Why Bush Has Failed America
By Roy D. Follendore III
Copyright (c) 2003 by RDFollendoreIII
October 15, 2003
When the actions of an individual holding the world's most powerful position conflict with the potential and progress of a nation, then the abstractions of politics are bound to become interesting. When those actions are taken in context with the performance of the individuals elected role then not only should the intentions of the leader be considered, so too should the expectations of the citizens who voted for him. If the leaders actions have been declared to be principles and concerns of truth and justice then they should be testable. Punitive and preemptive actions that cannot meet the criteria and tests of provable truth are unfulfilled and define the boundaries outside of the nature of justice.
Because of the undeniable decisions of George W. Bush, our world feels defensive and perceptions of injustice and false expectations fester the thinking and actions of our nation and are isolating Americans from our common goals. Because of our traditional American assumption that justice should be and must be served, Mr. Bush's hard wired decisions to use American military forces to unilaterally attack intangible and improvable threats has done America a great disservice.
Our national relationship to truth and justice has been disturbed not just as a matter of theory, that disturbance has involved the practical and necessary matters of systemic efficiency and effectiveness of the United States as a believable world power. The illegitimacy of untruthful and unjustifiable exercise of power is both a costly and ineffective thing. Executive shortcuts that attempted to replace the necessary balance of truth and justice with personal objectives has fail to serve the needs of our country.
We are talking about the validity of our President's chosen exercise of power to commit our nation to an unwinable specification of war. These are enormous critical issues. They are not only critical for Americans but for all of humanity, and thy go to the heart of the power of our American government. It is my assumption in this essay that hat we have been witnessing in the news are the side effects of a moral failure to understand their implications and consequences of the application of truth and justice. It is also my belief that just as with Richard Nixon, acts through the use of Presidential power that deliberately undercut the essential basis of truth and justice with respect to representation of the citizen voters, are un-American.
Such acts rightfully include the deliberately fabricated deception of an explicit direct connection between the September 11th, 1991 terrorism against the United States and the foreign regime of Saddam Hussein. These actions also include the manufacture of false evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. More explicitly, they include any deliberate decision to lie to the American people at the State of the Union address and to the world through the Secretary of State at the United Nations.
The administrations subsequent stonewalling and continued failure of the Bush administration to come clean after the facts have become known to the public and in the face of indisputable facts continue to have enormous consequences on our nation. Furthermore, the acquisition of new Presidential war powers and the subsequent use of public funds for war through the systematic deception of Congress and the American public is perpetuating the inability of this government to act on the issues of terror. Americans and Congress are fearful of establishing an imperial Presidency but the investment of votes that has created this state of war means that politicians don't like to admit that their political party has been wrong.
The decision to indefinitely hold foreign prisoners of war outside of the geographic boundaries of America in order to violate issues of basic civil rights violates a basic premise of common justice. The President should not be allowed to do by other means, those things that have been explicitly denied by the law. His actions to create a military tribunal may be exercised under philosophy of war but they are also by their nature an un-American act that does not serve justice. So too has been his continued, deliberate and systematic attempts to foster and create Federal programs and agencies whose sole purposed is to spy on Americans. Just as with holding prisoners indefinitely without the right to legal representation and justice, these acts are a tremendous breech of trust with the citizens of America.
The breech of trust with the American people extends to the Bush administrations misuse of the Patriot Act in cases that are unconnected to terrorism and for the simple expediency of prosecutions. There are reasons for legal procedures and they are not based on short term efficiencies. It is more efficient in the short term for our Judicial system to forgo trials and judgments altogether. It is a simple thing to declare anyone who is brought to trial guilty on the basis of trust in the actions of the prosecution.
The creation of the Patriot Act was an unusual, and unfortunate precedent representing far more than the simple extension of the war powers of the Federal Government. Constitutional experts can now say that too much trust may have been delivered to the office of the President at the risk of Constitutional checks and balances. During the hysteria after 911, the assumption was that within what was thought to be a crisis context, the Patriot Act was designed to allow prosecutors and our military to bypass civil legal restrictions for the good of the overall population for the purpose of defeating acts of terrorism that were surrounding us.
