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Dubya sucks, but I don’t know why

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Maybe some of you pinkos can help me here. I don’t really like President Bush that good. I want to say bad things about him, be good loyal opposition and all, but I’m having a hard time right at the moment. A lot has been going right for him recently, starting with that catching Saddam thing.

Particularly, getting Gaddafi to open Libya up to weapons inspectors, throwing open the doors, and voluntarily destroying bunches of chemical weapons, and shutting down a surprisingly advanced nuclear program looks awfully good on President Bush. On the surface, it looks like him knocking off the Baathists has made a big payoff here on the side.

Now, this isn’t right. President Bush didn’t do anything to cause this. He should get NO credit at all for this breakthrough, and it’s nothing anyway. Right? Don’t make me give this SOB credit for making the world safer. I won’t do it.

Come on, some of you pinkos and Bush haters help me out. I’m drowning here. I can’t figure out any reasonable explanation except to say that the hawkish policies of the Bush administration have led directly to this major voluntary disarming of an ugly dictator. There HAS to be some explanation that makes Dubya look bad.

I just can’t find it.

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  • Chris

    That’s because the hatred and dislike of the man is irrational and based on lies in the first place. Welcome to the world of adults.

  • http://robbedbyafountainpen.blogspot.com BJ

    The agreement seems like a big step forward. I hope it works out, and I have no problem giving Bush credit where credit is due.

    Questions:

    1. Why is this strategy OK for Libya but not Iraq? Both are led by murderous dictators who oppress their people and pose regional threats. Neither pose much of a strategic threat to the US, although they conceivably could if allowed to pursue their aims unhindered. Neither can be trusted as far as you can throw them. If they differ at all, it’s that Gaddafi has actually been behind terrorist attacks on Americans.

    2. This weekend, Cheney described the North Korean situation, blustering, “I have been charged by the president with making sure that none of the tyrannies in the world are negotiated with. We don’t negotiate with evil; we defeat it.” So how is Libya different? Is Gaddafi no longer a tyrant? (Is that why no one from the Bush Administration mentioned flight 103 when they bragged about the Gaddafi deal?)

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    BJ, the difference between Gaddafi and Hussein is that Gaddafi decided to co-operate. Lord knows Bush TRIED to get Hussein to co-operate, but he absolutely would not.

    Of course, Gaddafi wasn’t being all that co-operative either- until we made an example out of Hussein.

    Any of these nasty thugs having a bunch of biological or chemical weapons is inherently a threat. They’re evil and unstable- governments acting on the whim of a single strongman.

    Gaddafi may still be a tyrant, but without nasty WMDs, he will be much less of a threat to anyone. And hey, he’s going to get bunches of carrots for shaping up.

    If North Korea has smart leadership (not very likely, I’m afraid), they’ll be looking at Libya and Iraq and looking at a change in strategery.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I was in New York City the day the ‘murrican people elected Al Gore President, so I can’t get really worked up about this kerfuffle from Al. Face it, you’ve got a bogus government, running a regime of mass destruction, headed by an idiot son of an asshole.

    Given that the capture of someone who looks likes Saddam Hussain was staged for the cameras, and the constant stream of lies, well, you should just give up and shoot the the son of a bush.

    I can go vacation in Cuba, but it is a crime for Al to go there, unless he is a guest of a prison camp there. What’s up with that?

    Why can’t Al be imprisoned in Cuba, just because it would make me smile?

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    Because we might attack North Korea? Now *that* does scare me.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    “Why is this strategy OK for Libya but not Iraq?”

    I agree with Barger on this one. Without making an example of Iraq, I don’t know that Libya ever would have happened.

    I am never sure how much credit the president should get for different things and this case is no different. I am not willing to give Clinton credit for the economy that was basically gift-wrapped by Bill Gates. I can’t give Bush the blame for the economy that happened post 9/11.

    So, as far as this foreign policy stuff goes, what can you give a president credit for? I guess they make the initial decisions regarding it, but what of the successes and failures that follow? I don’t have an answer.

