July 26, 2004
Kim Clark explores the financial dimensions of Greece's preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
July 05, 2004
Closing of the Presidential Mind
On February 27, 2001, George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress. When the president had last ventured to the Capitol for his inauguration 37 days earlier, he had delivered a homily urging the nation to move past the sting of the Florida recount.
June 29, 2004
Thank God for the meta-sin. Otherwise the Chicago journalists who are currently tearing into Jack Ryan--the Illinois Senate candidate whose recently unsealed divorce papers allege that he took ex-wife and actress Jeri Ryan to sex clubs, where he tried to cajole her into having public sex--might have to ask whether there really is a scandal to write about. But thanks to the logic of the meta-sin, they need engage in no such self-examination.
June 28, 2004
The primary cause of our current problems in Iraq is the reckless, and often foolish, manner in which this administration has waged the war and the reconstruction.
A mainstream liberal consensus on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has emerged quickly. It goes something like this: Moore's a nutty conspiracy theorist, and parts of the movie--in which he suggests, among other things, that we invaded Afghanistan not because of 9/11 but because we wanted to build a natural gas pipeline--showcase Moore at his least responsible.
Were We Wrong?
This magazine supported the Iraq war for two reasons, one primarily strategic, one primarily moral. The strategic reason was simple: We considered war the only way to ensure that Saddam Hussein never acquired a nuclear weapon. The Bush administration spoke about "weapons of mass destruction"--lumping biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons together and making the former appear more menacing by their association with the latter. But we believed biological weapons constituted a threat only if transferred to Al Qaeda—a scenario for which there was no evidence.
In the run-up to the Iraq war, I tried hard not to be partisan. I distrusted the Bush administration and feared it would be politically empowered by the war. But such thoughts felt petty and limited at such an important time. And so I evaluated the arguments for war on their merits, irrespective of my feelings about the people making them.
June 07, 2004
FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE For months now, President George W. Bush has responded to calls that he send more troops to Iraq by saying that force levels are decided by the officers on the ground. Monday night's speech was no different: "General [John] Abizaid and other commanders in Iraq are constantly assessing the level of troops they need to fulfill the mission," he said.
The list of societal ills for which the Bush administration is partly or completely to blame is staggeringly long. A partial accounting includes: a failure to plan for Iraq's reconstruction, misleading the public about the costs of the war and the imminence of the weapons threat, the spiraling budget deficit, higher income inequality, inadequate homeland security, lack of progress on the health care crisis, and the fracturing of the national unity that followed the September 11 attacks.
May 31, 2004
Race Against History
Joliet, Illinois—"Sloppy drunk" is not a term that warms the hearts of advance men, the people responsible for making politicians' events run smoothly.