|Iraq 2009||Libya 2012|
|Thank you, George Bush||Thank you, Barack Obama|
This is what the election is about.
A moment of prayer at yesterday’s World Trade Center ceremony:
At a guess, the New York Times desperately wanted to morph that golden glow on Obama’s face into a halo, but it would have been just too blatant. Despite that lack, Joah of Argghh! gives this photo the perfect title: “Ground Ego”.
Sadly, it’s not the President.
Friday night, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush made a private visit to those wounded in the Fort Hood massacre. No press corps, no photographers, no reporters. Just President and Mrs. Bush, comforting the victims. After a few hours there, they left as quietly as they had arrived. This is only to be expected of a Commander-in-Chief who understands that those injured or grieving may have no wish to be bombarded by camera flashes or microphones shoved in front of tearful faces.
Has President Obama visited Fort Hood yet? Why, no. No, he has not. Right now, he’s at Camp David with the First Family. (Unless he is making a private trip out there as I write this, in which case, good for him!)
Barack Obama is our President. But as far as I’m concerned, George W. Bush is still our Comforter-in-Chief.
H/T: Atlas Shrugs
Say no more!
Okay, I admit it. I’m behind the times here at Chateau Chat Valliant, so it’s likely that you all know about this already. But I’ve just been pointed to Wordle, a very cool word tool. On the offchance that you don’t know what it is, the site explains:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.
It’s fun, it’s addictive, and it’s also very informative.
For example, out of idle curiousity (and at the prompting of commenter Stoutcat’s Sister), I “wordled” the text of two separate presidential inauguration speeches, to see if it could tell me anything about the ideas and aspirations of the speakers. I left the standard defaults in place (it omits common words like “the”, “with”, “and”, etc.), and here’s what I got:
Inaugural Speech A
Inaugural Speech B
The two speeches were Barack H. Obama’s 2009 Inaugural speech, and George W. Bush’s 2004 Inaugural speech. Can you tell which is which? (Click on each image for larger versions.)
Years ago, when I was dating a young lady who worked in a travel agency, a huge poster on the wall beside her desk always intrigued me. It said, “Come Visit The Middle East… Where It All Began.” There was actually a series of these posters, each featuring a different middle eastern country. This particular one featured photos of Iraq. It did the trick. I longed to go there and visit this strange, but alluring country.
This morning’s Christian Science Monitor reports tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr converged in Firdos Square in Baghdad, to demand that U.S. President Obama “fulfill his promise to withdraw US troops.” This happens, no coincidence by the way, on the sixth anniversary of the day US Troops and joyful Iraqis pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein that had stood guard in this same square for years in tribute to the former leader.
File this under, “Allah never lets any good deeds go unpunished.” Tt comes as no surprise to me that the Iraqis would eventually demand US troops vacate the country they liberated from the hands of murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein. It should further be pointed out that people in this region were deep into America Bashing long before it became so in vogue that even our current President loves to participate by apologizing for virtually everything this country has done since liberating Europe in WWII.
Reading between the lines, however, this poses an interesting conundrum for the Obama administration.
The fact is, history will eventually show that Bush was right to go into Iraq for reasons too numerous to go into in this short space. Key among those reasons, however, was to install some sense of a democracy in a region where the vast majority of people live in the 14th century or earlier based on religious beliefs. These are a people who have fought amongst themselves with sticks and stones for centuries.
Until they caught up to the technologies of war. Now, government and religious radicals in this region have (or are developing) weapons that can essentially wipe the entire Middle East of the face of planet earth. And, unlike western nations, they don’t care if that happens, because it’s an honor to kill and/or BE killed for Allah.
Stability in this region isn’t an option.
The bottom line? It’s not a popular one, but here it is, boys and girls: Bush was right. And Obama would be wise to stick to his guns about maintaining a presence of 20,000-30,000 troops in the area.
It’s been years since I dated that young lady, and I don’t know whatever became of her. But I can visualize the poster that would be in that office today… “Come See The Middle East. Where It All Began. Before It All Ends.”
Here’s my guess as to what Dubya’s ultimate legacy will be.
No… 50 or 100 years from now, Americans (and perhaps even the world) will finally understand the two precepts that George Walker Bush tried so many times to explain… First, freedom is an intrinsic right of the human condition. (Mr. Bush et al call it “God-Given”… So be it.) And the second is that societies of free peoples don’t behave aggressively (and even preemptively) unless cornered by cults and madmen. (The last time I checked, Germany, Italy, and Japan haven’t attacked us lately.)
Yesterday, the Iraqi voter turnout was 60% – 70%… Remarkable by any standard. So perhaps Dubya’s legacy will simply be that of millions of purple fingers and the meaning therein.
Not bad, George… Not bad…