Are We Americans Better Off?
(Than we were before George W. Bush was elected as President.)
By Roy D. Follendore III
Copyright (c) 2003 by RDFollendoreIII
September 25, 2003
In these troubling times, in order to ask if we Americans are better off, we first have to do a good deal of soul searching about our traditional ideas of what it is to be liberal, and to be conservative. Is it really a liberal or conservative notion to preemptively invade another nation. More importantly, we are forced to rediscover what it is to be American. Is the true American that guy that pins the stars and stripes on his suit or is being an American more than that? At our philosophical roots, do we Americans see ourselves as destroyers of man and predatory opportunists of misfortune, or are we conservators and builders? Should we allow ourselves to make unilateral decisions over the resources of others simply because we can through the use of force? Are we Americans better off by making the people of our world fear our intentions? How did we get here?
Some of us may remember that at the end of the cold war in the late 1980's, political experts predicted that America would need to find a new opposition upon which to wage war and create new crisis. Now there appears to be a crisis under every rock as we go about looking under every one to identify new enemies. Americans have allowed ourselves to be maneuvered into a continuous world war, in which our country may be militarily and economically drawn and engaged in every social situation possible. We have allowed our President to create his own personal tribunal prison system that is outside of the control of our citizens or international law.
Our President recently tried beg for international support at the United Nations after he snubbed their guidance and support by unilaterally invading Iraq in order to halt terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunatetly, unless we manufacture information, neither the sources of terrorism nor WMD were destroyed by our actions in Iraq. But to gain credibility for his request for military and monetary support in Iraq, Mr. Bush had to spend more time speaking about slavery and the sex trade, something which every civilized nation can agree upon. Maybe our President felt that bringing up this issue somehow puts him on the moral high ground, and covers up the fact that the history of his leadership has so far been based on misinformation and hysteria. At the UN, diplomats were supposed to ignore the fact that he committed an international diplomatic and perhaps a moral crime by invading a sovereign country through false pretenses. In any case, the World community did not buy into his speech because it is through his unilateral acts rather than his speeches that they understand him.
When George W. Bush asked for additional $87,000,000,000. "rebuild Iraq" our Congressional leaders asked how much of that money will go to actually rebuilding Iraq? The response turned out to be just 20%. That means that 80% of that money is required for maintaining coercive forces, so that the 20% could be used "for their own good." As George leads the sale of Iraqi industries to foreign international companies, our leaders in Congress now have to ask exactly how the Iraqi people will benefit? This becomes another politically loaded question. On one hand, during the invasion George announced that American policy was Iraqi oil for Iraq, and now we sale the companies and stripping the rights to Iraqi oil out from under them. Multilateral cooperation simply means distributing the take. If this division of Iraqi wealth takes place while we continue to maintain military and political control, there will have been nothing ethical about the invasion and occupation. In spite of the potential any potential good it may have done, it is a black mark on our nation. It is no wonder that a leading Democratic political competitor labeled our own President as "King George."
What we are doing in Iraq is wrong not only because it is self-righteous, it is wrong because the essential justifications for what we have been doing were and are misplaced. But they have been deliberately misplaced. The information we are being fed has been constantly ringing false. According to the administration, America is supposed to be occupying Iraq in order to rebuild their infrastructure. But the fact is that the Iraqi people do not need Americans to rebuild their infrastructure because they already know how to do that.
We are also supposed be starting up a new democratic Iraqi government. That means that their vote matters as long as it is one that our President approves. These people certainly don't need another propped up Shah like we once forced on the people of Iran. If we use military force to impose a true democracy on the people of Iraq, they are certain to get another dangerous religious dictatorship exactly like we have seen in Iran and Afghanistan. This is the underlying reason why we propped up their previous dictator Saddam, in spite of his predictable horror and cruelty and felt it necessary to dispose of him. At this moment, we have not even accomplished that.
Regardless of his intent, through his actions our President has not only failed at diplomacy, he has put the welfare of Americans second to his personal ambition for more and more Presidential powers. But power is not always as important as cooperation. America is in the position where it has become difficult to find reasonable alternatives. Our military is overextended and George W. Bush and his administration has consistently misjudged the World, its economics and even the basic technological potential of America.
But regardless of our own personal views of this American President as a man, in the eyes of the world, we shall have to admit that it is the citizens who have allowed this to happen. The office of the President may have been wrong or misguided but in either case it has been left without a moral and ethical portfolio. To the citizens and leaders of our world, the so called leader of the free world has proven himself to be a loose cannon that can never be trusted. There is a hollow sound the is ringing in place of the Liberty Bell, without the issue of terror, this President has no platform. Our President has become the principal handicap for the economic future of America.
Are we Americans better off since George W. Bush has been our President? The answer is no. There is the dark shadow of this administration on our flag. Because of this administration our economy has become a train wreck. In order to get our economy back on track, to get our citizens gainfully employed, and to be able to afford to rebuild our military might to protect ourselves, voters must find the intelligent leadership that will be honest with the American people and do constructive things without breaking our budget and initiating a world wide depression.
Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved