A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

12 October 2004

I'm Back

Or as the playful Gubernator would have it, I'm Bach.

Scarcely three weeks until the new President of the United States takes office. Is anyone else getting excited?

He may be rich, he may be a trade protectionist, he may be a caretaker President. But one thing the new man will not be is George W. Bush.

I do not believe that the American people will get fooled again. More importantly, I just can't see a rational voter going for the shrub twice. Let's consider: He's lost 3 million jobs (and let's admit it, created 150,000 or so) on his watch). He's put the country so far in the hole (having inherited a surplus in the tens of billions of dollars) that his grandkids will be paying it off. He's squandered America's moral capital by going to war against all wishes but his own, and worse off by lying to do it. He's curtailed freedoms from reproduction to research, stuck strings on charitable monies while arguing for "faith-based" services, and is campaigning on a single issue: Fear.

But surely the American people are not so stupid as to fall for this sad clown twice?

Way back in the misty dawn of this blog, I said that I wanted this blog to be even-handed, fair-minded and reasonable. As free of bias as it was possible to be. And I am.

You may not believe it. I'd modify my opinion of the little wooden boy in the White House in a heartbeat if anyone could tell me a single good thing he's done.


Made the world safer?

Uh, no. I supported, and still stand by, the Afghanistan invasion. And based on the justification we were given, I supported the Iraq war as well. I was wrong on that, and I wish I could feel bad about it. But in order to feel badly about supporting GWB's personal vendetta I'd have to believe that me not supporting it might have stopped it. No soap.

In fact, the latter invasion, by removing Iran's main spoiler in the Persian Gulf region, has made things considerably less "safe" (they never were actually safe, even in the US, and that's a whole 'nother blog). Likewise, by forcing itself and the world to pick sides, the US has once again been placed by its leaders in the position of having to support people who would make real democracies squirm, and turn a blind eye to repressive regimes with policies of torture.

Improved living conditions for US citizens?

Nope. His tax cuts gave a lot of money to the rich, but the middle class, and the poor (who always seem to disappear behind the door when a neo-con shows up) got screwed. Many middle-income families saw a net benefit in their taxes of five bucks. Now consider what George and his oil-based friends have done for the energy market. And those tax cuts will be being paid off for quite a long time after you-know-who has moved on.

And as far as national security is concerned, does anyone like the US or its foreign policy any better than they did in 2001? Is this likely to improve relations or taint them? Are US citizens safer now that even more people are flocking to Al-Qaeda's cause?

Oh, but he'll get better--he's learned a few lessons. He needs another chance.

No. His mantra during this election campaign has been "Four more years of the same". More fear-mongering, more tunnel vision, and having staked his political manhood in Iraq, the soldiers of the US army must bear more of his foreign policy--No matter who the president is and no matter what else takes place in the world!

Because the US cannot leave Iraq now. Unlike Vietnam, Iraq would remain a failed state until the warlords and fundamentalists took over. And as anyone living in the US now knows, fundamentalists are a bad idea, especially in power. America must bend its collective will to working with the international community (which has unsurprisingly been less than forthcoming with funds and support, given the verbal abuse of Bush before the war, and the instability afterward) to create an un-failed state. Preferably some form of oligarchy, working towards a social democracy (as opposed to the sort that Americans have got at the moment).

But as it is, the need to "pacify" Iraq has undercut the frustrated and neglected sons of the Union who wear desert camouflage in Afghanistan and its citizens. It seems they might now have something like an elected leader, but make no mistake about what's propping him up for the moment. Let's hope the new state of Afghanistan succeeds.

In the past couple of weeks the pigeons have come home to roost:

The Economist forecasts a total defecit for the next ten years, providing Iraq continues and Bush is allowed to renew his tax cuts (some of which are supposed to expire soon) of something approaching 4.6 trillion dollars.

A trillion dollar bills (assuming we're talking about a US trillion {10 to the twelfth power}, not a British trillion (ten to the eighteenth power}--The Economist is British) is a single-bill stack 63 thousand miles high.

Yes, 63 thousand. I had to recalculate it to believe it. If that defecit money were stacked in a single pile, it would reach out past the moon--even at its highest point! I suppose that's the dollars he said he'd put into space exploration?

Worse yet, even if operations in Iraq and Afghanistan slow down, the projection is still 1.5 trillion. I'm sure Georgie's grandkids will thank him.

The report on "weapons of mass destruction" (apparently those not present in the US arsenal) has found that Saddam Hussein was closer to having an atomic bomb in 1991 than in 2003. And the Bush White House has the unmitigated gall to say "See? We were right!"

The report on job losses (more than any President since Herbert Hoover fought the depression) will hopefully produce one more unemplyed redneck.

And George's claim that "I'm a war president" and "You don't change horses in the middle of a war" are starting to sound weird when juxtaposed with the "Mission Accomplished rhetoric. Also--Some people have made the observation that GWB didn't have to be a war president. In fact he's the only one who actually took a world at relative peace and pitched it on its ear. Clinton only stirred the pot in Sarajevo, and never comitted ground troops until the UN proved it couldn't handle things. Kennedy inherited Vietnam and the Cuban adventure from previous planners, and Roosevelt and Wilson responded to direct provocation. Other presidents have at least asked Congress' permission to go to war. George W. Bush asked Congress to give him the power to go to war without consulting them.

In Canada we have a conflicted shipping magnate at the helm (at least his businesses made money). Still, in the next election I will vote for anyone who promises gay marriage, decriminalised pot, and enlightened social policy. I have seen enough ├╝ber-right-wing crap for one lifetime. Maybe Americans have, too.

Where are valour, duty and honour? They're not gone. They're underground, like winter flowers. But unlike spring blooms, they're waiting for a different season.

George Bush likes to tell people it's morning in America. Yeah. No wonder they're so grumpy--I mean how are you first thing in the morning? Perhaps it would be better if it were afternoon in America, and everyone could have a little lie-down?

Didn't like Reagan much either. But I'd vote for him dead before I'd put any Bush back into the residence albion.

No. Honour, duty, and valour are just waiting for November third. Now will be the winter of our content.

Heck, November is a good time for gardening.


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