[As part of our never ending campaign to bring you more healing anger, we are always eager to add angry voices to our little cabal. This is the first article by the Angry Libertarian, and we’re sure this is only the first of many installments of freedom-loving, regulation-hating anger. —The Angry Staff]
Those of us who voted for George W Bush and Richard Cheney must, by now, have grappled with the truth about George Bush: Molly Ivins was right. George Bush is a shrub. A shrub at a time demanding leadership, brains, and competence. The lack of leadership and competence trickles down throughout the administration, starting with the Vice Incompetent.
Normally paragraphs like the above are followed by ranting about George Bush’s inability to pronounce nuclear, or his “illegal” war. But Angry Libertarians rank belief in “international law” with belief in the tooth fairy. Both are comforting, albeit fanciful, notions discarded as part of a successful childhood. Law without an enforcement agency is a sick joke, “a tale told by an idiot, after all, signifying nothing”. The war was authorized by the US Congress, even if some of our Congress critters have trouble remembering their votes.
But back to the Vice Incompetent. Let’s allow him to speak for himself:
- “We will defeat that insurgency, and, in fact, it will be an enormous success story.” — Dick Cheney, June 24, 2005
- “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” — Dick Cheney, May 20, 2005
- “And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” — Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003
- “my belief is, we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ” — Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003
- ” … there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” — Dick Cheney, August 2002
- “I’m the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.” — Dick Cheney, February 15, 2006
So what do we have, other then a man I wouldn’t go on a hunting trip with? A Vice Incompetent who is consistently wrong, and when asked about the, ah, trend in errors says “We do the best we can with what we know at the time.” Note the inability to say “I was wrong.” Even “We were wrong” would be an improvement.
Consider for a moment the matter of deciding how many troops to use invading Iraq.
- “I would say that what’s been mobilized to this point, something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers” — Generic Eric Shinseki, February 25, 2003
- “The idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces I think is far off the mark” — Donald Rumsfeld, Febuary 28, 2003
- “General Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, U.S. force contribution, and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations.” — General John Abizaid, November 16th, 2006
We had an administration that not only wasn’t able to listen to the appropriate people, it was unable to think things through. What’s the downside to invading Iraq with too many troops? In 2003 their was no downside. The downside of invading Iraq with too few troops is obvious.
At a time when our country could use a competent leader, we have a shrub. Bush has had his strong points — pointing out that some victories would be “secret even in success”, that the struggle would be long early on, and his determination to win in Iraq, but here are a few things a competent leader would have done:
- Ended “security” features that are merely security theater. For example, requiring valid ID for plane flights is silly. All of the 9/11 terrorists had valid IDs; they’re easy to acquire. Requiring IDs, however, is very effective at stomping out the secondary market for airplane tickets. Admiting to security theater would require admitting some unpleasant truths — for example the reason it is safe to fly is because anyone hijacking a plane after 9/11 will be taken down by passengers acting like a wolf pack.
- Staffed the TSA with people competent enough to realize that their boarding pass/ID check is pointless, or at least come up with one that couldn’t be hacked by a graduate student.
- Allowed air marshals to dress casually on 9/12/2001, not September 1st, 2006. It took five years to figure out that the guy in a natty suit who boarded before everyone else was the air marshal?
- Commanded and staffed an Army smart enough to know it couldn’t get away with lies.
In short, Bush has failed in his obligation to preserve and protect the United States through simple inability. None of these items require great intelligence, or should be the subject of debate. Air marshals say they fit in better wearing shorts? Let ’em. Graduate students hack your boarding systems? Give ’em a job and a grant, don’t send in the FBI. It’s not that I think Bush personally ordered the air marshals to wear three piece suits, or sent in the FBI, but as the man at the top he is the man responsible.