  • eddie corbett jr.

    If you would like to read an explanation for the hatred directed at President Bush please go to arp2.org editorial section.

  • eddie corbett jr.

    saddam, over 10 yrs. of diplomatic failure.
    libya, 9 months of diplomatic success
    saddam would not let it work for iraq.
    simple as that.

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    I couldn’t even finish the whole thing. Clinton lying about his personal life was bad. What the right did to impeach him and try to get him out of office was far worse in my opinion. Bad for our country. Bad for politics and will look very stupid and tit for tat in the history books I think.

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    Hey, any president appointed by God to lead the country is good enough for me.

  • eddie corbett jr.

    craig, thank you for your attempt at reading the editorial. you are exactly what the article is talking about. if you read the entire posting you will realize why you passion for clinton has turned into hatred for bush.
    thanks,
    regards

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    I don’t love Clinton and I voted for Bush, so thanks for attempting to make an example of me, but you are wrong. I am a republican and you seem to be the kind of guy who makes me look bad. Thanks.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    It really amazes me how prescient this Onion story is:

    Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.”

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    Doesn’t anyone get tired of this idiotic “Bush sucks/isn’t president/bogus government” bullshit? At some point, is anyone going to shut the hell up about this? Let’s put it this way: there are some who may agree with you, and there are some who don’t. Those who don’t agree with you are not going to be swayed by anything you say, no matter how childishly patronizing it is. Here’s how you can make a difference: vote. On election day 2004, get up, get dressed, and go vote. You can vote for Bush, or you can vote for whoever the Dems decide upon, or you can even vote for one of the non-contenders if you really feel like it. Other than that, your bitching, moaning, protesting, and insulting has worn very thin, and you’re just wasting your energy. Save it for something that will make a difference. Go make some pancakes or something.

  • http://dirtgrain.com/weblog Jan Eggers

    On Tom’s last comment:

    “your bitching, moaning, protesting, and insulting has worn very thin, and you’re just wasting your energy. Save it for something that will make a difference. Go make some pancakes or something.”

    I wonder if the people of Iraq were told the same thing when they dissented from the ways of the Saddam government
    (actually, they were probably imprisoned, tortured or killed). This “my country right or wrong” approach would be perfect for any totalitarian regime–Hitler would have loved it (in fact, Goebbels wrote extensively about techniques to manufacture this sort of thinking). As for the pancakes, I’m totally there.

    “Those who don’t agree with you are not going to be swayed by anything you say, no matter how childishly patronizing it is.”

    It’s a good thing Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t adhere to this principle.

    If Bush is a good, honest, worthy leader, then he will stand up to the dissent and second guessing–just as men who were leaders before him have. How many such leaders have been unjustly brought down by dissenters? Please don’t say Nixon.

    As for the nature of the criticisms of Bush, I agree that they should be based on logic and fact. When people, both those for Bush and those against Bush, focus on his character (ethos) by labeling him or attempt to sway by appealing to emotion (pathos), I believe they are attempting to mislead. Let us strive to be Vulcan in our rhetoric.

    For some reasons (I know they are not always so Vulcan, either) to doubt Bush as a leader, go to these sites (but be ever critical):

    http://www.zmag.org/biochomsky.htm?Fname=Noam&Lname=Chomsky&commentary=3&article=5

    http://www.bushwatch.org

    I leave you with a quotation from Frederick Douglass:
    “Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

  • Eric Olsen

    I believe Tom was referring to the “Bush stole the election, Gore has been the rightful president for the last three years but he has been laying low in hopes of dethroning Bush on New Years Eve in a Romanov type manner” type of stuff that was immaterial the moment the Supreme Court said it was. The comment that this was an unsatisfactory ending to the election, that Gore won the popular vote and the like, was worth making the first 100 times, but got old the next day and accomplishes nothing at this point. We are much closer to the next election than the last one, so I think that was a reasonable point to make.

