Our Rogue President
I’ve been going over in my mind the road we have traveled over these last six years and how little we resemble the country we were when Bush first took office. We are the stories we tell ourselves and our American story has been charred by the reckless behavior of a man that would rather burn books than read them. As the ’08 Presidential race gets prematurely underway, it’s hard to be seduced by the traditional rhetoric of “a better future” and our “better natures” when what we are as a country, our story that we’ve written together, has been so drastically altered. Whether or not our national identity was based on fact or fiction, we agreed to suspend disbelief and consider ourselves free, just, and if not altruistic, at least humane. What are we to tell ourselves now?
As Americans, perhaps we prefer to be lied to. We don’t want to know about our government torturing people, subverting democratic movements around the world or supporting brutal dictators once we’ve struck a deal to gain access to their resources. These practices must be hidden from the American people and they must be carried out in a clandestine way that work outside our domestic laws so that if they are discovered, We The People can absolve ourselves of any responsibility with the simple “truth” that it was done without our permission. Members of the Bush administration have been such bad liars, have not covered their tracks and have been so completely incompetent that they have implicated the American people in every single illegal, illogical and immoral move they have made. The result is that we cannot claim ignorance, nor can we sit idly by while they continue to engage in reckless behavior in our name. Iran must be taken off the table.
Tuesday, President Bush will give his State of the Union address and while usually I look forward to watching the train wreck that is any Bush speech, I’m not hearing enough of what will be covered in the speech to quell my fears that he is about to expand the war we are currently losing to include a country that he doesn’t understand. Sane people find this somewhat frightening, or as Senator Rockefeller put it, “This whole concept of moving against Iran is bizarre.” The move makes no sense from a strategic standpoint, is not backed up by the intelligence community and is not in the best interest of our country. The same was true about Iraq, so the Bush administration is almost sure to dive right in.
This president has got no game when it comes to domestic policy and the disaster in Iraq has consumed his presidency. I doubt that what’s best for America has ever factored into his plans and if he continues to use his office for the purposes of enriching his friends, sticking it to his old man, securing his place in history and playing geopolitical chess for the sheer fun of it, we can expect, at the very least an aggressive (provocative) statement on Iran and at worst, an announcement of pending air strikes against a country that is in the process of reining in their fundamentalist leader. I only hope we have the will to rein in our own.