I believe we should go to war only when there is a clear national interest that can be protected no other way and when there is a strong consensus among the people to support the war.In January 2006 I wrote:
I believe that lying, exaggerating, or hyping information in order to take our country to war is a high crime.
I therefore believe the current occupant of the White House is right out there with Richard Nixon and James Buchanan in the race for the most dangerous President of all time.
When I read the blogs of those, who at least in regards to the "war on terrorism," are on the radical right, I suspect they largely think themselves realistic "pacifists" forced by terrible circumstances to drop those preventive bombs. Put them at the sites of those bombs, many of these same people would be risking their own lives to save the bystanding babies and even grown babies maimed by their bombs. They are not evil people, just scared and mistaken people.
The evil is in those who manipulate the fear and who look on terrorist attacks, war, and recession as a "trifecta" for their political interests.
In February 2006 I wrote:
I have virtually no respect for George W. Bush. I believe he sold his soul to become president. I think he is shallow. I think he is horribly mistaken and unwilling to face his own errors. I think he surrounds himself with yes-men and refuses to listen to contrary views. I think he is an insecure man who covers his frailties with bluster and swagger. But I don't accuse him of being anti-American. I have to believe that even that little man loves his country and hopes that his mistaken policies will work out for the best for America.
Now, from a very unexpected source, comes confirmation of virtually everything I have ever said about George W. Bush and his arrogant buddies.
Bush's Texas buddy Scott McClellan fesses up:
"Over that summer of 2002, top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war. . . . In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage."
“As press secretary, I spent countless hours defending the administration from the podium in the White House briefing room. Although the things I said then were sincere, I have since come to realize that some of them were badly misguided.”
"Bush is plenty smart enouh to be president... A more self-confident executive would be willing to acknowledge failure, to trust people's ability to forgive those who seek redemption for mistakes and show a readiness to change."
“History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”
"The president had promised himself that he would accomplish what his father had failed to do by winning a second term in office, and that meant operating continually in campaign mode: never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also had less justifiable repercussions: never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising. Especially not where Iraq was concerned."In the late sixties and early seventies when Richard Nixon was being elected and re-elected, I was dumbfounded that so many could not see the lack of self-confidence so obvious in his body language and formalized bluster. I knew on a gut-level that the man could not be trusted. I have had exactly the same gut-level reaction to George W. Bush from the very beginning. You do not want a President who is insecure in who he is. (I won't use the phrase that some got so het up over.)
Now we have John McCain. His case is a little different. In the eighties he likely compromised his conscience during the Keating Five scandal. From then through the 2000 race he seems to have straightened up and decided that that was not the real him, and really did seem to engage in "straight talk" from his very-conservative viewpoint. Then he was run over by the Bush/Rove-win at-all-costs-ethics-be-damned steamroller. He began to make more compromises. And more compromises. And as the primaries heated up and his standing faded he made more compromises. Last year he supported Bush 95% of the time.
McCain's awkward delivery, lame body language, forced grimace-smiles, and partisan shots at Obama on Tuesday showed a lot of discomfort. Contrast that with the grace, eloquence, confidence, ease, and inspiration of the Obama speech. McCain's speech was about his opponent. Obama's speech was about America.
If America misses the opportunity of this great moment, what a terrible loss it will be.