    Regarding the post: we all have things we object to about Bush – I have many and have made them – but when it comes to foreign policy, he has pushed every button correctly and at the right time. Give him some credit.

  • http://dirtgrain.com/weblog Jan Eggers

    Beware of absolutes.

    I agree that Bush has been somewhat effective in achieving his objectives (or rather the people behind Bush have been effective (I truly believe that he is too stupid to be making any of the calls)). However, I do not agree with some of those objectives and the means used to achieve them (I feel the same way about the foreign policies of Clinton, George Herbert Walker Bush and Reagan).

    The connection of Saddam to terrorism and 9/11 has been a point of contention for quite some time now. I don’t care to argue it (this would be absurd, since we are not privy to all of the information). But it is questionable (see http://www.fair.org/press-releases/beyond-niger.html), and I expect our government to clarify such issues rather than leaving them to seem as if they were meant to be misleading. If, in talking about effective foreign policy, you are talking about fighting terrorism, then how can you be so sure The White House has pushed every button at the right time? Iraq may have been the wrong button.

    Colin Powell offers a defense and clarification of the Bush Administration foreign policy (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20040101faessay83104/colin-l-powell/a-strategy-of-partnerships.html). In it, he emphasizes that the war on terrorism is not the only objective in US foreign policy. If you then choose to see the conquering of Iraq and Saddam not as a certain victory over terrorism but as a necessary action against a dictator who defied the conditions he had agreed to after Desert Storm, then I might be more inclined to see it as a foreign policy success–except for the fact that we turned our back on the UN and alienated a huge chunk of the world in the process. As for the preemption, I tend to agree with those who feel that Saddam wasn’t even close to a threat to the US (see http://www.zmag.org/ZMagSite/mar2003/hermanprint0303.html).

    As for Bush’s overall foreign policy, The Project Against the Present Danger offers the following list of US foreign policy actions that are problematic (http://www.presentdanger.org/choice.html):

    –Abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty while squandering billions in chasing the chimera of national missile defense.
    –Undermined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty while expressing support for testing new nuclear weapons and refusing to rule out a nuclear first strike against nonnuclear nations.
    –Derailed negotiations to improve international inspection systems to monitor and prevent the production of biological and chemical weapons.
    –Repudiated an international scientific consensus and withdrawn from global efforts to curb global warming.
    –Renounced the U.S. signature on the treaty to create an International Criminal Court and campaigned aggressively to exempt all U.S. personnel from its jurisdiction, even threatening to veto UN peacekeeping operations if it does not get its way.
    –Dismissed the need for broad international cooperation in its war on terrorism, preferring to act alone or with selected allies.
    –Treated human rights as an obstacle to rather than an essential component of civic security at home and abroad.
    –Undermined the Oslo peace process, condoned the Israeli reoccupation of Palestinian territory, and rejected UN Security Council resolutions supported by previous administrations that provide a framework for conflict resolution containing strict security guarantees for both Israel and the Palestinians.
    –Slighted global efforts to mobilize an offensive against the spread of AIDS, instead privileging the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies over the need for affordable life-saving medicines.
    –Suspended U.S. support for the UN’s family planning programs and balked at supporting the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
    –Continued to pursue a global economic agenda that is of, by, and for transnational corporations and blocked efforts to build international rules to enforce labor and consumer rights and environmental protections.

    That does not sound like such a wonderful foreign policy to me. It may well be effective in achieving its goals, but it scares the crap out of me.

    See also The Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy (http://www.realisticforeignpolicy.org/archives/000017.php#000017). They bring up that trendy word, empire, again.

    For more Bush criticisms, see
    bushin30seconds
    (http://www.bushin30seconds.org/aboutbush.html).

  • debbie

    “I agree that Bush has been somewhat effective in achieving his objectives (or rather the people behind Bush have been effective (I truly believe that he is too stupid to be making any of the calls)).”

    I guess Yale and Harvard are over rated.