The implications of the Bush administration extend far beyond the events that triggered them. The administrations systematic manipulation and suppression of the press during the invasion of Iraq and now during the occupation remains an important issue. The news organizations have not effectively challenged the Bush administration. One of the basic challenges should have been the rationality of sustaining a systematic proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to American allies. America appears to be fighting an indefinable war on the concept of terrorism that is based on the elimination of access to weapons of mass destruction to those that do not benefit us.
The reasons why President George W. Bush has failed America can best begin with the observation that he has been unable to separate his personal perspective from his delegated responsibilities and obligations. In listening to his words and looking at his deeds, this President appears to be unable to differentiate his responsibilities and obligations from his personal identity. When he says that he is "the President," there is more to it than the role that he has assumed.
This is a man who appears to find it pathologically impossible to distinguish a difference between his personal religious goals from his role as Commander and Chief. It is as though he was ordained rather than elected and that smacks of the kind of thing we might expect from kings and royalty. From this orientation there is a singular combative blindness to our President's perceptions about the world we live in. He perceives humanity in terms of Biblical black and white, focusing on individual enemies while he originally described his objectives in the broadest of terms as a "crusade" against terrorism.
According to Reuters News Service, "Former President Bill Clinton says he warned President George W. Bush before he left office in 2001 that Osama bin Laden was the biggest security threat the United States faced." Former President Clinton said, "In his campaign, Bush had said he thought the biggest security issue was Iraq and a national missile defense," Clinton said. "I told him that in my opinion, the biggest security problem was Osama bin Laden." If this is true, then Mr. Bush had plenty of time to organize, lead and orient our nations intelligence agencies to protect us. The question that Americans should have been asking after 911 was why didn't he?
Mr. Bush has demonstrated many times that he believes that his whim is also the mandate of mankind. He has demonstrated that since he has assumed the role of President, people who do not agree with his religious and political philosophy are not worthy of argument or debate. This is probably or President's greatest personality flaw and it has tainted the reputation of Americans for decades by ignoring both the opinions and the rights of others.
Unfortunately the peculiar aspects of Bush's personality has also led to tremendous strategic contradictions that are irrational unless you unlock them with the key of his religious underpinnings. Mr. Bush continues to speak of our world's common goal of eliminating weapons of mass destruction, while exercising an expansion of systems for delivering nuclear weapons to Israel and taking invasive unilateral military actions. Authorizing this has exasperated both sides looking for peace within the Middle East issue. It is not difficult for an outsider to see that there has been a Biblical bent to this President's military strategies as well as those who were chosen to surround and serve him.
Lt Gen William "Jerry" Boykin, who is supposed to Bush's newly promoted Deputy Undersecretary of State of Defense For Intelligence, has repeatedly been telling Christian groups at prayer meetings that President George W Bush was chosen by God to lead the global fight against Satan and in that context mentioned God as worshiped by Islam. He has said: "Why is this man in the White House?" He followed it up with the statement "The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this." We must assume that he meant "his" version of God.
Well perhaps God had something to do with it. After all, if you are a believer in a generic all-encompassing kind of God, then you might say that he has something to do with everything. It is difficult to second guess the notion of God. One thing is certain, human beings have been given responsibility for their mortal actions so that we can not have progress if we must justify or blame God for the events of man. The real issue turns is not about God at all. It is about whether Americans want someone in a position of responsible command who thinks about solving complex and difficult political, social, economic and scientific intelligence problems that our world is continually faced with in that simplistic and dangerous way.
