Monday, January 02, 2006

Annus Horribilis

Sydney Blumenthal reviews George Bush's accomplishments in 2005 over at Salon and The Guardian.

In his second inaugural address, George Bush four times summoned the image of fire - 'a day of fire', 'we have lit a fire', 'fire in the minds of men', and 'untamed fire'. Over the course of the first year of his second term, all four of the ancient Greek elements have wreaked havoc: the fire of war, the air and water of Hurricane Katrina, the earth ravaged by whirlwinds raging from Iraq to Florida, from Louisiana to Washington. Through obsession or obliviousness, rigidity or laziness, Bush got himself singed, tossed about, engulfed, and nearly buried.

He began the year proclaiming 'a turning point' in Iraq. In every crisis he faced, he assumed that everything would turn his way, as it always had in the past. He ended the year declaring 'victory' within reach.


Since the election of the Shia slate that will hold power for four years, dedicated to an Islamic state allied with Iran, the president and his advisers have fallen eerily silent. As his annus horribilis draws to a close, Bush appears to have expended the turning points. Welcome to victory.


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