Ten years ago I sat with friends in the Spring of 2001. Since Bush had taken over and the economy had tanked, things were getting worse quickly. The old Millennium had gone out with a bang. At that time I was saying things like, "Ten years ago, people told us we couldn't get rid of our deficit. But, we did, by raising taxes on the rich. The Dems took a lot of heat for that, but they were right. And now we have, for the first time, a surplus. With the advent of the internet, America is set for great new things."
Yet, I had warned all of my dear Republican friends at the time that Bush was a dishonest broker who had any number of hidden agendas that conflicted with the good of the American people. The writing was on the wall, as I saw it. Anyone who WANTS to be President by decree (via the Supreme Court...it was Bush v. Gore, after all...not Gore v. Bush), should be considered suspicious and untrustworthy. Never mind the dirty politics, calling McCain the illegitimate father of an African-American child, hanging chads, etc., Bush was quite happy to represent less than the majority of the American people as long as he was behind the wheel.
Just like Obama, the moment he took office everything changed. Gone was the "Compassionate Conservative" candidate; in came the man who wouldn't stop Enron (of Texas oilmen) from bankrupting California. And, I was not alone in my thinking. Most Americans agreed, though we seemed to just put up with the virtual coup that had happened, perhaps hoping after 4 years, it would just all go away. Squandering our surplus in a tax break for the wealthy was to be overshadowed by the military agenda that he pursued.
I don't know if it was just luck that made 9/11 happen on Bush's watch, but because we'll never get through all the conspiracy theories that surround it, let's just assume it was sheer luck. Bush wanted to go to war so badly, he named a former Defense Department Secretary as his V.P. and a war general as his Secty. of State. He was pissed at Saddam for something and he wanted our guns in that country. I personally think he felt he had to do Afghanistan as a prelude to Iraq...like a warm up. Truthfully, he never paid much attention to Afghanistan. But, he sold that war with a lie, just like he did with Iraq. Only, this lie was one all Americans wanted. Like offering a child candy, Bush said we were going into Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden. Less than 6 months after 9/11, he was done with OBL. He had moved on to our next great catastrophe...Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
But, hold on a second there, because while Bush was doing pretty much whatever he wanted and lying to get it done, Americans really DID want something. We wanted Osama bin Laden brought to justice. He was Hitler-esque. He was dangerous and elusive.
One thing Obama has always said was that we had not pursued our original policy in Afghanistan. Now, today, ten years later, President Obama has finally brought this chapter to a close. It could have been done many years ago and saved many American and other lives as well as precious treasure, resources and, perhaps most importantly, time. But, now it is done.
President Obama, you managed to accomplish what your predecessor could not. You focused on the problem and created the solution. Thank you.
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