You know, I remember a time when being the President of the United States and the Leader of the Free World was the job to have, if you had the political clout, financial reserve, ass-kissing fetish gene and intestinal fortitude. And I remember this being the situation well, let's say, for all of my life. You command armies, balance or blow out the budget, travel luxuriously, have countless photo ops and news conferences, change entire agendas on technology, economy, health care, global politics...you name it, it's within your grasp. To make your case for historians down the line, you did as much as you could, as grandly and 'cohesively' with the other political party as you could, and you tried to accomplish the main goals during your tenure...even it befell you to become a 'lame duck' two-term President.
Yesterday, new tea leaves were presented to the American public and, well, the above presumptions about what this President wants to get done before leaving office have just been tossed out on their mighty ears. Since 2001, Dubya and Co have been telling us, stripping from us really, that billions upon billions of dollars need to be expended to "fight the war on Tara (terror)". (As a Southerner by heritage, may I again implore drawl-speaking Texans and Dubyas everywhere to stop fighting the O'Haras and their beloved Tara. That war eventually ended in 1865.) Billions have been eked from poverty-stricken elderly Americans and inner city childrens' programs, from border patrols looking for illegal immigration, from a health care system that can cure so many yet be affordable to so few. Infrastructures are falling in around us as states can't even afford to fix their roads every 2-5 years for basic repairs; educational successes are now linked to how well children can rotely remember various facts but also not have to think about applying those facts. And let's never forget how well the absence of federal dollars and the National Guard helped our dear fellow citizens in New Orleans: 6+ months on after Hurricane Katrina, and we're still finding dead bodies that didn't get rescued in time, not to mention the 4000+ mobile homes (trailers/caravans) that sit empty and immovable to the homeless survivors of Katrina. If this is what it means to be a superpower, perhaps it's a damn good thing we're the only ones around doing the job...any more and we may kill off the rest of the world we're not busy with yet.
And, so, good friends, I give you reason not to fret about timelines in Iraq, nor the maimed nor the killed American military personnel, nor even the lack of direction of the US in Middle East politics: President Bush says someone else will make the tough decision to pull us out of Iraq if necessary, and that we're likely to be involved there through 2008. Repeating that last part, folks: 2008. Friends and family members of military personnel, no matter what side of the political aisle you hail from: my prayers are with you and yours, no matter what they are having to do and no matter where that location is.
From today's "LA Times": Bush Says U.S. in Iraq for Long Haul .
I knew indecisiveness seemed to be the manner of the day, but I honestly was not expecting this. Read it and weep, folks, read it and weep.