Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Silence Should Not Be Misconstrued as Satisfaction

Because I am not Content.

I am not finding my post-election voice, that's for sure. I sense that George Bush is winning. Most of the malignant tumors which he started in American foreign policy seem destined to be validated through their indefinite extension. I'm speaking of his interminal occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'm basing this expectation on the appointment of pro-Iraq invasion people such as Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and Jim Jones. These are not neo-cons. That's true enough. Even though Barack Obama is proving true to his word - that he is not a peacenik lefty but a realistic centrist - I am disappointed that the Iraq occupation will not be summarily disassembled and removed.

Neither does Bush appear to be threatened by incipient prosecution on inauguration day+1. Both are disappointments but not surprises. It's ironic that Bush may have escaped the fate he deserved by virtue, if I can use that word, of the penultimate wreck and ruin into which he has plunged our once-great country. I'm speaking not only of the two seemingly inextricable foreign occupations he is bequeathing the next two presidencies (or more), but also the constitutional, economic, and diplomatic damage the country has suffered. Ironically, it is the extremes of devastation from Bush's rule which promise to protect him the most.

So great will be the efforts and energies required to undo the unfathomable damage done to our American polity, that no political resources can be reserved to prosecute Bush or the horses he's riding out with. In a real sense, Busheney's are the perfect crimes. They have committed mass murder and they are getting away with it. O.J. Simpson has nothing on them.

I cannot muster much voice to complain about Obama's administration in its formulative phase. After all, I feel like I'm on my knees, grasping for consolations of some sort. We'll have an extraordinarily gifted and elite leader who is well-schooled in law, in history, in rhetoric, and in the world outside of our shores. For the first time this century. Going forward, neither I nor my dog will feel compelled to bark when his voice is heard on nightly TV news.

For the time being, that's a consolation that's going to have to do for me.

7 Moderated Comments:

Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

Obama won because Americans respected his intelligence and trusted his judgement. Perhaps because I did not vote for Obama I find the signals his appointments are sending to be hopeful and reassuring.

We will be out of Iraq in a reasonable, safe and responsible manner. Who could possibly want any other outcome?

12/03/2008 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

POSTSCRIPT: Fearguth's graphics from Bildungblog have been added.

12/03/2008 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger MacDaddy said...

I'm with you. I don't see any significant change coming from centrist politicians and Obama cabinet members, some of whom disbanded important financial regulations and got us into a pre-emptive, illegal war in the first place.

I think we need a more organized leftist movement in this country to push an Obama administration to take our views and perspectives into account.

12/03/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

To me, the election was a choice between Bush-Lite (Obama) and Uber-Bush (McCain). I obviously chose the former but, like you, I had/have reservations (sabre-rattling toward Pakistan, a residual force in Iraq, a "surge" in Afghanistan, etc.).

12/03/2008 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Coleen Rowley said...

This is a difficult time of wait and see with two camps of thought among those who voted for Obama. The much larger group who always tended to put more stock in winning elections is still happy to bask in the after-glow. That group can't believe anyone would dare so soon after the election to criticize anything Obama does. The other smaller group is becoming increasingly worried along lines of MacDaddy's observation that nothing much is going to change or improve.

It'll be hard for the average citizen to know, if in fact, the wars drag on and things do not improve or change much, how much that staying of the course is due to real inextractable difficulties and how much is due to the corrupting influences of the Military Industrial Complex and other special interests on our current political process.

I've become a little worried just listening to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh extol Obama's picks.

My real litmus test will be to see whether Obama jettisons the "war on terror" metaphor which by now even RAND Corp recommends. The change of term is a no-brainer, and unlike revitalizing the economy, wouldn't cost a dime. Our allies have long ago dropped the term. If Obama, on the other hand, sticks to the terrible metaphor for longer than a couple weeks, we better start worrying, organizing and activating. What I'm saying is we'll have a good idea by early February if the promised change is coming or not.

12/03/2008 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Great statement, Coleen! Especially your last para on GWOT!

12/04/2008 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

Quote of the day by Barney Franks:

When Obama says "we only have one president at a time. The problem is, is that overstates how many presidents we have at this moment."

12/05/2008 09:49:00 PM  

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