Friday, March 14, 2008

Review by Tom Degan

PBS: Bush's War
Reviewed by Tom Degan

For those of you who didn't happen to catch the two part documentary which ran on PBS's Frontline on Monday and Tuesday evening - you don't know what you missed. Apologies in advance to my favorite documentarian, Robert Greenwald, but it was the finest, most revealing film that has been made to date regarding the stupidest military blunder in American history (Not to worry - you're still tops in my book, Bobby!)

Compiled from hundreds of interviews, Bush's War explains in excruciating detail how the most corrupt administration in American history chose to lead this once-great nation into the quagmire that the war against the people of Iraq became within days of the invasion. It's an easy call to say that it didn't get decent ratings. Had even a quarter of the American people had a chance to view it, Bush and Cheney would be physically removed from office tomorrow and strung up from one of Andrew Jackson's magnolia trees which still stand on the south lawn. As luck would have it, it ran opposite American Idol. The people have their priorities, damn it.

Bad luck for the Bush Mob: People are beginning to talk. I have a sneaking suspicion that, for all that was revealed last night and the night before, the producers have barely scratched the surface. What is made perfectly and undeniably clear is the fact that Bush and Cheney were determined to ignore the massive, mountains of evidence that any program that Saddam Hussein might have possessed to build weapons of mass destruction was long dead by March 19, 2003. The U.N. inspectors were on the ground in Iraq - scores of them. They were pleading with the administration to allow them more time to do their job. Obviously, their pleas were in vain. Any chances for a "successful" invasion (whatever the hell that means) were rendered futile from the start by the incompetence of Donald Rumsfeld, J. Paul Bremer, Paul Wolfowitz and everybody else involved in this hideous fiasco. It was doomed to failure from the moment the first boot set foot on Iraqi soil. All of the talk about the ramifications of what will happen if the United States loses this war misses a crucial point. This war was already lost on May 1, 2003, the day the First Fool stood on the deck of the Aircraft Carrier Abraham Lincoln and declared Mission Accomplished. Anyone paying attention knew as much. I certainly did.

I dropped out of high school at the beginning of my junior year. My total education amounts to one and a half years at a community college in upstate New York. In spite of this, on March 20 of 2003, the morning after the invasion of a country which was a threat to no one but itself, I had enough foresight and intelligence to tell everyone who would listen, "This country committed suicide last night". I wasn't exaggerating. The foolish and reckless incursion into the sovereign nation of Iraq will end up doing to the United States of America what Afghanistan did to the late Soviet Union. The strain that this stupid, unnecessary war has had on the economy - plus the unavoidable fact that our entire socio-economic infrastructure is weeks (if not days) away from total collapse due to three decades of corruption and mismanagement - does not bode well for the future of your children and grandchildren. The so-called "New America Century" is over. Get used to the idea. Nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing. As the great Nat King Cole once sang, "It's time to wind up the masquerade/Just make your mind up; the piper must be paid - THE PARTY'S OVER.... IT'S ALL OVER, MY FRIEND".

When this nightmare period of our history is over (and it will be over eventually - much in the same way that we're all going to die someday) we will sit back for a much needed period of self reflection and introspection, and we'll all be asking ourselves the following question: How did we allow this to happen? What the hell were we thinking when we stupidly sent this murderous, hideous, disgusting little guttersnipe and his henchmen/yes men to the most powerful office in the universe? How will we explain this to our heirs? What will future historians think of us? What I would just love to see is a poll which asks the following question: "For whom did you vote in 2000 and 2004?" My guess is that Al Gore and John Kerry will respectively come ahead in both of those inquiries in a landslide. Of this you may be absolutely certain: NOBODY is going to admit voting for George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney five years from now.
Did you vote Republican at any time in the last thirty years? If your answer to that question is a resounding "YES", here's my next question: Don't you feel stupid? Don't you feel really, really stupid? If you don't, you will soon - very soon. Don't feel ashamed. I personally know of many intelligent people - a whole hell of a lot smarter than I - who voted for Ronald Reagan and both Bushes. You're not alone. You were deceived. You are not the sinner; you were sinned against. As my old pal Vic Flemming would say, "Shit happens." (NOTE: Vic was using that phrase decades before the rest of the country caught on. He coined it - I am convinced of that).
We are now the laughingstock of the entire planet. We have become a virtual international pariah. And yet in spite of all of this, from the vantage point of March of 2008 it appears that so many of us will continue the policies of the last seven years by electing John McCain in November. What the hell is the matter with the American people?

Trust me on this one, folks: It is my humble opinion that this is the most important broadcast documentary in the sixty year history of television. It is absolutely essential viewing. Buy it and show it to as many people as possible. Have a public showing at your local library. You can also view the documentary by going to

To order a DVD of Bush's War, call:
(800) PLAY-PBS
Price $29.99

Author bio:

TOM DEGAN is a 49 year old video producer who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America's national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher. He was born in Goshen, NY in 1958 and, after living all over the United States and Canada, moved back there in 1992. He is a high school dropout who in 1977 received an equivalency diploma (HEY, IT'S LEGAL!) He attended SUNY in Middletown, NY and in 1986 studied journalism at the New School in New York City. He is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and has worked as a truck driver, a radio DJ, and a metal worker...OK, he didn't ACTUALLY receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, but he DID get some kind of ribbon of sorts when he was in the Cub Scouts. He is the inventor of Cheez Whiz and lives off the royalties on the sales of that fine product. His goal in life at one time was to be content and happy. His goal now is the impeachment, prosecution and imprisonment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney. Tom's writings can be found at The Rant.

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