Democratic Underground

From Big Dog to Little Puppy
December 6, 2001
by Max Starsky

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I guess we all knew well before "Wonder-Boy" was even selected to be the president of this great land of ours that he was somewhat disinterested in the happenings around the world. The embarrassing sight of Bush not being able to name certain world leaders when quizzed by a Boston journalist was a rather frightening experience for us Americans who care whether our President is intelligent and at least a little interested and concerned in world events.

Before September 11, Bush was showing his disinterest in world events by ignoring hotspots like the middle east. Unlike his predecessor, the last elected President of The United States, Bill Clinton, who even up to his last minute in office was desperately seeking a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, Bush pulled back, not at all interested in having The United States assist in brokering peace between those two warring factions.

September 11 changed much of this. Suddenly Bush, who seemed to take great pleasure in telling other nations to virtually go to hell and who was pushing the arrogant "we will do as we please" line (Remember Kyoto? Remember the ballistic missile treaty with Russia?) was urging the entire world to join him in his push "to defeat terrorism."

Now with success in Afghanistan looking likely, in the war aspect of it at least, there are reports starting to surface that Bush will soon go back to his "Go to hell, we're the United States and we will do as we please" theme of pre-September 11.

What Bush fails to understand is that with his gung-ho, Texas cowboy, "we'll do as we please" attitude comes a responsibility to assist others around the world. It doesn't mean we have to force our beliefs onto them, as Bush and many right-wingers believe (ie. Ann Coulter and her "convert them all to Christianity" nonsense) but it does mean that when we have the opportunity to assert ourselves in the name of peace, we do so. Like in the Middle East. Like in Northern Ireland. Where Clinton was so instrumental, along with Tony Blair, in helping stop years of bloodshed.

Following the events in Israel on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave what could only be described as a rather important address, one that depending on what he said, could decide whether there is any hope of peace in that region or if there will be all out war. Carried live here by CNN and other news outlets, we could all watch Sharon speak live. After his speech, CNN crossed live to The White House where the arrogant Ari Fleischer said that national security advisor Condaleeza Rice would brief Bush on what Sharon said. Bush not even bothering to watch Sharon's speech himself!

I may be wrong, but somehow I couldn't see Clinton or Al Gore doing that. I'd expect they'd be a little more interested in the events in the middle east.

Times certainly are different now. Wouldn't it be so much more assuring to have the Big Dog in the White House than the Little Puppy we have now? And not even a cute puppy at that!