Friday, April 14, 2006

Hubris

A scare this morning, Bush, when I turned on the seven o'clock news and found it headlined by news of a tornado ripping through Iowa City. That's where my younger son lives, and his mother. My older son and his wife and children stopped there for a week's stay before flying on to California just last week. I googled for more news and got to a page from the Iowa City Press-Citizen, reporting that one of the hardest hit areas was Governor Street, where we lived when the boys were toddlers--and all too close to where my former wife now lives. A couple of phone calls later I was reassured that everyone was unharmed, but the news was a sobering reminder of the capriciousness of nature and our vulnerability to its whims.

All of which leads me nicely to the subject of hubris. Can we blame you, Bush, for the entire mess in the Middle East? I suppose not. There were--and are--many things beyond your control. There were many obvious pitfalls, though, to which your overweening hubris blinded you. You seem to have imagined that we could walk in there and wave the magic wand of freedom and democracy, and the region would be miraculously changed. You failed to account for a century--well, centuries, really--of past history, for ancient sectarian emnities, for traditions of governing and of being governed that resist the kind of overnight change you had envisioned. You believed in an image of yourself as the right hand of God, authorized by Him to smite down what you saw to be evil in the world.

The same goes for your advisors, of course, in particular your Cheney and his covey of fanatical neocons, and your blowhard Rumsfeld who is now finally under attack from several of the generals who followed his leadership despite their reservations, and who describe him as abusive and impervious to advice contrary to his arrogantly held opinions. These generals say what many of us have been saying for months and some for years: that he should step down. As one general clearly said in a television interview this morning: we need accountability before we can move forward. And this is a man who supports your notion that failure is not an option in Iraq.

The real problem, though, is that your hubris has rendered this country powerless. Look where we stand now in relation to a real potential threat to world stability, Iran. The taunts of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--a Hitler clone if every I saw one--are ample evidence of the bind in which we find ourselves. Your swaggering, ill-prepared invasion of Iraq and the subsequent chaos there have left us without the credibility and the backup muscle we'd need to respond to Iran's threats, and without any serious options to counter them. Your inordinate pride in your own strength has served only to expose your weakness. In the eyes of the world, you now look like the empty shell of a president, a man destroyed by his blind faith in his own unimpeachable power.

Speaking of which... Hmmm. The I-word. Has a ring to it, no? Watch out for the next tornado, Bush. Metaphorically, that is. It could be headed your way.

3 comments:

dennis said...

Peter:
Back when they were about to attack (colonize) Iraq, I thought to myself, "yea, sure they can march right in there and take it, but how in the hell are they going to occupy it?!! I even saw those exclamations marks in my head. What are they going to do after they march in?"
My mother used to say, "twenty thousand Frenchmen can't be wrong".... OK, she didn't know the French. But, don't six general's outweigh one Secretary of Defense?
(Though personally, I wouldn't give two cents for a hundred of either).
And didn't we watch Jack Chirack sitting next to Bush (who seemed bored with the 'Frenchy') in the White House on TV, and read that he came here to say, "Don't do this. We have had years of experience with the Iraqis. I came here to say, don't do it".
Can't you just hear Bush, in his fake Texas tones, saying the word 'Frenchy'?

PK said...

Dennis, the whole world said 'don't do this'...even I, sitting at home here, thought, they have history, gawd how stupid can he be! Then when he dragged Blair into it I just dropped my jaw. I couldn't believe that Blair would go for this. Yet he had. There were many of us who saw the writing on the wall, all in different ways, to be sure, but we saw it coming. I'm waiting for them to encircle our men now, if they think about it, and they could take all our men out, at night, in one swoop. They're coming in from different countries to get our military out of there. They are bound to think of it sooner or later. My only hope is that the men are pulled before it happens.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the comments, both. It's good to have you join me in this venture. Hope you enjoy the "art scene" piece today, Dennis. Cheers, PaL