    “The connection of Saddam to terrorism and 9/11 has been a point of contention for quite some time now. ”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/527uwabl.asp

    It’s obvious that this is what our intellegence showed, you know it and I know it. Clinton said the same things for the last 3 or 4 years he was in office. To claim that Bush made up the perceived threat is just ridiculous, it just confirms that you have a tin foil beanie at home.

    It appears that we may need better intellegence… :) but to make this out to be a plot by the evil George… is loony.

    In our war against Terrorism, we said that we going going after terrorists, nations that harbor terrorists, those that finance terrorists. It’s well known that Saddam financed terrorists.

    If Iraq is given the chance and grows into a free, democratic form of government, think of what this could mean to the whole region. How much hope could this spread to the people in the surrounding nations? Where there is hope – there is action!

  • JR

    “I guess Yale and Harvard are over rated.”

    You just now figured that out?

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    While it helps position Bush opponents in a more negative light, painting them with the broad brush of being Bush haters is not particularly helpful in creating a useful dialog.

    I’m one of those that thinks Bush is as useless as teats on a boar, but that’s not hate, just calling it like I see it.

    I am impressed that his handlers have trained him so well that he can now give a very convincing, compelling speech (don’t ask any questions, though, and I hope you don’t notice the wind-up key as he walks away).

    But he is just the front man, and it’s the whole administration and the way they operate that scares me.

    For example, in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription), generally known for its far right Republican editorials, we read:

    Bush’s Health-Care Reports
    Are Too Optimistic, Critics Say

    Revisions Make Bush Report On Health Care More Upbeat

    WASHINGTON — The Bush administration released a pair of much-awaited reports on the quality of American health care, after extensive revisions that made the findings more upbeat than some experts thought justified.

    In several cases, language included in drafts prepared this summer was toned down, emphasizing improvements or challenges rather than problems that afflict the quality of care in public and private health systems in the U.S.

    For example, early versions of the National Healthcare Quality report warned that the U.S. health system “is not capable” of preventing or managing diabetes, while the final report said the health system “must respond in order to prevent and manage” the disease. Both versions of the report acknowledged diabetes as a growing problem in the U.S.

    This administration has a propensity for changing facts to suit their needs, and this is just one example and not the first time they’ve been called on it. Feith’s recent “report” on evidence for why the US had to invade Iraq immediately and preemptively is another. Go back over the time of Bush’s tenure and you’ll find numerous similar examples from Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Cheny, Abrams, et alia.

    Their approach to problems is changing facts and PR spin.

    And sadly, it works on far too many.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Hal, a great deal of the talk against the president obviously comes from some crazy personal animus against HIM, not any particular policies.

    Which is certainly not to say that there are not plenty of perfectly good reasons to rag on him. If you want to talk about that huge new drug entitlement program, I’ll soon enough have the veins bulging out of my forehead- and don’t even get me started on McCain-Feingold.

    Once in a while, however, he does some good that can’t be denied, as with Libya. I’d just like to see some of the pinkos give him a spot of credit maybe one time.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Once in a while, however, he does some good that can’t be denied, as with Libya

    I think Libya getting rid of their CBWs is great, as they were unequivocally, self-admittedly a terrorist state.

    But can you tell me why you give Bush credit for this? I wouldn’t think that the initiative was his, based on his extreme lack of foreign policy experience.

    I suppose you could say it happened on his watch so he’s responsible, but I’m more interested in things that he himself might have initiated. So far, he may have had something to do with giving the tax breaks to the rich rather than the middle- and lower-income taxpayers, but I don’t really know about anything else that might have first come from him.

    Any guidance?

  • JR

    “Hal, a great deal of the talk against the president obviously comes from some crazy personal animus against HIM, not any particular policies.”

    Isn’t it possible the personal animus stems from objections to Bush’s policies?

  • debbie

    “But can you tell me why you give Bush credit for this? I wouldn’t think that the initiative was his, based on his extreme lack of foreign policy experience.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/12/22/gadhafi.interview/index.html

    Pay special attention to the paragraph:

    Asked about his decision, Gadhafi acknowledged that the Iraq war may have influenced him, but he insisted he wanted to focus on the “positive.”

