August 24, 2009

Doom and Gloom

I heard it again the other day… how President George W. Bush kept us safe for seven years… I guess in a way it must be the truth, but then I have to wonder…

Hasn’t President Obama hasn’t kept us safe for the past 217 days? Didn’t most of our presidents keep us safe for most of all of their terms in office? Previous to 9/11, the only attacks by foreign terrorists on American soil that I can remember were Pearl Harbor and the first World Trade Center attack.

So what are people saying when they say, “The President Has Kept Us Safe”? That WSJ blog post is more than a year old. I’ve read it a few times and I still don’t understand the point. To me, saying Bush kept us safe is a trite statement about a trite president. The statement itself is senseless. I understand neither the left wingers chafing nor the right wing venom circulating the sphere, calling Obama a weak defender of America.

How is it that so many of our people become so single-sided and fail to understand that every issue has multiple facets?

Folks who read me know I disliked the shrub (I was predisposed. He was my governor before he was your president, and he screwed up my Rangers before that). He was, in my opinion, a figurative leader of the most blunderbuss administration since Millard Fillmore occupied the residence. Astute readers may also have noticed that I tend to liken Bush to a puppet, with the real problem being the hand(s) inside the puppet.

To give Bush credit, however, toward the end he seemed to have somewhat figured this out. Ashcroft and Rummy were gone before the middle of the second term, and Cheney was more than somewhat marginalized. In the end, George W. Bush, if considered as an individual, would likely be judged an okay guy; but very likely not the savior of post 9/11 America.

But who would be?

If Al Gore had won in 2000 things would have been different, but probably not better. Osama’s plans were well into the action stages long before the election, so the attack would have transpired regardless. The only difference would have been Gore’s reaction.

Likely it is only Iraq that would have been different, as I feel certain even Gore would have gone to Afghanistan after bin Laden, and I feel just as certain there would still have been no attacks on American soil to follow. So, I have to chuckle a little when I think of what the wingers might be saying if Gore had won, managed a second term, and then skated to 2008 without another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The only thing likely to have changed would be which wingers were slinging what kind of crap.

But Bush won and things went badly. Some really poor policy decisions were made. Gore would likely have made poor decisions too, and at some point in our future America will likely look back at our excesses and recognize them as the reasons for troubles yet to come. The bad guys of the world would point to unlawful or unwise actions and use them to excuse untold terror. To the world, we very likely will always be the evil America. If Gore had won they would have found another excuse, but we would still be the evil America.

Not Letting Bush Up; the Mistakes

Regardless, we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt. The inexplicable decision of the Bush administration to invade Iraq, pushing Afghanistan to the sidelines and letting bin Laden have room to run, has fruitlessly caused the deaths of thousands of America’s youth, and most certainly rendered our country less safe in the long run. With Iraq, Bush divided our country and the world. With his oddball policies and bizarre actions towards our supposed allies, he alienated almost the entire planet.

Another president may have done better or worse, but for the moment the homeland seems reasonably safe, and it may or may not be due to the policies of any president. Our foreign wars may very well be that which keeps the homeland safe. After all, why would terrorists cross the oceans to kill Americans when we come to them and they can so easily achieve the same purpose on their own soil?

So did George W. Bush really keep us safe? Has Obama kept us safe since? Both concepts are jokes. Have we ever been safe? Will we ever be… regardless of who occupies the White House?

Just because there have been no attacks on our homeland since 9/11 does not mean we are safe today. Barring some astounding and dramatic change in human nature, we will not be safe ten, twenty or even a hundred years from now. There likely was nothing anyone could have done different in 2001 or since that would have changed this outcome. Just as in our domestic politics, the wingnuts of the world are driving humanity to ruin.

If we are to survive we must find our way out of the wings. Somewhere, there must be people of moderate mind. Somewhere.


Anonymous said...

I have regularly read a group of liberal/progressive blogs and a changing sample of others over a period of several years, noting a growing dissatisfaction with GWB's administration even with some republican supporters.

These days I see a increasing number of bloggers showing definite signs of turning away from believing in or supporting the hope that our president would be able to solve some of the serious problems attributed to the previous administration.

While I understand that such general comments leave much room for error, I have to say that Obama's actions/inactions have done a good job of smothering the feelings of optimism that his election first gave me and I see this mirrored in many of the blogs I follow. Depressing.

The rabid reactions of the right against anything related to or connected with Obama and the democratic party reminds me of the reactions I saw and heard during the government's fight to end segregation back in the day . . . and yes, I understand that fight hasn't been won yet. And yes I know the same folks involved then are still at it today, along with their offspring.

I think my point is that it all is depressing as a fresh shit sandwich three meals a day. Is this depression what is causing the movie industry to see who can produce the most violent films possible? Same with video games? Sports growing ever more violent? Heck, I've even started to speculate about when the gladiatorial games will be introduced again.

I suspect it's time I spent some seriously extended time with several bottles of scotch and my smoker . . .

Chip said...

Like this one today, I have long maintained that there is someone out there who has the answers but we will never meet this person because of the ridiculous process necessary to run for office. I for one would never subject my family to the media circus that follows politicians. And I suspect I am not alone.