I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this president has been blameless; that would be entirely inaccurate and misleading. Not to mention the fact that the majority of the nation has already taken a firm stance regarding the Bush administration and its policies. What I will say, however, is this: George W. Bush has become a scapegoat and blame-nabber for a number of social and political problems that had simply gone unsolved prior to his presidency. I truly believe that his mistakes are on par with past presidents (yes, I’m including Clinton). While others have made much less publicized mistakes, Bush has sent "booms" throughout the international community — literally. But, in the end, the quieter offenses are often more dangerous (i.e. Clinton’s negligence).
First, we have Iraq – a problem that should have been solved back in the early nineties (Saddam being that problem, not the Iraqi people), but Bush One gave in to the U.N., the U.N. did not act on its responsibilities and Bill Clinton spent two terms not fully committing himself to the pre-war on terrorism or his pursuits in Iraq.
Then, when Bush took office and finally decided to take some action, the world freaked out. After all, no other American leader had reprimanded Saddam – nor had any other nation for that matter (aside from mere hand-slaps). Apparently it’s not problematic to allow a world leader to put the limbs of live children through meat grinders while their parents watch in fear and horror.
Don’t get me wrong; the reasons for going to Iraq weren’t properly or truthfully explained to the American people. A simple, “Hey, we are really worried about radical Islamic fascism, so we’d like to overthrow a ruthless dictator and establish a “base” in the center of some seriously treacherous nations – and hey, while we’re at it we’ll free the Iraqis and kill two birds with one stone” would have been a more honest and upfront explanation.
Nonetheless, Iraq was clearly a problem prior to Bush or else Clinton wouldn’t have retreated from his “take no action” policies to bomb Iraq himself in 1998 for three days – before reverting back to his “I’ll let the next president deal with it” ideologies. It was Operation Desert Fox (America and Britain bombed Iraq together; sound familiar?). Take these words for instance, uttered by Clinton himself in 1998:
If I recall, 1998 was only two years before Bush was elected — not at all that long ago. What about these words from Clinton?
"If Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will," said Clinton. "He would surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction."
And when it comes to terrorism, there’s much to consider. It’s a known fact that terrorist strongholds were solid well before Bush came to power. Recall 9/11? Terrorists were able to infiltrate the world’s most powerful nation – if my memory serves me right. And yet many would blame Bush for this attack (another ridiculous notion; neither president can truly be blamed, but if we’re going to place blame on both, then Clinton clearly takes more of the cake).
Then there’s global warming – another issue that Bush is consistently blamed for. Look, he hasn’t been the most proactive in working with other nations, but he has met extensively with automobile companies and has drafted a number of plans that will lead to a reduced dependency on fossil fuels – which is of dire importance to us politically and environmentally. If Clinton did even half of the work Bush has done for energy reform the media would have been exuberant, instead of responsibly reporting the gaps. But I digress.
At the end of the day, there is a misappropriation of anger. We blame Bush for killing innocent civilians, we blame Bush/Clinton for 9/11 and we look for other ways to show just how bad G.W. has demeaned America’s global role.
At the end of the day, be we conservatives or liberals, the blame-game must stop somewhere. When are we going to start blaming the real villains (radical Islamo-fascists), instead of showing the world just how disconnected we can be as a people? Sigh.