With George Bush's memoirs out we grasp the picture of a man who has looked into the abyss much the same way Dicken's Scrooge did when he bore witness of his own legacy and hoped he could dodge justice by manufacturing a glowing self-portrait. Somehow, we expected it of the man -- and chose him anyway, like a repentent flaggelant, flailing away at our own backs.
Obama is different. He promised change we could believe in and delivered an even more opaque version of the marriage between government and corporatism; but his crime is the greater, having revealed us to be a greater collection of fools for thinking things would be different this time. History will judge him badly I'm afraid. Take the case of author Christopher Hitchens.
Dying of esophageal cancer, he looked back over his life. Once the darling of the left, he turned into a rabid voice against the Muslim world following the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeine against Salman Rushdie. He denied the label of "neo-con", preferring the label of "anti-atheist" in what became known as the "New Atheism Movement. As a literary critic he even disparaged Mother Theresa. In his book, God is Not Great, he defined religious faith as totalitarian -- arguing that man alone determined his ethical destiny. As he is dying he reflects upon his staunch support for the Iraq invasion:
I'm glad we're not having an inquest now, as we would be [if there had been no invasion], into why we allowed a Rwanda or a Congo to develop on the Gulf, an imploding Iraq right in front of our eyes, a vortex of violence and meltdown, a whole society beggared and fractured and traumatised, waiting to fall to pieces.http://www.chris-floyd.com/articles/1-latest-news/2050-blind-mans-bluff-hitchens-pays-obeisance-to-his-one-true-god.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+empire_burlesque+%28Empire+Burlesque+-+Chris+Floyd%29
I look forward to reading what President Obama will write about when he begins his memoirs after 2012. Like Hitchens, he betting there is no God.
And now, a lighter look at denial.