Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Post-Bush World

Can we afford to sit back and wait?

You've heard of NAFTA. Well, now we have COBTA!

I draw on two points from Fareed Zakaria's cover editorial for June 11th, as I have boldfaced below:
Today, by almost all objective measures, the United States sits on top of the world. But . . . . We have become a nation consumed by fear, worried about terrorists and rogue nations, Muslims and Mexicans, foreign companies and free trade, immigrants and international organizations. The strongest nation in the history of the world, we see ourselves besieged and overwhelmed. While the Bush administration has contributed mightily to this state of affairs. . . .

In any event, it is time to stop bashing George W. Bush. We must begin to think about life after Bush—a cheering prospect for his foes. . . . . In 19 months he will be a private citizen, giving speeches to insurance executives. America, however, will have to move on and restore its place in the world. To do this we must first tackle the consequences of our foreign policy of fear. Having spooked ourselves into believing that we have no option but to act fast, alone, unilaterally and pre-emptively, we have managed in six years to destroy decades of international good will, alienate allies, embolden enemies and yet solve few of the major international problems we face.

In a global survey released last week, most countries polled believed that China would act more responsibly in the world than the United States. How does a Leninist dictatorship come across more sympathetically than the oldest constitutional democracy in the world? Some of this is, of course, the burden of being the biggest. But the United States has been the richest and most powerful nation in the world for almost a century, and for much of this period it was respected, admired and occasionally even loved. The problem today is not that America is too strong but that it is seen as too arrogant, uncaring and insensitive. Countries around the world believe that the United States, obsessed with its own notions of terrorism, has stopped listening to the rest of the world.

More troubling than any of Bush's rhetoric is that of the Republicans who wish to succeed him. . . .
Aye, there's the rub! A review of the recent Republican debate is indicative of what they have coming down the pike: extra-constitutional and theocratic governance, war, terror and empire-building. If repulsed in 2008, the same crowd - both indicted and unindicted - will be back at it in 2012 or 2016: the Iran-Contra's 3rd generation morphed and metastasized into more virulent anti-democratic strains.

Personally, I think Zakaria's statement
. . . it is time to stop bashing George W. Bush.
is both premature and minimalist. With 592 days to go, the full extent of the Cost of Bush to America (COBTA) cannot be fathomed.
  • How much further will the heightened surge and air war against insurgents Gaza-fy Iraq?
  • How much more will the future re-building blocks in Iraq be pulverized?
  • How much more will our military services, particularly the Army, be degraded?
  • How much more blood and treasure be squandered?
  • How much longer can we risk a Bay of Tonkin incident in the Strait of Hormuz?
  • How much longer can we risk re-starting the Cold War and re-igniting an arms race with the Neo-Soviets?
The congenital and unrepentant liars who lied us into Iraq are still in power, lying to extend their occupation of Mesopotamia, and lying to "lock in" future presidents to this illegal, ruinous and depleting aggression.

Let's not count our losses until their dealin's done. The full COBTA is still undetermined. Full-spectrum resistance to Bush and Cheney must continue. Investigate and impeach.

Because, what if it turns out 592 days from now that invading Iraq is not the greatest mistake Bush has made?


  1. It is clear that Putin doesn't believe a word of our lying chief-of-state. He says putting a missile shield in Poland to defend Europe against Iran is as intuitive as scratching your right ear with your left hand.

  2. One of the costs of composing material for these pages is that I don't get out to read enough (and early enough) from friends' sites.

    Besides the inestimable COBTA which we risk sustaining each and every day these B-C clowns remain in office, there is the continuing embarrassment factor. If you dare, I recommend M.D.'s Bushy Awards in SwiftSpeech.

  3. Vig, excellent article. I think support for Israeli belligerence will continue no matter which party is in power. Also I think the the biggest COBRA threat America faces is China, because they have financed so much of the huge debt for Bush's war for oil and conquest and for Bush's no millionaire left behind welfare program. Already they can control our economy by holding or selling US dollars, giving them the high ground in any negotiation between the two countries.

