Saturday, January 24, 2009

He Kept Us Safe?

Faithful followers of former President George Bush are frantically trying to construct his legacy. It is a daunting task, for not much good came from his years in high office. Usually his supporters very quickly point to the fact that there was not another attack on the United States after September 11, 2001. "He kept us safe," they claim. But did he?

Just a few days after the destruction of the twin towers in New York City, America was under attack again. This time it was a biological attack when several letters containing the deadly anthrax were sent to individuals through the United States Postal Service. This attack reached right into the halls of congress when two Democratic senators were targeted. The case has never been solved although the FBI declared the case closed when a former government scientist who was under suspicion committed suicide.

I do not blame Bush for either the twin towers attack or the anthrax one. But, from my perspective, Bush can hardly claim that he kept us safe as part of his legacy. Both attacks occurred on his watch.

Monday, January 19, 2009

George Bush’s Regrets

In an interview several days ago President George Bush was asked if he had any regrets on his actions over the past eight years. He could think of only a few such as making a speech in front of a sign that said "Mission Accomplished." I do not know why he regrets such a minor thing. After all he did accomplish his stated mission in invading Iraq. The President’s purpose was to protect us from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (nuclear bombs), bring about regime change, and punish Iraq for its involvement in the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States.

If I remember correctly, we achieved all three of those objectives rather quickly. In just a few days our armed forces conquered Iraq and eventually we saw Saddam hung by the neck till dead. Not long afterward we realized America was no longer under the threat of Iraq’s nuclear arsenal. And, we certainly have brought sufficient punishment to the population there that they will think twice before getting involved in another attack on America.

Unfortunately, George Bush was not satisfied with victory and his original goals morphed into something else which most of us have not yet figured out. I am not so sure Bush figured it out either. And so the war dragged on with no end in sight. From my perspective, what Bush should regret is going to war in the first place. Too bad he can’t see his tragic blunder in that decision.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not Much Hope

I have become more discouraged by the day about any hope of a solution to the situation in Palestine. Every day brings more tragedy. From my perspective, both sides seem to have a death wish. Hamas does not seem to care about how many of its people are killed or maimed. They are going to fight the Israelis till all are dead. In turn the Israelis seem not to consider the long run implications of their actions. Every civilian they kill means that one more Palestinian family will have reason to hate their Jewish neighbors for a hundred years into the future.

I have read the history of the region and understand why both sides believe in the righteousness of their cause. That is why I do not have much hope in any solution this side of the second coming. Till then death and destruction will continue in that sad land.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Think First, Then Speak

Democratic leaders in the Senate are busy eating humble pie in the case of Senate appointee Roland Burris from Illinois. When Burris was appointed by the morally challenged governor Blagojevich, Majority Leader Reid and others howled in outrage, claiming they would never vote to seat him. They should have given it a bit of thought before making such a pronouncement. Outrage is wonderful and all that, but it is not a basis for decision making.

Burris’ appointment was strictly within the law and there is no legal basis for the refusal to seat him in the Senate. According to the Constitution, Article 1, Section 5, the Senate has the right to determine if one of its members is qualified to serve in that body. However, it cannot make this determination on the basis of arbitrary or capricious reasons. Burris is qualified so they must allow him to take his place in that venerable body. Next time Reid and company should think before they speak.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Slow Learners

The news from the Middle East is not good. Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, seems to have gone on a suicide frenzy by provoking Israel to attack the tiny Palestinian enclave. It is an uneven fight and the civilian population is paying a terrible price. However, it is the ordinary people who voted Hamas into power. No matter how righteous their cause, they have not yet come to grips with reality - they can never defeat the Israelis. In this the Palestinians of Gaza seem to be slow learners. The sooner they accept defeat and recognize the supremacy of Israel the sooner their life will improve.