Wow, several intelligent posts and comment responses over at Malinda’s place. I am impressed that at least a few people are taking the time to think about and discuss things rather than just throw snippets and sound bites around. I usually have complex thoughts in my head but have a difficulty in putting them down (almost said on paper, but I guess it would be on disk?). Even normally apolitical Deana felt it necessary to put up some comments. Wow.
Sorry to disagree with you, Malinda, but right now I think our government is doing rather poorly, and have to agree with most of Steve’s arguments. I don’t know what Bush was like in the past, but his current incarnation makes me sorry to be an American with a leader like that. I see films of his interaction with other world leaders and am embarrassed. His language, attitude and abilities are not what I would like to have as our representative and leader.
The general government attitude currently is that the US is number one, and everybody else is irrelevant and should do what we say. I think that this is not the way to interact with the rest of the world. Most schoolyard bullies feel that they have a right to tell everybody else what to do. This might work for a while, but eventually somebody will get fed up with it and bring along some friends with baseball bats to change his attitude.
Bush’s attitude at the summit in Russia (“just tell Anin to call the Syrians and tell them to stop it”), Bolton’s attitude in the UN (alienating almost every other country) and Rice’s attitude almost everywhere she goes indicate that these world view is generic thinking coming from people at the top. The results of this bully attitude end up being countries that feel they can ignore us, and have to do whatever it takes not only to protect themselves but to fight against us. North Korea, Pakistan and Iran all feel they need more nuclear weapons, and heck with what we say. How many Middle Eastern organizations and governments now feel that we must actively be pursued? How has the invasion of Iraq made us safer here?
Bush also exhibits the same attitude at home. His signing of over 800 ‘letters’ stating that he feels he can ignore laws that congress passes, the authorization of domestic wiretaps because he feels that it is his right to protect the country, the authorization of phone call analysis of millions of domestic calls, the authorization of ‘special interrogation techniques’ (it is NOT torture if you can define torture any way you want to) in Iraq, the disregard for the Constitution and Geneva Conventions for prisoners in Guantanamo, the disregard for Constitutional protections for US citizens if they are ‘enemy agents’ here in the US, the arrest of protesters at appearances of Bush and Chaney, all indicate that this government feels it has ultimate power, answers to no one, and can do anything it wants to do.
Should we go into how we went from a federal budget that was fairly balanced back to one where we end up with spending what, $400,000,000,000 more than we take in every year? What kind of huge debt will our kids end up having to pay off? Don’t tell me who created this situation, we have Republicans in control of everything, and not one freekin’ money spending bill vetoed, or even paired down. Now we are spending a billion dollars a week in Iraq, and not one penny of it is going into making life there better for the people. No reconstruction effort, no new power plants, no new water plants, nothing but fighting and defense and death. Find anybody in that country, outside of the politicians we put in place, that is glad that we are there. Even the politicians have their families living out of the country. I haven’t found one blog reportedly coming from Iraq that has any praise for our occupation. It was an invasion and occupation, we are still there. We did not go in and save a country from it’s evil dictator, we went in for W’s own reasons, and it sure stinks.
We were reading an interview with some millionaire that put over $25,000,000 into campaigns against Bush at the last election. He said that he felt the first election of Bush could be attributed to an incorrect Supreme Court decision, and that he did not want the world to feel that this individual represented all of our country. By making GW a one-term president the rest of the world would see that it was a brief interlude that hopefully could be left behind. But with the reelection unfortunately he was proven wrong, it seems that the majority of the population that voted did want GW as it’s elected representative.
Now, I also accept the idea that we should kick butt in defending ourselves, and the invasion of Afghanistan was a move in the right direction, but the move to Iraq? Nothing presented, back then or now, indicates that this was a good move. Staying there? No, Rumsfeld is the boss, he directs the military in what they should do, and if the generals testify against him in Congress, they still run his war in Iraq his way. Doesn’t look like his way is the right one. Either force those guys into submission or get out of there. I said it before, we are causing more problems, more hatred and more deaths by staying there than if we leave.
As far as Ossama, yes, it would not surprise me in the least if we ‘discovered’ his location the week before the next elections. Ask Jimmie Carter about the hostages in Iran back when he was pres.
Sorry I can’t be more articulate. But it makes me mad too.