There's nothing I detest more than the stench of lies.
Marlon Brando as Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now
This is an angry essay, written about George W. Bush. My First Amendment rights still apply, at least temporarily, and I'm exercising them here. I really don't care if you don't like this..
A lot has already been written about George W. Bush (hereafter GWB) and his cronies (like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, etc - hereafter referred to as Crime, Inc.). I haven't done the investigations and the hard work digging through the record, but I still have some thoughts. There are many of us - half the country - who didn't vote for this guy in either election and are still unhappy about what the outcome says about the other half - those who did vote for the arrogant little pissant. I'm not going to list a litany of misdeeds by GWB and Crime, Inc. - you can read about them in the references (at the end of this).
Rather, I want to get off my chest the many things I find so repulsive about this man. I want to speak about the personal feelings that leave me so upset with GWB that for the most part, I typically can't even watch him on TV without becoming angry. And to marvel at his supporters, many of whom are being victimized by this administration's policies even as they sing his praises. Yes, part of a democracy is to accept the notion of majority vote - but (a) the first election was not even decided by a majority of the voters, (b) the second election was apparently strongly influenced by a host of "dirty tricks", and (c) the real key to a democracy is protection of the rights of the minority.
Even if the majority votes to have the minority disenfranchised, or put in jail, or excecuted, this is unacceptable in a real democracy. Majority vote without inalienable human rights is just another form ot tyranny - just look at all the tyrannical regimes of recent history. They surely would have gotten votes for any of their policies (like Hitler's Holocaust or Stalin's various purges and forced collectivizations) simply by terror. But even if such hypothetical votes were not likely to be swayed by internal terror policies, a majority vote without guaranteed rights for the minority is not a true democracy.
Until the Bill of Rights amendments to our national Constitution have been completely abrogated by GWB and Crime, Inc. (with the notable exception of their pandering to the gun lobby!) in the name of protecting us from "terrorists" I still have the right in this democracy to speak my mind.
This administration has shamelessly used the tragedy of 11 September 2001 (9/11) as an excuse to push through legistation that authorizes deep intrusions into our human rights. This is the very thing that many of us originally feared, right after the event. GWB and Crime, Inc. are continuing to use this as an excuse to intrude farther on our personal privacy. They use fear of terrorism to keep us continually paranoid and to justify these intrustions. In wartime, historically, this nation has a shameful history of trampling on the very rights so carefully written into the Consitution (and its Amendments). During the Civil War, even Lincoln suspended habeas corpus
1. One of a variety of writs that may be issued to bring a party before a court or judge, having as its function the release of the party from unlawful restraint.
2. The right of a citizen to obtain such a writ.
The mistreatment of Americans of Japanese descent in WWII is one of the most embarrassing and shameful aspects of American history and speaks to how badly Americans can act in a crisis. This says nothing about centuries of murder and abuse done to black Americans without justice being done to the perpetrators and in some cases with what amounted to legal sanction. Do we really want people in the future to see the so-called Patriot Act as another shameful mistake - another step on the way to the destruction of human rights in America? It seems that each new crisis invites a repetition of the same old mistakes. One might debate the fine points, here, but a major issue is the extent to which 9/11 requires such measures. As already noted elsewhere, this sort of reduction in human rights is playing right into the hands of the terrorists. It deprives us of the moral high ground, to say nothing of the potential abuse to individuals.
Islamic terrorists are not foreign aggressors seeking to overthrow democracy and to deny freedom to Americans. They're seeking the expulsion of foreigners from what they consider to be sacred soil and the cessation of American support for what they see as Israeli aggression in Palestine. We have been the aggressors as they see it - all in the name of oil, of course - and they seek to pressure us to leave the Middle East entirely. I am not justifying their terrorist acts, but you cannot equate Osama bin Laden (OBL) with Japanese or German aggression in WWII. Islamic terror doesn't even come close to posing a threat to the American way of life - GWB and Crime, Inc. and their use of terrorism as an excuse are much more of a threat to the American way of life than OBL. The very acts of Islamic terrorism are an unmistakable admission of weakness on the part of the terrorists - if they could achieve what they want by set-piece military battles or by political means, they surely would. Everyone knows by now the strengths (and weaknesses) of the U.S. military forces - a direct confrontation with them is tantamount to suicide. The terrorists cannot win via direct confrontations with the US military forces, nor do they have enough political power to force the US to their will. Weakness in the face of humiliation breeds fanaticism and terrorism (and there are those who exploit the passions of the Islamic fanatics for their own gain!). This is nothing new - it's been going on for milennia.
