Thursday, July 01, 2004

When Bush Lost Me

Most of my adult life, I've been apolitical. I think part of it was mental survival; in the military, you have to do whatever the gov't decides you'll do. So I always voted, but otherwise didn't get too emotionally invested in specific outcomes.

And frankly, it isn't as if I could easily tell the players apart. I'm sure the political class in our country sees massive differences between the different parties and cliques. On the outside looking in, those differences seem fuzzy and ultimately rather meaningless.

But when Bush gave his speech after the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks and announced "You're either with us or against us" - that angered and frightened me. That attitude is wrong. He is wrong. I cannot support a leader who sinks into such binary unrealistic thought processes. Maybe he's watched too many movies.

And then he made it worse the following year. The country had girded itself for the "war on terrorism", for increased domestic security, for a new and vulnerable view of our place in the world...and he decides it's time for a war in Iraq. He hadn't finished the job he started, but no matter; all his attention and resources had to be devoted to this new whim. Skewed priorities. Maybe the invasion was necessary, maybe not, but he chose the timing.

I suppose one could argue that by placing both Afghanistan and Iraq into chaos, we disrupt the powerlines in the terrorists' network. But I don't believe our gov't is that farsighted. I see only hubris.


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