    That is why he deserves credit, it is because of his foreign policy that they decided to take this action.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Debbie: so you think he’s coming up with the foreign policy?

    I see.

  • http://dirtgrain.com/weblog Jan Eggers

    My comment about Bush’s stupidity was perhaps a cheap shot–afterall, I had just posted a comment that stressed that we should not attack a person’s character; rather we should argue his or her ideas. If you are interested in Bush’s qualifications to be president, which is a different matter (although, like what Eric said about the “stolen” election, maybe it’s getting old), then see the following:

    On his Yale Transcripts:
    http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=2636

    On his admission to Yale:
    http://journalism.medill.northwestern.edu/docket/02-0516legacy.html

    On whether he would be a child left behind:
    http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0620-01.htm

    On his speaking troubles (which we all have from time to time–but this many times?):
    http://slate.msn.com/id/76886/

    and

    http://www.bushwatch.com/english.htm

    As for Gore’s academic career, see this site:
    http://quest.cjonline.com/stories/031900/gen_gorepost.shtml

    So, we, the greatest country in the world, had to choose between two people of average academic success (unless you count Nader as a legitamate choice).

    As for debbie’s comments:

    “It’s obvious that this is what our intellegence showed, you know it and I know it. Clinton said the same things for the last 3 or 4 years he was in office. To claim that Bush made up the perceived threat is just ridiculous, it just confirms that you have a tin foil beanie at home.”

    Beware of absolutes–and assumptions. There is nothing obvious about what the intelligence community knows. Yes, we can only debate what they reveal to us. And that was not much. I think that Colin Powell’s presentation to the world about the Saddam threat was intentionally misleading. That is just an opinion, and I can’t know it for sure. But if they decided to destroy Iraq based on a few loose bits of intelligence, then their judgement is what should be called into question.

    “It appears that we may need better intellegence… :) but to make this out to be a plot by the evil George… is loony.”

    Actually, it’s the Rove, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. And perhaps evil is the wrong word in these reletivistic times. How about misguided, corporate lackey, self-serving, colonizing, empire creating, you’re-with-us-or-against-us, putting money over human life, and so on.

  • debbie

    Jan,

    Are you implying that Clinton was lying about Iraq? Do you think he was really bombing Iraq and killing people just to get Monica out of the news? Or is it possible that our intellegence showed just what Clinton and Bush said it did…

    If the intellegence was wrong then we need to find a way to build better intellegence, but the constant childish cries of “Bush is an idiot”, “Bush Lied” etc. is ridiculous, but if people want to see a conspiracy then they will. You can paint one out in any event in history.

    “But if they decided to destroy Iraq based on a few loose bits of intelligence, then their judgement is what should be called into question.”

    Destroy Iraq??? That pretty much says it all…

  • eddie corbett jr.

    graig, no offense was intended and i can’t be held responsible for how you look. thanks

  • Roland

    It is hard to assert that I do not like Bush, as I do not know him. I do feel that it is slightly unjust that a man like Bush was elected in the first place.

    Here we have a man who runs as a rugged individualist from Texas who is in fact the product of the Ivy League and old money. At best, President Bush was a mediocre businessman, often relying on the kindness of old family friends to prop up his efforts in West Texas. A significant amount of his fortune is derived from the sale of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise, which appreciated in value after the state of Texas condemned some private property so that a new stadium could be constructed. This stadium was constructed with money obtained by issuing bonds and increasing local taxes.

    Mr. Bush makes a great show of being a twice born Christian, yet he lived most of his life as a wastrel, consuming the fortune that real men of vision such as his father produced. The elder Bush is something of a legend in West Texas, being a very shrewd businessman. President Bush spent much of his life acting as an adolescent and has never demonstrated a curiousity about the world around him. To me, it is the marvel of the age that he was elected to the office. Many people feel this way, I suspect.