Do you really feel safer flying airplanes because of the increased "security" associated with TSA passenger inspections? I don't. It keeps me from flying with a pocketknife or scissors, though. If someone can take over a plane with box cutters, surely they could use a pen or pencil for the same end if they wanted. But TSA isn't about to outlaw pens and pencils ... yet. This system is mostly a sham - a matter of showing that something is being done to protect us rather than actually providing us with real security. This so-called enhanced security is a symbol that the GWB administration is providing to show it is fighting terrorism. But we don't seem to be winning the fight - and I don't think the fight is winnable by this direct, military means. It seems to many, including me, that this administration is more about pushing its own agenda in the name of fighting terrorism than it is genuinely serious about safeguarding American citizens, at home or in the air.- see the references for more details.
What amazes me about the gullibility of the American electorate in 2004 is that they fell for this facade created by the spin doctors of the GWB administration. GWB is not a simple, humble working man. GWB after all is the son of a very rich former president. GWB is a classic case of being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He's never known want in his life. What can he possibly know about working hard to achieve something in order to make ends meet? He was a frat-rat in a fancy Ivy league college, where he managed an academic life of mediocrity, and then graduated into a life of indolence and business failure. He wound up in positions of power and privilege anyway. He was a son of a rich businessman who then became a politician, and then the President of the United States. GWB has never been ashamed or reluctant to call upon that asset (his father) when needed. And it was needed a lot! You can read my references for more information, but this man essentially was a miserable failure at everything he tried for many years (contrary to his self-congratulatory biography) - and still maintained a lifestyle of luxury the common people who voted for him could not possibly even imagine - until politics found him (or vice-versa) and turned him into a success. Thus, he is the quintessential political being: all show and facade, with no substance.
He managed, no doubt with Daddy's help, to avoid real military service during the Viet Nam era. He got a position in the Air National Guard and then distinguished himself by the enormous emptiness of his "service". As the son of a rich, influential father (not yet President, but by no means an ordinary father), he clearly got preferential treatment for his lack of action, which at the very least would have gotten most of us kicked out of the Air National Guard, if not court-martialed. He's the quintessential chicken hawk today - a bellicose political leader, wllling to put at risk and even sacrifice American lives, to say nothing of the lives of those taken by the US military under his command - but clearly not willing to risk his own life to defend his country. Let the poor folks populate the military and take the risks -that's GWB's policy! Forward! he cried, from the rear - and the front ranks died (to quote Pink Floyd) . GWB wasn't about to risk himself, but he calls upon and commands that other Americans do, many of them patriotic working-class people who are then confronted with the fears and horrors of combat, to say nothing of the anguish of the families of those Americans who serve in the military.
After stealing one election and barely squeaking by in a second, he has the colossal arrogance to laugh and smirk about being a winner. That smirking chuckle of his is enough to anger me almost beyond words. In his hubris, he recently wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on a grand inaugural celebration for the rich and privileged. What does 49% of the nation have to celebrate? Another four years of one of the worst Presidents in history? It's arrogant indeed to rub our noses in his electoral thievery and his chance to wallow for a second term in the kingly privileges that have accrued to an American President.
It simply amazes me that the majority of the American public hasn't yet seen this man for what he is. Most of his supporters are the same patriotic Americans who are footing the tax bill for his economic follies ( tax cuts that benefit the rich!), including the huge costs of foreign wars, to say nothing of sacrificing their lives in those dirty little wars. They're the very ones being screwed inside and out by GWB and Crime, Inc. and yet many of them have lined up and extolled his spin-doctored, cardboard cut-out virtues. His mask of virtues belies a consistent record of lying and deception. I believe the American public will wake up, hopefully before the end of the GWB administration, and make GWB and his cronies face the music for their evils. I'd look forward to an end of GWB's Presidency comparable to that of TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart 's fall from grace - a figure not that dissimilar to GWB, whose considerable hypocrisy and greed was eventually exposed.
GWB and Crime, Inc. are all about oil, and the oil business is manifestly focused on reaping huge profits from the public. They whine and moan about struggling to make ends meet, but at the same time, they're able to put up billions of dollars to drag more oil from the earth. If this business wasn't profitable, they simply wouldn't be capable of this sort of cash flow. Increasing oil costs and, especially, gasoline prices, are creating a huge windfall for them, and all the other "energy" industry cohorts. They are the reason we're embroiled in the Middle East - I hope that no one is so naive as to believe that we're there to defend American freedom!
