Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Turn the Page

As the mantle of leadership passes from one President to the next I think its appropriate to take a look back the accomplishments of the outgoing President. It is highly a overlooked fact that George W Bush did more to fight poverty and disease in Africa than any president before him. He should be commended for that.

Additionally he set aside more territorial waters as federal preserves than his predecessors. In fact all totaled he created the biggest marine sanctuary in the world. That's no small feat.

Additionally he made a concerted effort to reform the public education system in America and while it was not a smashing success he at least made the attempt and I don't think anybody else's grand plan would have done much better. He gets points for an earnest effort.

Not to mention the fact that after 9/11 nothing else blew up. You have to give him credit for that.

I must admit that I was not a fan of W's in the beginning. But once 9/11 happened I gave him a second chance. After that he pretty much had the goodwill of the vast majority of the world. Using that good will he pulled together a coalition and went into Afghanistan. It made sense. The enemy was being given safe haven there by an oppressive extremist government. Then a few weeks later he signed The Patriot Act into law and it all started going downhill from there. The invasions of privacy and the erosion of our civil liberties just kept coming. Then came the war in Iraq which I thought was strategically a really bad idea. Then the WMD's never appeared. Followed by Abu Ghraib, warrantless wiretapping, Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, and finally proof that the administration had signed off on the torturing of prisoners.

That last bit was for me impossible to swallow. For some reason our leaders decided that we should stop being the good guys and start using the tactics of the Viet Cong, the Khmer Rouge, The Soviet Union, and the SS.
By then we'd lost our credibility, our military was tied up in an elective war based on bad intel, our image was in shreds, the world's goodwill had been squandered and the American people were reduced to infantile partisan infighting. By then W had eroded my previously unshakable faith in the inherent goodness of America and tarnished our image abroad to the point that I went outside and took down the Stars and Stripes....