Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let's Get Some Shoes

George W. Bush sat down with a report for ABC News to talk about the "shoe heard round the world" incident over the weekend in Iraq. (I should say for the record that I do not think it is nice to throw your shoes at a world leader... However... the metaphor, meaning and implications to Bush's legacy in the Middle East are too massive to ignore. We reap what we sow.) Here is a part of the interview that entirely captures why we are getting shoes thrown at us:
BUSH: Clearly, one of the most important parts of my job because of 9/11 was to defend the security of the American people. There have been no attacks since I have been president, since 9/11. One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take ...

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand. And they're becoming defeated and I think history will say, one, the world was better off without Saddam, two, along with the Iraqi troops we have denied al Qaeda a safe haven because a young democracy is beginning to grow, which will be an important sign for people in the Middle East.
So what? So what? Are you kidding me?

First of all, Sadam Hussein did not pose a threat in the post-9/11 environment. Sure, he was a bad guy, but he was not a threat to the U.S. Can we all finally agree on this? Great. Moving on.

To shrug off the fact that the botched invasion of a sovereign nation that you orchestrated based off of cooked intelligence is the reason terrorism now exists in that country is appalling.

So what?

The willful ignorance and entire lack of responsibility in those two words makes me sick.

More U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq than Americans on 9/11. The Iraqi death toll is somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. The country was thrown into such disarray that they cannot even gather an approximate estimate about how many people who have been killed since the U.S. invasion. Our government has given itself permission to commit war crimes and torture other human beings. These actions in the Middle East are creating an entire generation of young men and women who are more likely to give themselves over to extremist religious groups aimed at killing more Americans. And to top it off, Osama bin Laden is still out there!

So what??

I love my country, but I am not blind to the horrendous mistakes of its leadership.

And you know what I am going to do about it?

I am mailing a pair of old shoes to the President.

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