LIKE A LOT OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S CRITICS,
Jonathan Alter says, "I supported the Iraq war at first. Because of the evidence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction laid out by Colin Powell, I agreed that we needed to disarm Saddam Hussein. I even think it's possible that 25 years from now, historians will conclude that the Iraq war helped accelerate the modernizing of the Middle East, even if it doesn't fully democratize it. But if that happens, Bush might not get as much credit as he hopes, and not just because most historians, as Richard Nixon liked to say, are liberals. Bush may look bad because his leadership on Iraq has been a fiasco. He didn't plan for it: the early decisions that allowed the insurgency to get going were breathtakingly incompetent. He didn't pay for it: Bush is the first president in history to cut taxes during a war, this one now costing nearly 1 billion [dollars] a week. And most important of all, he didn't tell the American people the truth about it: taking a nation to war is the most solemn duty of a president, and he'd better make certain there's no alternative and no doubt about the evidence." —Jonathan Alter (NEWSWEEK columnist in July 25, 2005 issue)
GEORGE CLOONEY AND EDWARD R. MURROW
Have you heard about the new movie George Clooney directed and is soon releasing, based on the Edward R. Murrow/ Senator McCarthy dust up in the Fifties? In black and white, it's supposed to be a gem of a film true to the times and the conflict between news people and McCarthyism. Clooney's dad was a television newsman whose idol was Murrow. Clooney himself is a self-proclaimed "actorvist", and a liberal one to boot.
He is reported to have said in a NEWSWEEK article that it infuriates him that it's become a dirty word [the word 'liberal']. "It blows my mind," he says, "because [unlike conservatives] we don't have to put the word compassionate in front of it to say we actually give a shit about people. I'm going to keep saying 'liberal' as loud as I can and as often as I can."
Clooney goes on to say that this administration certainly reminds one of those long ago days. "There is no end of McCarthy. It's been a tough time for journalists—if you ask a tough question of this administration, on a rare occasion when they have a press conference, you're put in the back of the room, or you're Maureen Dowd and you get your credentials pulled. To question anything about them is meant to be unpatriotic."
Bill "O'Really?" [can't spell his last name for some reason] has already attacked Clooney for his liberalism, threatening to end his career if he continues to speak out about the war and liberalism. Talk about a nascent McCarthyite, O'Really is certainly one of those.
"I hate people. People make me pro-nuclear." Margaret Smith