Travels Through the Memory Hole, Part 1

Saturday, August 27, 2005 at 07:29 AM

One of the reasons that complete fools can get away with being complete fools while still retaining status and respect (from some quarters), is that we have such small memories and face such large amounts of information to be remembered.

By way of James Wolcott's blog of 8/23 (, I wormed my way back through the memory hole to a glowing description of our illustrious president and his "Mission Accomplished" speech on the deck of the ship.  For those who don't recognize the name, Micheal Ledeen is one of the less sane people involved in the American Enterprise Institute.  Judging by his incredible grasp of the unreal shown in the following piece, it's safe to say that American Enterprise is in bad hands, indeed.

May 2, 2003, 8:45 a.m.
The Lincoln Speech--What a leader!
Micheal Ledeen--

Wow! Great scene, great speech, who could ask for anything more? He has it exactly right. We won a battle, we made military history, and we've changed the nature of warfare (the guilty are at greater risk than the innocent), the better to fulfill our national mission of spreading freedom. The tide has turned in the war against the terror masters, but there are many battles ahead. And the war remains what he said it was from the beginning: a war for freedom against tyranny.

May I brag? Is this not what The War Against the Terror Masters [his book, of course] says?

It was time for this speech, because the contemporary attention span is so short. The world has largely forgotten September 11, and many of the chatterers have forgotten what this war is about, and it was good that he reminded them all. It was also good that he drew the lessons from the battle of Iraq so that the tyrants in Damascus, Tehran, Tripoli, Pyongyang, and Riyadh could understand them clearly. Now they know, if any of them doubted, that they are all on the list. And I particularly enjoyed his appeal to the Arab street -- for that is what it was -- when he said that anyone who fought for freedom would have a friend in America.

George W. is the most amazing president. How could anyone have imagined that such a man, who lacks all the credentials to conduct foreign policy (he hasn't traveled, he hasn't studied foreign cultures, he doesn't speak foreign languages, his knowledge of world history is skimpy, and he hasn't memorized the last decade of the New York Times) would turn out to have the best foreign-policy instincts imaginable? He reminds me more and more of Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan. He has the most important quality of a great leader: He instinctively finds the words to express what the American people believe. And his are simple words, not fancy ones.

What a pleasure.

Now let's get on with the war. Faster, please.