    Of course, these issues should have been discussed at length before the 2000 election. The long term consequences of “his” policies are not yet known. he will no doubt be successful in his bid for reelection in 2004. No doubt people will be entranced by the spectacle of Saddam Hussein dragged to judgement before some tribunal and mesmerized by the details of Colonel Quadaffi’s WMD program.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Roland, those criticisms of Bush are pretty harsh, looking at things in the worst way you could decide to take them. Still, there lies at least some stain of truth to the charges. In 2000, those were reasonable arguments.

    They’re not very relevant now, however. Dubya may not have had much foreign policy experience four years ago, but he sure as hell has now. The obvious point will be to judge him primarily on what he has done in the last four years as president, not some less direct and far distant character charges.

    In other words, if people figure that he’s making a good effort, there would be NO reason at all for them to be concerned about Bush’s former drinking habits or mediocre grades. Those are by now not an issue. Irrelevant.

    Are his policies making some kind of dent toward making America safer? The Saddam arrest and the Libyan deal look good on Dubya.

    It might be that Dubya deserves no credit. He was just really lucky to be the guy around to get credit when the gods were smiling on us.

    Maybe what we need isn’t to find the smartest or most thoughtful or principled president- just the luckiest one.

    Maybe we should just try to elect the most extraordinarily LUCKY guy we can find to be our president.

    I’m not sure who that’d be.

  • Roland

    Al

    I agree. President Bush’s clear character flaws have no bearing on his execution of the office to which he was elected. Indeed, my feeling is that he participates only at the periphery of the decision making process. I thought the accusations made of Clinton during his term in office were equally irrelevant. I am simply saddened that in the 2000 election, the electorate was given a choice between two sons of the aristocracy.

    When I examine his record in office, I am not so confident of the effectiveness of his foreign policy. The Iraq War was a success, in that Saddam Hussein was apprehended. It remains to be seen whether or not a stable government will be established.

    However, I feel that the ousting of Hussien was purchased at a significant cost. It troubles me that the US Congress gave over to the executive the power to make war at its own discretion. This clearly violates the intent of separation of powers. I would tend to agree with those who legitimately object to this sort of thing in the administrations of both Bush the Elder and Clinton. The actions in Somalia and the Balkans clearly paved the way for the current situation. FDR, when confronted with the menace of imperial Japan, at least troubled to obtain a declaration of war against that state.

    President Bush has still not found a reasonable way of dealing with North Korea, though honestly I have no notion of what to do regarding this state. In addition, his economic policies and the dual occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan have run up the deficit to historic proportions. I would be very surprised, if the US is serious about the doctrine of preemption, if the country is not effectively bankrupt in 25 or so years.

    I believe that it is unfortunate that no one is offering up alternatives to the Bush doctrine. As long as the US remains more or less a world empire, there will be plenty of enemies who will conspire to destroy it. No empire has ever been powerful enough to defeat every enemy.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Empire my ass. We’re not instituting puppet governments to collect tribute, or anything close.

    You might have some reasonable objections to the costs or propriety of the Bush foreign policy, that’s fine. But trying to equate the slapping down of security threats with being evil builders of “empire” just doesn’t hold. False analogy.

    It troubles me that the US Congress gave over to the executive the power to make war at its own discretion.
    Congress had a vote in October 2002 to support the president. He therefore had the advice and consent of Congress for the actions. Again, you may question the wisdom of the Congress in going along, but they did specifically vote to do so.

    You COULD complain that Congress gave him express prerogative to attack, but did not specifically demand that he do so. Are you dissatisfied that Congress left him an option to not attack? Should they have demanded that he attack no matter how Hussein responded? It seems reasonable to me that they left him that flexibility.

    Hard telling what to do about North Korea. I don’t envy the president that particular responsibility.

    Perhaps if we get a break, having made an example out of Saddam Hussein will get through to North Korean leadership, and they’ll become a little more reasonable. It worked with Libya.