  4. "The congenital and unrepentant liars who lied us into Iraq are still in power, lying to extend their occupation of Mesopotamia, and lying to "lock in" future presidents to this illegal, ruinous and depleting aggression"
    Pardon me but this is a wholly ignorant statement.
    The 'war' has been a godsend for the markets, and the corporations that run America.
    That the people that post on this site think otherwise is a sign that they are either ignorant or to put it plainly, stupid.
    In case it should be forgotten the Democratic and Republican party`s got us into, and continue to fund the 'war', and through their connections to special interest groups, still run the United States.
    If any one here thinks that Democracy is anything other than a 9 letter word that has little to no meaning to the powers that be that run the United States, I would say maybe they ought to cut down on what ever they are smoking or drinking, and wake up, because they are 'dreaming'.

  5. Excuse me, but did Russia's dictator not call our dictator's bluff and give Bush a belly ache by suggesting Azerbaijan as a more plausible missile shield site?

  6. It's a case of two Kettles calling each other out. I took an opportunity to post this on D-Kos this morning: Putin taking Bush's full measure:

    The world has changed, and an attempt was made to make it unipolar, a desire surfaced among some players in the international interaction to dictate their will to each and everybody, without taking into account the norms of international practice and laws in their own activities. . . . . In our view, this is nothing but diktat and imperialism, there is a need to clearly say this and call a spade a spade. . . . One of the most acute problems is the problem of strategic security, our American partners have walked out of ABM (1972 US-Soviet anti-ballistic missile) Treaty unilaterally. . . . .We immediately warned them that in response we will take steps to retain strategic balance in the world. We cautioned them that response will be asymmetrical. . . . They are (problems) there and probably will be in future. . . . What is political expediency? Who has defined this? In our view this is diktat and imperialism, the time has come for plain speak.

  7. Two kettles is right.

    Russia's failure to extradite a Russian citizen to another country for trial is symptomatic of the country's current descent toward becoming an evil empire. By the same logic, the U.S. also should be awarded evil-empire status for its absolute refusal to extradite its citizens to other countries for crimes committed in those countries. Can anyone imagine the Bush administration extraditing CIA operatives to any European country for illegal acts, including torture and kidnapping, committed there? A little more tolerance toward other countries would be more productive in international relations than the irresponsible name-calling and fanning flames of distrust.

  8. Vigilante, Bush is no match for Putin.

    Philip E. Coyle III (Center for Defense Information) says Bush's gambit in behalf of a European missile shield is a game of 'Let's Pretend', and that in this instance Bush's people were bested by Putin's experts who,

    ". . . did its homework and proposed a site that was better for missile defense from both an American and Russian point of view.

    Because of its more southerly location relative to the original sites proposed by the Bush administration in Poland and the Czech Republic, the Azerbaijan option has advantages from both technical and policy points of view. At that location, the proposed missile defenses can "defend" all of Europe, including south eastern Europe. The Poland/Czech Republic arrangement cannot "cover" all of Europe. Also a radar at the Azerbaijan site cannot "see" Russian missile launches going over the pole towards America, which means that it cannot be used to defend America from Russia.

    The Poland/Czech Republic arrangement has raised questions about who exactly it was defending against. Since the U.S. proposal to locate missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic could not cover all of Europe, that raised questions about why the U.S. would chose to "defend" some European countries and not others.

    Also, in an actual missile-vs.-missile battle, the originally proposed sites in Poland and the Czech Republic could result in debris falling on Russia if U.S. missile defense interceptors sent hypothetical Iranian missiles careening off course. The Azerbaijani site minimizes that problem, as well.

    . . . . if Russia is not an enemy, as President Bush says, he should be willing to seriously consider this proposal [even though]the Pentagon may feel that Azerbaijan is too close to Russia for comfort, too close from a military point of view.

    . . . Putin’s proposals for an installation in Azerbaijan – whether workable or not – may be to derail Bush’s plans until he leaves office. . . . in one fell swoop President Putin has effectively questioned the efficacy of the proposed sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, and justified recent cuts by the U.S. Congress in the budget for construction at these sites. The U.S. Congress has been skeptical anyway, and Putin has shown that they had good reason to be skeptical.

    The Putin proposals may have derailed U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe beyond the time remaining for the Bush administration, saving U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars. . . ."


    In the second column, I attributed a column to M.D., linking it to Swiftspeech. My mistake. The column on BUSHY AWARDS should have been attributed to Wednesday, also from Swiftspeech.

  10. Stop bashing Bush?

    F**k no!

    How to restore America's place in the world?

    Give me an I...
    Give me an M...
    Give me a P...

  11. LOL, Tommy! M.D. never's been known not to finish anything started; just waiting for the chorus!