Letter From The Editor 

There's a cartoon by The Washington Post's Tom Toles that shows President Bush as a Boy Scout leader who has led his young charges neck-deep into a swamp. The caption: "I didn't mislead. You misfollowed."

And indeed, the president's latest defense regarding pre-war intelligence seems to be a variation of that caption: "We weren't evil. We were idiots -- and so were you." As presidential slogans go, it comes up a bit short of "The buck stops here." And as a political talking point, it explains, as much as anything, why Bush's poll numbers are falling faster than Hummer sales.

In the months before the war, in what we now know was a calculated plan, the administration convinced a majority of Americans and Congress that Saddam needed to be removed from power. The issue was presented as "kill or be killed by a terrorist with a nuke." Most of the world and many Americans didn't believe it. Around the globe, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in protest. But fear won out over reason, and America started its first war.

But as the rationale for the war morphed from self-defense to "building democracy in the Middle East," the American public realized they'd been snookered. Fighting and dying to save your country is one thing. Fighting and dying to democratize Iraq is quite another.

In his latest speeches, Bush accuses critics of "rewriting history" and equates criticism of his policies with not "supporting the troops." That trick isn't going to fly this time. Bush has jumped the shark. Even his partymates in the Senate have figured out where the tide of public opinion is headed. The senators know better than most how America got into this mess.

And they know history is indelible.

Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Made in America

    • Little Big Town


Fly On The Wall Blog

Artist Renderings for RDC Riverfront Seen as a Comic Book...

Music Blog

WYPL brings you the Memphis Sound

News Blog

Tennessee Breaks Record for Student Aid Requests

News Blog

MLGW's Water Test Comes Back Clean

Fly On The Wall Blog

RDC Announces Plan to Raise Atlantis

News Blog

New Vision Unveiled for Riverfront

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (July 20-26)


More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Zooey and Bowie

    Time moves in one direction, memory in another. — William Gibson

    This week, an old friend sent me a photo of myself, circa 1978. In the picture, I was thin, long-haired, and standing barefoot on the porch of an old farmhouse where we lived, just outside of Columbia, Missouri. It was a shock to see it. I don't remember my friends and I taking many photographs, and I didn't remember this moment ...

    • Jan 14, 2016
  • This Land ...

    • Mar 2, 2017
  • Have Yourselves an Angry Little Christmas

    In the 14 years I've been the Flyer editor, I've gotten lots of hate mail. It mostly used to come in envelopes filled with pages of scrawled handwriting. I read them and put them in the wastebasket, chalking it up as a natural by-product of writing for a liberal paper in the conservative South. Lately, the angry folks have switched to email, and it comes in waves ...

    • Dec 10, 2015
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation