthful indiscretions," catapulted him into the highest office of the land. Fellow Texan Molly Ivins and ex-Texas Representative, Ann Richards, said GW was born with a "silver foot in his mouth." Others have said that he was born on third base, thinking he had just hit a triple. However he is described, the eight GW years spelled "colossal embarrassment" and untold years of disaster for the American Republic.
These authors attempt to capture this disaster, and put the eight-year Bush descent into the social and economic abyss into context. In other words, they seek here to try to explain how "the Junior phenomenon" happened in the first place and then what we are do to about the wreckage and debris left in his wake. As the first step in the "Junior Postmortem," they point stern fingers at the press as the first and most potent guilty party.
Due primarily to the 911 attack, our once vibrant media simply devolved into an impotent, fawning and obsequious "go-with-the-flow," "kid gloves" kind of media body throughout the Bush years. It became one that raised to the level of a professional norm, the very act of turning one's head away from Mr. Bush's deep level of incompetence. For that, and the general lack of vigilance on the part of the American people, we paid the price of trading our freedoms for security against a mostly trumped up and always exaggerated terrorist scare.
To avoid being guilty of "piling on to an intellectual weakling" the media thus adopted a false narrative of Bush as an acknowledged hero of 911. Even though at best he led off one disjointed megaphone rally in New York City. This disingenuous narrative consciously ignored Junior's many intellectual shortcomings, his many faux pas and policy missteps and even his and "girl Friday, Condoleeza Rice's failure to take proper heed of the August 6, 2001 CIA memo entitled: "Osama Determined to Strike Inside the U.S." As a result, the media collectively ignored Bush's greatest faults: of (1) failing to protect us against the 911 attack; and then (2) using his own failure as a patriotic shield to dismantle the basic protections of fundamental American rights, and (3) sending us into an undeclared "war of choice in Iraq" under the flimsy pretext that it was the proper response to 911?
The media did this apparently in exchange for the right to become "embedded reporters with insider access?" This way, they too could share vicariously in Bush's own brass-fronted, breast-beating, "missioned accomplished" demonstrations during a time of national peril. As a result of the press' self-imposed obsequiousness, Bush was allowed a free ride to "pick the nation's back pocket clean of all our rights. And even today, pundits and the opposition democratic party are hard pressed to blame Bush for being unprepared during 911 -- as well as for the financial mess that he left in his wake.
I was disappointed that the book did not stick to, or even address, the larger and in my view more important concern of explaining how it is that in a sophisticated technologically advanced nation, the American public arrived at such a low opinion of itself that it settled for the "village idiot," GW Bush, as its President?
It seems to me that unless we answer that question, we will continue to flip-flop between the two political Parties each election cycle. One cycle will be characterized by the self-described party of stupid, the Republicans, who will spend its term creating problems that are much too large to be solved by the incoming party -- the party of no recognizable principles whatsoever," the Democratic Party. And as we have seen with Mr. Obama, that Party in the next cycle, will not be able to solve any of the problems left by its predecessor. This then of course guarantees the party of stupid another automatic bite at the apple for the next eight-year election cycle to try to fix the very problems it leave during its previous tenure. In the mean time we Americans are caught in this unholy whipsaw with none of the people's business ever getting done. Three stars
lovers of liberty, excruciatingly delineates the deceitful, arrogant, and ironic rise of George W. Bush from military coward and failed businessman to President of the United States, via manipulation and coercion of the
highest court in the land. Parry's book goes on to reveal that Bush and his political cronies may well have been able to thwart the horrific events of 9/11 had they not been more concerned with personal power and blinded by their hatred of their political opposition. Once again, irony comes to the forefront, in that Bush is looked upon by the American people as a strong and forceful leader in the wake of 9/11, when Parry
shows that his bravado was nothing more than a flimsy facade created by a nervous and fearful media. And then, of course, comes the Iraq war, a war actually being fought for oil, but asking for the sacrifice of thousands of brave American soldiers being told they are fighting terrorism. But perhaps the most unforgivable and egregious act committed by George W. Bush during his reign, and revealed by Parry at great length and in minute detail, is Bush's flagrant and criminal disregard for the Constitution of the United States--in essence, making up his own rules as he sees fit, and interpreting the Constitution to suit his own purposes. Reading this book, I found myself asking the question time and time again, "why are we standing still for this, and not demanding reform?" I've since come to the conclusion that we, the American people, no longer deserve our country, and that we must accept whatever fate our lackadaisical attitude and behavior brings us. I commend and admire Robert Parry for having the courage to bring these sad and disastrous facts to light. At least there's still one real American among us.
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Nat, Robert, and Sam Parry
The Media Consortium, Arlington, VA
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