Thus, this bunch is naturally inclined to take a dim view about conservation measures and protection of the natural environment. GWB lied out his a$$ during the election in 2000 when running against a known environmental advocate. He promised to be a "compassionate conservative" and protect the environment, but when elected, his actions have made it clear that this was nothing more or less than an outright lie, used to help him gain political office by pandering to moderates within the environmental movement.
Like his father, another oilman (although, unlike his son, a successful one), he's used the Presidency to set US National policy on a collision course with most of the rest of the world. In my references, you can find more details about the huge lies regarding the environment associated with this administration. GWB has quietly and without fanfare opened up the floodgates, so that big oil, timber, and mining companies can again trample upon the environment in their obsessive search for massive short-term profits. Environmentalists have never been so thoroughly defeated. GWB and Crime, Inc. continue the fiction that this policy must be maintained to keep jobs and so fool the workers into believing that it's in their best interest to support the very politicians who are screwing them. This isn't a forum for a full discussion of this fiction, but it seems clear that rich corporate officials are the real beneficiaries of this policy, not the workers, who may be paid well by middle-class standards, but nothing like the company brass. Big corporations have crushed the unions and are steadily out-sourcing the jobs because Americans usually demand and get decent wages. And those workers will be discarded like old tissue paper when the oil, or coal, or timber runs out, as it inevitably will. Yes, there are short-term jobs at stake, but not long-term security for the working stiffs who've been duped into supporting GWB and Crime, Inc. But those who have reaped millions from the short term profits - that is, those who are bankrolling GWB's political ambitions and thereby buying his considerable influence - will have plenty of luxury for the rest of their lives, no matter what befalls the workers.
Several of my references have made specific mention of the many lies and deceptions used by this administration to keep the truth from being known. In a profession where lies are the common currency - politics - GWB and Crime, Inc. have proven to be the owners of the mint. They pour out lies in such abundance that it becomes hard to keep track of them all. They've taken the lie to a new level of arrogance and then stonewalled and obfuscated and told even more lies, to make the abundance of their lies stand. They're creating a Tower of Babel of lies, that eventually will collapse. I hope it's soon and during the next four years. I want to see them ultimately held to account for their lies.
To help maintain the fictions they've created, their administration is cloaked in secrecy. Information that might expose a lie is classsifed as subject to secrecy in the name of national security, or claimed to be within the purview of executive privilege, and no one seems to be able to break up this wall of secrecy. Apparently, no one recalls the Nixon Presidency - Nixon was a fool for being caught trying to cover up his relatively minor misdeeds and it cost him his Presidency. Whatever else one might say about GWB and Crime, Inc., these people aren't stupid or morons. They probably want you to think they're stupid, but that simply reveals their cunning character. Understimate them and they will continue to prosper.
As an example of the sort of deceptions that this administration sanctions, consider the smear campaign that began during the wind-up to the elections about how Sen. Kerry's military honors while serving in Viet Nam were all frauds. This is clearly and manifestly a tactic designed to reduce any chance that the Kerry campaign might benefit from a direct comparison of their candidate's participation in the military during the Viet Nam era: Bush - a coward, half-heartedly "serving" in the Air Guard with Daddy's behind-the-scenes help; Kerry - a war hero who was in actual combat in Viet Nam and then wound up being a veteran opposed to the war based on the horrors he had seen. Just as clearly, this is just the sort of dirty trick that Karl Rove is famous for and surely this outrageous fabrication had the unwritten sanction of President Bush. Had he loudly and vigorously opposed this sort of smear tactic, it surely would have stopped. GWB disavowed any responsiblity for it but this was nothing more than another lie. See my references for more details and a seemingly endless listing of his falsehoods, half-truths, and deceptions.
Interestingly, the standard tactic of this administration is to attack their critics - they lie, stonewall, babble endless diversionary gibberish, but most of all, they attack. Dirty tricks, innuendo by media pundits like Bill O'Reilly and other neocon mouthpieces, and so on are standard practice. Cast doubt about their critics, like Richard Clark, and the whole business soon seems to blow over, at least within the media. The tactic apparently works on an American public not inclinced to check for truth by seeking multiple sources ( or even the most elementary of fact-checking), and apparently with a short attention span. At least if the media are correct in their candid assessment of the American people. And the media decide what is news (see section #8, below). Whatever works, these guys will continue to do. They've proven to be masters of the media.
