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How Big?

Entry 401, on 2006-09-27 at 16:59:44 (Rating 4, Politics)

How big does the disaster that results from a leader's actions have to get before that person resigns, or at least admits they were wrong? In case you hadn't guessed I am referring to the outcome of the US-led "war on terrorism", and the leader is George Bush, and (to a lesser extent) his supporters in other countries.

The latest US intelligence report states that the bumbling actions of the US have been "cultivating supporters for the global Jihadist movement". Many critics of the war suspected this all along, of course: the world is less safe now than it was before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Its possible that, if the US hadn't intervened, we would be even worse off now, but it seems more likely that a less extreme reaction would have resulted in a better outcome.

But after 9/11 the US really had to react in some way, obviously. So what should they have done? Maybe going after al Qaeda without a full scale take over of Afghanistan would have been more appropriate. And the war in Iraq was totally unnecessary. There was no significant terrorist activity there at all. That's all changed now, of course.

So Nixon was forced to resign for some illegal, but hardly globally disastrous, activities. Clinton was almost forced to resign for some minor personal indiscretion. But Bush, whose policies have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, thousands of military personnel, and who has caused the world to become a less stable and safe place, is still regarded as a hero by many.

Bush rejects the report, of course, even though it was produced by a large group of US intelligence professionals (of course, their credibility is severely damaged as well). He suggests (quite rightly) that the Democrats are using it as a weapon in the upcoming elections. But why shouldn't they? Its a report which must influence people's voting preference, and surely they deserve to know the facts. Leaking this type of report, whatever the legal status of that action, is perfectly justified in my opinion.

And Tony Blair is saying that people shouldn't blame the UK's foreign policy on increasing the treat of terrorism. He's partly right. Terrorism isn't caused or worsened by just one factor. There are many causes, but the evidence suggests the aggressive approach of the US and UK certainly hasn't helped!

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Comment 1 (616) by Anonymous on 2007-04-18 at 10:18:07:

The thing I don't like about people against Bush is that if there were any other president in the stance Bush is in, they would have done the same exact thing and everybody would be mad at them. Just think about the stuff Bush has to go through. He went through 9/11, the hurricanes, and war. Instead of mocking Bush, pray for him, you imagine yourself in his posistion. You would probably quit.

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Comment 2 (617) by OJB on 2007-04-18 at 10:48:12:

You're right: Bush has had a lot of difficult situations to deal with, but a lot of the trouble has also been self-inflicted. There was absolutely no need to start the war with Iraq, for example. That is a totally self-inflicted disaster. And natural disasters will always happen, but we should expect a better response than Bush has managed. I agree that its easy to criticise when we don't have to do make the hard decisions ourselves, but I think we have a right to expect a better performance from the leader of the world's most powerful country.

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Comment 3 (618) by Anonymous on 2007-04-18 at 12:23:22:

Sir, what would you do if somebody just bombed your country and the most important buildings, with people inside them and the airplanes, included? This man killed over one million people, and if it wasn't for Bush, he would still be killing more because they disagreed with him. Honestly, I think he is doing the best he can and he is doing a heck of a good job as president. I would not be able to do what he does and has done. President Bush reminds me of Abraham Lincoln. When he served as president, everybody hated him because they hated his opinion and thought his plans would not work out, well look at him now. He is one of the most loved presidents in American history. I think history will do well to George Bush too.

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Comment 4 (619) by OJB on 2007-04-18 at 15:29:54:

Sorry, which man killed over 1 million people and what does it have to do with 9/11? I have lost you somewhere there. Please be a bit clearer. Are you trying to justify Iraq and/ or the response to Katrina, or what?

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