"It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men." ~ H.L. Mencken
It"s All Bush"s Fault
If I hear one more time that it's "Bush's fault," I'm going to be ill. From my fellow Root Strikers to Ted Kennedy to a grieving father, I hear the constant shrill cries that "everything is Bush's fault."
I don't care for Bush. I don't believe we should be in Iraq . I believe the Patriot Act that Bush signed into law is an abomination. I believe Bush sold out those who voted for him by pushing as much big government as the Democrats. For these and many other reasons, I'm disgusted and disappointed with George W. Bush.
Bush honestly thought there were WMD. His conviction is that he is preventing future attacks against the United States by helping do away with evil. I don't believe that Bush deliberately made up information about WMDs to get us into Iraq . Yet even if you believe he did, that's not the real problem. The problem is we can rationalize wars as good or bad, as justifiable or indefensible. The reality is that wars are all bad. The only justification for war is being attacked.
The decision to invade Iraq was an abuse of power, an attempt to eliminate one evil by employing another. I cringed shortly after 9/11 when Bush first announced his "war on terror." My immediate reaction was, "Oh no! He's just embarked us on a witch hunt that can never end." The war on terror is a blank check for endless future meddling.
But it wasn't just Bush's fault, nor was it that of just the Republicans. It was the fault of the rest of the chimps in Congress as well. It was the fault of the majority of Americans, who bought into the idea of a revenge-based, neverending war on terror. By making Bush the only one complicit in this evil, we do ourselves an even greater disservice. Demonizing only Bush takes far too much attention from all the other troublemakers out there.
That we haven't found WMDs yet is irrelevant. Only the most na've believe that there never were any WMDs in production in Iraq . The question is, given the existence of WMDs, was a preemptive strike a legitimate action? My answer is no. But when we began the war, the majority of Congress and Americans thought so. Senator JOhn KErry thought so: "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime . . . . So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." Today, JOKE will claim that he was misled by Bush's lies. Gee, I thought Bush was supposed to be an unconvincing buffoon.
No, JOKE and the Ted Kennedys of the world are only playing partisan political games. They deserve as much grief as Bush for their manipulations. Yes, it's Bush's fault, but it's also Kerry's and Kennedy's fault. It is the fault of anyone who supports a government that is out of control and that has overstepped its bounds.
Where was all this hatred and loathing when Clinton took us into Somalia and Bosnia for even stupider reasons? We got into Somalia for "humanitarian" reasons; we bombed Bosnian Serbs for violating exclusion zones. Clinton's remarks regarding Somalia could have been made by Bush speaking today: "We face a choice. Do we leave when the job gets tough or when the job is well done? Do we invite the return of mass suffering or do we leave in a way that gives the Somalis a decent chance to survive?"
Were Clinton president today, we might have gotten into Iraq not for the threat of WMDs, but for the same dubious "humanitarian" reasons. Would-be partisan protestors wouldn't have left their house or even written a nasty letter to the editor. Even Bush might have been able to keep his approval ratings high were he to have invaded Iraq for humanitarian reasons. No, he sold the only reason that was ostensibly in line with the U.S. Constitution: defense of our country.
Yet it wasn't necessary. Hysteria over 9/11 took us into Iraq . Bush was a tool, the blind leading the blind. You bought it.
Blaming Bush for everything only diverts attention from the real problem and hurts the cause. Both Democrats and Republicans have sold the American people out by consistently getting us into war over the past 75 years. Both have sent our money and weapons of death all around the world. The money belongs here, in the pockets of the people who earned it. The weapons belong here, defending our liberty, not discriminately slaughtering others to enforce democracy. I didn't work my ass off to save some cowed fundamentalist in Iraq who can't be bothered to fight for his own freedom.
Equally annoying is all the brow-beating that offers no alternative, no solution. Kennedy and JOKE rail against the war, but neither of them has any acceptable plan for the future.
The only real solution is a radical change that won't happen until something, perhaps from within or without, has chopped out our root. From without, the something is an attack that destroys our economy and our will, finally forcing us to pull back. I hope we're not dumb enough to wait until then, but it may not take long. From within, it is the people, the root strikers, who must rise and demand an end to our follies overseas.
Unfortunately, most of the vocal anti-war crowd repeats the mindless chant that "it's all Bush's fault." That kind of thinking suggests that if we get rid of Bush, we get rid of the problem. It gives credence and power to equally dangerous people, such as JOKE. It allows the root cause to continue: American intrusion.
The thought of pulling back is harsh and unacceptable to many people. But somehow we have become babysitters and meddlers around the world, at the expense of our own citizens. Where does it ever end? Given our current direction, it ends only when the blood flows more than Americans can take.
Sadly, our support of Israel is a major root cause of our current problems. I feel for the Israelis. It's clear that a lot of irrational hatred for Jews remains (take a look at this fairly typical garbage, and at this tendentious statement from the UN itself). Nonetheless, it's time for us to stop propping them up. If the rest of the world cares, they can stop the eventual slaughter. As long as we continue to intervene, however, we're going to continue to be attacked.
Bring it all home. Bring the troops home. Bring the money home. We have had, do have, or will have bases in Germany , Japan , South Korea , Djibouti , Bosnia , Kosovo , Kyrgyzstan , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , Bulgaria , Romania , Australia , the UK , Iceland , Italy , Turkey , among gobs of other places. Outrageous! We are the Roman Empire of the modern world. Close all of the bases. Leave the UN and NATO, too. Now, before our Rome falls. It's time to concentrate on defending this soil and only this soil. Screw the rest of the world'despite our arrogant presumptions, they just might be smart enough to sort out their own troubles.
Keep blaming Bush. But don't forget to blame everyone in Congress who has ever supported sending money and death abroad. Strike the root. And blame your neighbor, who voted for either Clinton/Gore or Bush/Bush. A vote for either Bush or Kerry this fall is a vote for the status quo of American intrusion.