In addition to wrapping himself in the American flag (after 9/11), GWB has also posed himself as the champion of moral values. This , of course, is just another of his outrageous lies. Whateve his religious beliefs might be must be distinctly separate from his actions as President of the US - by the terms of the Constitution. By opposing gay marriage [What an outrageous idea it was even to propose amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage!! Unbelieveable!!] , stem cell research, abortion, the constitutional separation of church and state, and so on, GWB has become the darling of that segment of society that wishes to impose its moral values on the rest of society - the religious right. In the US, apparently, this is a slim majority of the people, so GWB and Crime, Inc. have been able to push through some legislation, but not all of it, thankfully. They've actually been quite ineffectual at changing much of these supposedly liberal-supported notions. They're using the bugaboo of the liberal as the fall guy even though liberals really haven't been much of a force in American politics since the Kennedy era. If some Americans don't like the present moral climate, they should be looking to the conservatives for the responsibility, not the helpless and powerless liberals. See my references for more discussion of this.
In reality, I think GWB would take whatever stance would be most likely to win him the election. If advocating gay marriage would have been his best option to win the election, I think he'd jettison has so-called moral values about that issue in a heartbeat and come up with some rationalization to justify it. GWB has co-opted some portion of the religious right (our home-grown verison of Islamic fanatics who would trample on the Constitution in a heartbeat to push their values on the rest of us), although he probably doesn't go far enough for some of them. May God save us from them!
I won't even elaborate on the typical hypocrisy of most of these one-issue religious fanatics, many of whom can be found in the Baptist Bible Belt (including where I presently reside), awash in pious self-righteousness in public, even as they privately behave in whatever way suits them. What's repulsive to me is how GWB is actually trying to put a religious spin on most of his actions, no doubt to pander to these folks. The American flag is not enough wrapping for him - he also wants to be the "Messiah" for the religious right. [Makes me think of the AntiChrist, actually.] He apparently won the election in large part because of the perception that he's a paragon of "moral values" even as his actions are consistent with someone having the morals of an alley cat! He blows whichever way the wind blows. lies, deceives, and manipulates so he and his cronies can stay in power and continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the American people, at the expense of the national economy, and at the expense of the environment. See my references for more details. This is our nation's champion of moral values?
GWB and Crime, Inc. are the darlings of the media. They lie and deceive and stonewall and obfuscate, seemingly without notice by the media. Al Franken (see the references) has gone to some pains to point out many examples of this. GWB has become like John Gotti - the so-called "Teflon Don" to whom no charges stuck for years - Dubya's is the "Teflon Presidency," being given a free ride for the most part by the media. The sole voice of sanity in the media seems to be "The Daily Show" by John Stewart - which is, after all, nothing more than a comedy show. Of course, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox Network is simply a nest of neocons and Republican "pundits" (by the wishes of the dictator at the top - Rupert Murdoch) like that insufferably arrogant a$$hole, Bill O'Reilly (O'Reilly's whole act is based on lies and intimidation - see my references), whose "no-spin zone" is actually spinning so fast it makes a tornado look like it's stationary. Reminds me to Orwellian "Newspeak" - black is white, war is peace, right is wrong, spin is no-spin. A former star of the right-wing media is Rush Limbaugh, whose callous statements on the air have cost him a substantial amount of his audience but, like Jimmy Swaggart, seems destined not simply to fade away, because he appeals to a certain gullible segment of society. Bill O'Reilly is a Rush Limbaugh clone, both of whom seem very much enamored with themselves (just listen to the amount of self-congratulation they indulge in, when given the chance) and very much unconcerned about truth and meaningful discourse on the issues of our day.
If it were just the Fox Network neocon mouthpieces who were inclined to spin everything in favor of GWB and Crime, Inc, that would be one thing. But the success of the Fox Network has apparently taken away the backbone of the rest of the networks. They've fallen into line with each smear campaign against the Democrats and each hymn of praise to the glories of GWB and his pals. Of course, GWB shamelessly exploits the office of President to serve his own political ends. When he blows his nose, someone is there to report on it as if it were some sort of exciting new development, of course. Although all Presidents have attempted to do this as best they can, unlike many conservative Presidents before him, GWB has become a master manipulator of the media to his own advantage. As I've said, whatever you think of them, these people aren't fools or idiots.