  • Roland

    Al

    I’m not sure what else you would call the US at this moment in history. I did not assert that the US was an evil empire, only an empire. The US is more merciful in its treatment of its subjects than the Romans for example, but we have not ruled the world for as long or become as corrupted by power. Both the Afghan and Iraqi governments are puppet governments, but they appear to me moderate in comparison to the villains and scoundrels with whom we have made common cause with over the past 5 decades. Consider Colonel Noriega, the Shah, Mobutu Sese Seko, Suharto, or Marcos.

    You say the Congress supported the President. I say the body abandoned its Constitutional duty. To me, this act violates the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution. The writers of the document clearly feared the ability of a monarch to expend the blood and treasure of the nation in pursuit of his dreams of the greater good. In Al Quaeda, the US finds itself opposed by a resourceful enemy, but no one seriously believes they have the capacity to topple the US government. The Japanese Empire, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union all had this capacity. Why is it necessary to cede to the President the power to invade any country of his choosing at this point in history? Is it believable to you that a band of criminal rabble can overcome the free world when Stalin and Hitler could not? Did you anticipate an Iraqi offensive into Central Europe in the summer of 2004?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Roland, come on dude: Why is it necessary to cede to the President the power to invade any country of his choosing at this point in history?

    Congress authorized the president to go into IRAQ, not just any old country that suited him. Debating and then authorizing the president to take a military action does not constitute abrogation of their duties. You might find this particular military action ill advised, but Bush went through proper channels to get it.

    Stomping on a couple of hostile, terrorist harboring-funding governments is simply not the same thing as establishing an “empire” in any meaningful sense of the the word.

    You can call a boulder an “apple” but you still ain’t gonna get a glass of juice out of it.

  • Roland

    Al

    Congress did autorize President Bush’s invasion of Iraq in a piece of legislation approved in October of 2002 I beleive.

    In Senate Joint Resolution, passed in Septmeber of 2001, there are the words:

    “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organisations, or persons he determines planned, authorized committed, or aided the terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.”

    There is also a provision that ensures that the War Powers Act is observed. Note that the President is authorized to use force on nations he determines are guilty. It does not call upon him to present his evidence to Congress or to the American people. It is within his power to make war on any nation of his choosing. If I recall the War Powers Act correctly, he has to appear before Congress to explain himself after an invasion has taken place, maybe after 30 or 90 days.

  • Roland

    Additionally, in the resolution to support President Bush’s Iraq War, there are references to Iraq’s connections to terrorist organizations, including possibly Al Quaeda. I am aware of scant evidence to support this, other than the Feith memo, which has not been released in its entirety and cannot be indepedently confirmed.

    I do enjoy this site though. Thanks for replying so quickly and an engaging discussion.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Thanks Roland. The 2001 resolution might be overly broad. I’d hate to have a president thinking this was just an open authorization to blast away at will.

    However, Bush did not take that as any authorization for use of force against Iraq. The October 10, 2002 resolution was specific to Iraq.

    I favored the invasion of Iraq, but even I would have been opposed if he had not had a specific authorization from Congress. That is a pretty significant point.

  • Mitch

    Hate to chime in here so late, but I think in retrospect it can be seen what a waste of 8 years this president was. Iraq have anything to do with 9/11? NO! Getting rid of the Baathists turn out to be good for Iraqi stability? NO! Did Libya turn out to have any respectable level of nuclear capability at all? NO! Ultimately has anything Bush ever did (including fondling the prime minister of Germany on camera) done anything but make America look like a bunch of drooling idiots on the world stage for electing him? NO!

    What really burned me back then about questions like this was I knew in my gut (didn’t have or need data) that Bush was a sorry excuse for a president, and I really could not understand why quite a few people around me could not see that. Now we have the data, we know he made our place in the world a much more difficult proposition, and I realize that not everyone has as well developed a gut instinct as I do.

    Plus he looks and acts like a monkey. Nuf said…