sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Blame George W. Bush

I hate to do anything that President Obama does -- simply out of principle, however a lot of what we are facing now has to do with screwy efforts by President George W. Bush and the "neocons" in the US Department of Defense. Please allow me to explain myself.

Post 9/11/01, the ENTIRE world backed the United States. The effort against Osama bin Laden was whole heartedly backed by everyone and the coalition that went into Afghanistan twelve years ago did so with broad based support internationally. Everyone wanted to be a part of it.
It was largely a symbolic effort because there were no Afghans flying airplanes into the world trade center and while Bin Laden was embraced by the fundamentalist Sunni Muslims in Afghanistan, they embraced every fundamentalist -- who brought money with them. We didn't attack Saudi Arabia, because they are our allies, but those people flew the airplanes and it's still the nation that follows the teachings of Muhammad ibn And al-Wahhab (who died in 1792).
The US had a problem in 2001. We entered a rather predictable recession that nobody expected to deepen beyond the standard cyclical recessions that we'd undergone in the past. Politically, President Bush didn't want the terrorists to think that they had us on the ropes, so he bought off on the whole liberal mortgage program to keep housing prices up and stave off the recession. By so doing, President Bush's administration sewed the seeds of the financial disaster of 2008-9 that we are all familiar with. 

At the strong advice of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the President Bush decided to invade Iraq - MONTHS BEFORE - the "concerns" over weapons of mass destruction surfaced. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and it was the only hedge nation to curb Iranian ambitions, but President Bush had a blind spot to anything but his misguided agenda. Yes, Iraq was plotting against the US at the time - but no more than Iraq plotted against everyone else. Iraq was not a Muslim State. It was a secular Baathist State. President Bush attacked Iraq --because he could. And though we won, it ended badly.

President George W. Bush ended his presidency such that a charlatan, a fraud, a strange metrosexual junior senator from Illinois could become his successor. President Obama was a man with a clouded past (and a hammer and sickle) who is still an enigma in many respects. Obama, raised by self-proclaimed communists, a scammer who understood the race card and played white guilt like a master violinist, lovingly rubbed shoulders with Weatherman Terrorist Bill Ayers and he owes a lot to George W. Bush. It was George W. Bush, who in many ways, set the stage for him to take power and spend more money than all previous presidents before him had and put the United States into a financial hole that we are unlikely to emerge from within the next twenty or thirty years.

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel personally about George W. Bush the way I do about his successor. George W. and Laura Bush could come to my house for dinner unannounced and they'd be welcome to visit and spend the night.  I believe that George W. Bush had America's best interests at heart, but there was a hubris attached to his presidency that I still find uncomfortable. That hubris, compounded with unnecessary lies and poorly conceived initiatives created great problems in America. The man in charge has to take the heat and the responsibility. That's why I do blame George W. Bush.



What is the President Saying?


I'm not sure whether academics or politicians (usually lawyers) are better at double-talk. President Obama claims to be both (his professorial credentials are not sterling) so where does that leave us?

For all the rhetoric of an improving economy, I don't see much difference from where I am. The president is vacationing in Hawaii, so from his chair under the palm tree, mai tai in hand, the world must look a little different. Then again, he's an 'academic politician'.