You might recall the boastful exuberance of President George W. Bush on May 1, 2003 on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln declaring “mission accomplished” in Iraq with a banner on the ship’s tower displaying that sentiment. To heighten the imagery of a wartime President, Mr. Bush arrived on the carrier on a fighter jet although the warship was docked just off the coast of San Diego. It is a lasting symbol of the dangerously juvenile motivations of the Bush administration.
Well, if Mr. Bush’s intentions were to wreck the country - he did indeed accomplish his mission. Some $1.4 trillion later America is in a Texas size crater that some will never get out of and some will be purposefully buried because the nation’s leadership does not have the will or moral courage to help. It was the Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld quartet that championed two wars but refused to pay for them; and to a lesser extent General Colin Powell as the "fifth Beetle," that played upon the post-9/11 fears of a nation and robbed the kitty to fulfill their expansionist fantasies. Moreover, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill share blame for this mess. There was so much flag waving that they failed to notice that Americans were being strangled by the red, white and blue. Not only did they bankrupt the nation, they put the lives of sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and innocent civilians, in jeopardy in two conflicts in which the “return on investment” is beyond questionable.
President Bush was not satisfied with simply raiding the government’s coffers to fulfill a military fantasy. He decided that Americans should get a tax cut, including the highest earners who had no need for a government “handout,” and promptly began to feed the deficit beast. After taking the reigns from an administration that had actually taken positive steps to reign in the nation’s debt, George W. Bush, spent, well like a drunken sailor to be truthful, and ran up America’s tab with no plan or intention at all to pay the bill.
Still, he wasn’t done. As his eyes twinkled on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, he looked away as the “good old boys” on Wall Street played with funny money and used the hard earned dollars of working Americans to enrich themselves. As the financial sector was wrecking havoc on the nation’s economy, the Bush administration was distracted by a man in a cave who was sending Americans videotapes at a greater frequency than Netflix. The Bush administration’s machismo got the best of them - from President Bush’s silly aircraft carrier spectacle, Rumsfeld’s constant pronouncements that we were “winning,” to the deck of playing cards of Iraq’s most wanted in the Hussein regime. History should not and hopefully will not, be kind to the Bush administration despite what will be a calculated attempt by some to construct truthful lies.
It is now fashionable for the political intelligentsia, right and left, to claim that we can’t go backwards and that it’s now President Obama’s burden and problem to fix. That is precisely our nation’s Achilles heel. We run from the truth when the truth exposes our moral weaknesses. So, someone else’s war and irresponsibility now becomes the fault of the person who was handed the mess. The Bush administration threw us all in the ditch, even his supporters who have been duped, with no ladder to climb out. In many ways, President Obama has been cast as the mythic Sisyphus, rolling the rock up the mountainside only for it to tumble back down.
The past is present. Why? Because the same thinking that got us into the predicament, and sent this nation into crisis mode, is evident in the rhetoric we hear from Republicans on Capitol Hill, in state capitols, and those shameless enough to think that we should give them the keys to the White House in 2012. If we are not careful, we will all be part of a real-life version of the movie “Groundhog Day” where we will wake up every day, with a military hangover, jobless, and our children’s futures sacrificed.
Walter Fields is Executive Editor of NorthStarNews.com.