The Higher Power’s Legacy

In the run up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, George W Bush told the world that he did not seek his own father’s (George H W Bush) advice but instead talked with a “higher authority”. Only a cynic like Dick Cheney could keep a straight face and commend the President’s seeking supernatural advice. (Cheney had already made the decision to invade and was busily cooking the evidence to confuse the American public if not the President.)

Unfortunately, the higher authority let “W” down with apparently bum advice, and the Iraq invasion and occupation is history.

Today when there are so many other things that our imaginations and energy could be tackling, America is still stuck with the higher authority’s sticky paper on our hands. Iraq, even though the daily death toll is down, is simply a mess. This poor excuse for a democracy is really a theocracy waiting to happen. Most evidence points to Shiite control and an alliance with Iran for starters. This will trigger Sunni resistance, and unless the Shiites strike a sweet deal with the Kurds, there will be three factions preferring violence to allowing one (Shiites) to rule.

Afghanistan is another piece of the legacy. For 7 years, nation building was overlooked with the lame excuse that Iraq was a higher priority.  As a consequence, corruption and ignorance were allowed to flourish in Afghanistan. Bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan today will require a huge Army of occupation (probably in excess of 500,000) which we do not have and could not afford.

The Legacy keeps on giving. From Abu Ghraib to secret renditions to Guantanamo to the secret CIA prisons and the torture memos, Americans are being forced to confront these issues when these events never needed to have happened. Financially, the legacy is Broadway material. The actually fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans over $1 trillion so far, and this figure does not include the future VA health care for the mangled bodies of US wounded or the post dramatic stress syndrome cases that are mounting.  The music just keeps playing.

The question, I guess, will always be laying out there as to whether “W” was listening to the higher authorities advice, or just thought he knew better. There’s plenty of evidence to support both notions.  On the other hand, maybe the higher authority gave bad advice because “W” had not bothered to ask on other important issues, like when “W” found it completely ok to sanction unlimited use of the death penalty, denying the reproductive rights of women, demonizing the life styles of gays and lesbians, and tuning his back on the risks posed by global warming. I hope if President Obama is faced with any similar decision during his Presidency, that he does not waste any time consulting a higher authority and instead, uses his time to gather data and listen to a wide range of knowledgeable people.

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Iraq War, Politics, Republican Party

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