Whatever liberal bias might have existed in the media has long since vanished, to be replaced by shoddy neocon journalism and a nearly universal lack of backbone. The Fox empire has set the standard, and it's not a very good one by traditional journalistic standards. See my references for more details of this degradation of the media. Curiously, the right wing was incensed and seemingly outraged by Dan Rather's faux pax on 60 Minutes (I'm sure that they were secretly gleeful at this opportunity dumped in their laps) - and it was indeed bad journalism - but no one seems to be concerned about the constant journalistic excesses of the Fox Network and their "pundits".
"Aggressive" foreign policy is a characteristic of the neocons. I won't go into too many details here. What puzzles me is why GWB was so adamanat about invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein. Surely it could not be so venal as finishing what his father failed to finish? Or outrage over an alleged plot to assassinate Bush, Sr.? What reason can GWB and Crime, Inc. have to be so determined to engage in a pre-emptive attack on Iraq? (and Iran apparently needs to be prepared)
Were they all fooled by bad intelligence, as they would have us believe? I wonder. Are they really that incompetent? Since events have proven that the "bogeyman" of weapons of mass destruction was a will-o-the-wisp (and the amount of outrage over this in the media is remarkably muted), I wonder just how convinced they were of such a threat. Apparently, what they knew and when they knew it (sounds a lot like Watergate, no?) is a state secret, vital to our national security! Yeah, sure.
The connection between the Saudis and the Bush oil cartel is well-known. Perhaps this war on Saddam was to pre-empt any threat he posed to GWB's pals in the Middle East? Given some of the stuff revealed by Michael Moore, this may not be all that implausible. But perhaps we'll not know until GWB is but a memory and history has a chance to review the record - although given his stonewalling and lies, it might be a while before the truth comes out.
Whatever might have motivated this chicken hawk neocon to engage in an overt preemptive military invasion - it's bad policy. We should not be in the business of removing foreign leaders we don't like by means of aggression - it sets a very bad precedent, and makes many nations around the world nervous if not downright alienating them, and is contrary to the core ideals of this nation. Democracy is supposed to win in the end because it's right, not because it's imposed at the point of a gun! Aggression of this sort also puts American lives at risk for no good reason and definitely serves to recruit more terrorists among the bombed civilians. Furthermore, this war was fought before anyone carefully thought out what our "exit strategy" might be. Even Bush Sr. chose not to occupy Iraq even though he surely could have done so at the end of the first Gulf War - because he foresaw what a morass it likely would become. And, indeed, it has become that morass. The stench of lies fills the air, amidst a stink not unlike that of Viet Nam.
This essay is not the forum for a full discussion of our war (not "peace") in Iraq, but this invasion and occupation was clearly initiated on a lie, and its continuance is not going to justify the lives already lost. Saddam Hussein was a bad ruler, indeed, but two wrongs have not yet been shown to make a right. I believe we'll simply alienate more and more Iraqis and other potentially sympathetic Arabs as time goes by. This war has the smell of Viet Nam all over again. Yes, of course, it is not exactly the same as Viet Nam, but the prospect of future humiliating defeat is already on the horizon. How many more American lives need to be wasted there before we leave. Will the total reach the 58,000 of Viet Nam before we get out, or will we see the light sooner than that this time? I can only hope we learn our lesson before passing that shameful figure.
Like Viet Nam, we went into this war ill-prepared in many ways. Our troops are at risk because of those poor preparations - such as the lack of armor for the HumVees. We have neither the troops or the equipment to be engaging in "nation building" and imposing internal security in Iraq. That's just not what our military is for! GWB and Crime, Inc. are trying with some considerable success to cover up their failures, of course.
We're also engaged in a less visible war, in Afghanistan, the so-called "Viet Nam of the Soviet Union". Like many aggressor nations that have warred in Afghanistan, I fear that we may add it to our list of military failures - indeed, it could become a second Viet Nam for us. There is a long precedent for failure of military incursions into Afghanistan, with the Soviets only being the most recent. I hope I am wrong, of course ...
Chicken hawks and neocons make me very angry. War is expensive and is bankrupting our economy (I can't even begin to comment here on the foolish, politically-motivated economic polices of GWB and Crime, Inc.), to say nothing about the lives on both sides. It's another side of GWB that upsets me very much - I can never forgive him for endangering the life of my son without a good reason!