Closer to human reality of course is the fact that through his inactions as well as his actions President Bush has been creating his own self fulfilled prophecies. But in the end, history will write that as a President, George W. Bush has not been a good for America or for our world. He has been irresponsible because he has ignored constructive economic progress while embracing destruction and Big Government as part of our primary American agenda. In the opinion of many people around the world, George W. Bush has acted a fanatic right wing ideologue who has been grabbing for increasingly more power during America's terrorist crisis. But in spite of that consuming need for increasing power he has acted without a realistic or practical plan to use that kind of power.
President Bush has fostered the wrong kind of environment for modern command and control. Our troops have been feeling the evidence of this and they too are backing away from supporting this man's agenda. America's Army is at a breaking point where one third consider themselves demoralized and one half will refuse to reenlist. To make matters worse, in support of our President, our military officers are becoming increasingly desperate. Our military units have attempted to prevent families from openly discussing the problems that their sons and daughters face every day. One officer even attempted to boost support by sending out false personal letters to newspapers with soldiers signatures. At the same time, the number of our actual American dead and wounded soldiers is in question. Suppression of verifiable news about causalities in Iraq is increasing. Now news reporters are finding access to hospitals and morgues off limits by American military authorities.
As the numbers of casualties climb in Iraq, it is becoming more and more difficult for President Bush to claim any degree of true success. The Iraqi people simply do not want American troops dictating their culture and they hate us for what we have attempted to do for them. When we leave there will be little to show for the sacrifices of our men and women. There will be nothing to show for the economic, military and diplomatic burdens that America has shouldered.
As with all failing leaders, George Bush has been forced to increasingly dictate and cause the micromanagement of his cabinet and the agencies. Having specified what is to be reported as the truth by his administration he has been attempting to single handedly shift responsibilities of his staff. They are obviously frustrated by the internal infighting that this has caused and the results are obvious by the lack of creative solutions that are coming from the White House. It is too easy to place all of the blame for this on those who appear to support the Bush agenda.
Make no mistake, the vast majority are not stupid people who have chosen to stay with our President support this country. They are perfectly aware of the implications of their continued participation as well as the vacuum that they would leave if they were to leave. They are highly educated and experienced individuals who are stymied by frozen by the power of Presidential ideology and rhetoric.
White House staff's Biblical prayer sessions are not going to succeed in national security when rational tolerance for the wisdom of others with different belief systems has been abandoned. Ultimately the reason why it will be Bush who must be seen to have failed America will be because of his perverse attempt to fabricate and manipulate truth in order to force his own personal crusade of values on domestic and international justice. Understanding and tolerance of other cultures are functional requirements for the office of the President, not just an arbitrary moral standard.
Our President has failed America because he has made decisions with enormous economic and political risks and consequences for the future of our country and our reputation without consideration of the fallibility of his fundamentalist belief system. In doing this he has put the national security of our nation in jeopardy. George Bush has proven himself to be a kind of religious Don Quixote and there might be a certain admiration if the consequences were not so complex and important. Instead, President Bush is beginning to be held accountable for both his inactions as well as his actions in the court of history. With respect to the issue of public trust, he will be made responsible for what he did not say as well as what he has said. The record exists and it is there for all to see..
As Americans we should support the difficult job of the Office of the President, but as voters I also know that we citizens have the Constitutional obligation to do our part to fill the Oval Office with the best person. We need to begin to do this now. To begin to do that we must look past the issues of Presidential good intentions. Most of us already know how the road to hell was paved. Our forefathers deliberately chose to concentrate tremendous power in the hands of this single individual role with checks and balances.
Because of the trust that goes with such great power and influence within that office, the President of the United States must be held to a higher standard. Poor results on the part of a President must never be above criticism and the potential of contempt. Peaceful argument and political debate of opinion is precisely what makes our nation's leadership so forceful and keeps us strong.
These are delicate times full of tragedies for all, but just because we the light is harsh does not mean that we should not choose to see. Americans must be willing to see the damage that has been done in the name of radical right wing religious nationalism and recover the brilliant embers of world trust, truth and justice.
Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved