Friday, September 27, 2002

Conason on Snitchens (Salon Premium, I think.)

A couple of years later, in a C-SPAN Booknotes interview, he mocked the wartime pretensions of the President: "Bush throughout that whole war and especially in the run up to it constantly compared himself to Churchill…In the Senate debate for and against the war, the Churchill-Munich analogy was used more often even than Vietnam as a test of which side you were on. I wondered why it is in the United States people are such pushovers for this English mythology."

But, he continued, "there was no way, however it was sliced, that Bush could come off as Churchill, as we now know. As a lot of us guessed at the time, the war with Saddam Hussein was a quarrel that had broken out between two business partners, Bush and Hussein, who were fighting over the spoils. They wanted to involve everyone else in it, and they wanted it to sound noble. They fooled a lot of people for some of the time, but the disillusionment with that war and the rhetoric with which it was fought is now pretty near total."

That interview with the gentle Brian Lamb also included his assessments of two "rogues" whose political shifts elicited his scorn. Paul Johnson he described as "probably the classic instance of the guy who, having lost his faith, believes that he's found his reason, in other words, a defector." But he was even tougher on P.J. O'Rourke, who "gets away, in my opinion, with murder." Why? "He's another ex-leftist, '60s radical dropout…Then saw the light, put on a collar and tie and became a young Republican and has been cashing in this chip ever since."