Additions - 11 September 2006:
I don't know when it occurred, but I found out today, on the 5th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, that the number of American military personnel killed in Iraq has exceeded the number of Americans killed in the terrorist attack itself (2973). Thus, GWB as commander-in-chief of the US military now bears the direct responsibility for more American deaths in Iraq than the terrorists who carried out the despicable attack. And this ignores the American fatalities in Afghanistan. Thus, we have passed an important watershed, even as the deaths continue to mount. To say nothing of the Iraqis (and Afghanis) killed, many of whom are "collateral damage" rather than soldiers or terrorist sympathizers. How many new recruits for terrorism in the future have we created by this senseless war of occupation in Iraq, disguised as "nation-building"? It has now become apparent to most Americans that the invasion and occupation of Iraq can't be justified in terms of WMDs or the so-called war on terrorism. It's nothing more (or less) the naked application of military might as advocated by the neocons. The new terrorists GWB has created in the process will, in turn, seek to produce more American deaths, and GWB will have to bear the responsibility for those, too.
Bascially, I cannot think of a man and his followers who more accurately reflect the antithesis of everything I believe in. GWB is the embodiment of all that I find repulsive. He's precisely as described in the title of this essay. He's so contemptible, I struggle to find words to express my contempt. And my amazement that so many people have been taken in by him.
The damage being done to this country by GWB and Crime, Inc. makes the best efforts of a few terrorist fanatics look trivial by comparison. The terrorists have nothing to compare with the power and resources of the US and its President. Apparently, those in power in the GWB administration are working primarily for personal enrichment and luxury - as others go broke or die doing what they believe to be their patriotic duty - even as the budget deficits soar and the death tolls in foreign wars of unjustified aggression continue to rise. At some point, these guys will have been responsible for the deaths of more Americans than Osama bin Laden. Are we as a nation willing to wait that long to do something about it?
No one has expressed the contradictions associated with the embracing of GWB and Crime, Inc., by the American common man so eloquently as Thomas Frank.. I recommend his book! Another excellent summary of the contradictions embraced by GWB and Crime, Inc. can be found in Peter Singer's excellent book (see my bibliography). And the book by Rampton and Stauber (again, see the bibliography) reinforces the concepts developed by Thomas Frank about how the GWB administration has bamboozled the American public into voting them into a second term, despite the fact that the administration's policies are contrary to what most Americans believe in and are detrimental to the economic interest of most Americans.
Update: 13 November 2008
Now that the GWB administration is over, it will be up to history to judge its impacts. Curiously, we recently seem to have looked back on the Reagan years with considerable nostalgia, despite its devastation of the Federal budget through military spending, its illegal and clandestine backing of foreign incursions (the birth of the neocons), and so forth. The current Federal bail-out of lending institutions that engaged in illegal and clandestine lending practices - "socialism for the rich" - puts an exclamation point at the end of any sentence describing the last eight years of the conservative Republican excesses. We've seen a repudiation of the traditional checks and balances that have been a cornerstone of American democracy by the executive branch, which has implemented its programs with ruthless disregard for anyone that questioned their decisions and simply stonewalled any opposition to their policies. We've seen numerous high administration officials indicted, tried, and convicted of crimes, some of whom subsequently were pardoned by GWB. We've seen an inherited budget surplus become a huge deficit in eight short years. We've seen foreign policy that has damaged our partnerships with many allies and involved one clearly pointless incursion (Iraq) that has turned into a focal point for anti-USA recruiting - as the George Bush (senior) anticipated and so intentionally avoided - and another that may have merit (Afghanistan) but has seen resources bled off to support the fiasco in Iraq to the point where it has become another bleeding ulcer on our society and is causing continuing suffering in Afghanistan - a nation that surely has suffered enough over the past 100 years. GWB and Crime, Inc. have been responsible for more American fatalities than Usama Bin Laden! We've seen the American public manipulated by fear-mongering to the point of being willing to give up traditional American freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The litany of the evils perpetrated by GWB could go on and on ...
The election of Barack Obama is indeed a historic change for the USA - the election of a man with clear African-American heritage is symbolic of what can be good about America. The crossing of this barrier is a signal that we can exclude possibilities for any American no longer. But this is a politician, and I reserve the right to be suspicious of any politician. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next four years. Many important issues confront us and how these are addressed will determine my reaction. Mainly, I'm relieved about the end of eight years of waste, fraud, and abuse by the neocons and the GWB administration. I know what my assessment of their legacy is.