Sunday, December 19, 2004

Keeping It Real Politik: No, they didn’t… Time magazine names George W. Bush 2004 Person of the Year

Time magazine has named President George W. Bush as their 2004 Person of the Year.

If the President was chosen for this honor as the person who had the most influence on the past year’s events, then I suppose I can buy it. But if the selection was made in terms of “greatness” (and I paraphrase Yoda circa The Empire Strikes Back to illustrate this point: “War makes a person not great”) then I just can’t stomach it.

Give me the Boston Red Sox, give me Donald Trump, give me Paris Hilton. Just not Bush. Anybody but Bush (sound familiar?).

And I’ll end this gathering with another movie quote, one of my favorites, from The Matrix:

“Not like this… No, not like this.”

Update: Bombs in Karbala, Najaf kill more than 60


Al said...

George Bush is protecting your liberal ass, whether you appeciate it or not. I don't want to make a blanket endorsement of anything and everything he's ever done, but W is making the hard decisions to try to actually deal with the security problems we face.

Also, in fairness George Bush should get some part of the credit for elections in Afghanistan, which I would rate as perhaps the top historical event of the year.

We'll see if the election goes as well in Iraq.

Eric Berlin said...

Al - thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I have no doubt that George Bush is trying to protect my ass, I just don't like the way he's doing it. In fact, he's been a disaster in increasing the safety of Americans. Post-9/11 (which I'll give him a "pass" on, even though Clinton is often blamed for the tragedy), infrastructure and cargo ships are still woefully unprotected. Say what you will about "Fahrenheit 9/11," but the sub-plot involving the one part-time ranger protecting miles of Oregon coast is chilling.

Bush made the "hard decision" to go into Iraq. It's debatable whether or not it was a good idea in the first place: that I'll concede. But the timing was blatantly political and blatantly stupid, and Americans are losing their lives daily because of it. The planning was blatantly stupid as well: the Powell Doctrine was eschewed in favor of light & quick Rummie Ball. And it worked... for the war phase. The peace-keeping phase is a disaster: we're asking 19-year-old trained killers (our boys and girls) to be peacekeepers, cops, and reconstruction and aid experts. Not gonna do it, in the words of Dana Carvey as Bush I.

I'll be doing a post soon on this Barnett fellow over at the Department of the Navy who espouces an entirely new outlook for the US military and its approach to war & peace. Fascinating stuff -- stuff that should have been thought about pre-Iraq.

Afghanistan was also a success... in the war phase. BUT: OBL is still missing (how's that for a story of the year?), opium production is booming, and the warlords are playing their warlord games once again.

We'll see if the election goes as well in Iraq, indeed. If it happens at all...