You know, when the country is engaged in situations as we are in Iraq and trying to fend off terrorists, you want to rally behind your president and our armed forces. It's a natural instinct ingrained in anyone with a sense of patriotism. The troops have my appreciation and support. But this is not a man that I can rally behind. It's been too long, and too bumpy a ride with George W. Bush.
While he won Georgia quite easily in 2000, he squeaked out a highly suspect and controversial presidential victory nationally. I'm tempted to say that it all went downhill from there. But that's not exactly true. His one shining moment where the country really seemed to believe in him was in the emotional days following 9/11. Most of us with misgivings about Bush put it aside because our nation was in trouble. For that, we've been repaid with a needless war in Iraq, further instability in the Middle East, and a severe lack of diplomacy in dealing with nations like North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela. This president loves to rattle his tiny saber.
When Bush took the focus off of his so called "war on terror" by putting Afghanistan on the backburner, and putting the full weight of our military on Iraq, it should've sounded some alarm bells. There were no connections between Iraq and 9/11. So why have we spent 4 years, billions of dollars, and wasted thousands of US, allied, and Iraqi lives?
Maybe a better question is, why did we re-elect him in 2004?
Last night, Bush defended his administration's actions post-911. He said that we invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a threat. Well, Saddam didn't kill 3,000 Americans. And as evil and despotic as his reign surely was, we still have no proof that the US was under any direct imminent threat from him. We invaded in the name of "pre-emptive strike." This president apparently reads minds.
Bush says we're safer today. I don't buy it. I have no scientific gage to offer as proof. But I think it's safe to say that there are more people in this world today that hate America enough to want to give their lives to the cause of destroying us than there were on January 20, 2001, the day that he was sworn in as president. I don't expect him to be an appeaser. And I don't expect him to not put America first. However, I do expect him to not impose his own personal "pre-emptive" will on others while using the resources of this country to do it.
Foreign policy isn't a popularity contest. But this administration has been marked with a severe lack of diplomacy, and has caused even our own allies to move away from us. We, as Americans, believe that this country stands for something great. While he certainly isn't the first American president to tarnish this image, George W. Bush has damaged it in a way that's unprecedented.
Oh by the way, since the president's speech, the American Embassy in Damascus was attacked last night.