Thursday, August 23, 2007

Determined to do good, not to any individual, but to a country, a continent, a world

In the same address where he butchered history attempting to argue that more U.S. servicepeople should have died in Vietnam and that we were THIS CLOSE to winning the Vietnam War before Congress wimped out, it seems Bush also butchered one of the main themes of a modern classic, The Quiet American. In the novel, set in 1950s Vietnam, Alden Pyle is a CIA officer who screws everything up because of his "good intentions." Pyle's naivite and propensity to harm more than he helps is a common and obvious analogue to Bush and Iraq... leading to the obvious question of how Bush could possibly think the analogy cuts in his favor.

If I may quote a passage:
He didn’t even hear what I said; he was absorbed already in the dilemmas of Democracy and the responsibilities of the West; he was determined—-I learnt that very soon—-to do good, not to any individual person but to a country, a continent, a world. Well, he was in his element now with the whole universe to improve.
Bush is completely blind to the costs of his grand ideas.

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