Major Hasan-13, Saddam Hussein-0
There are many reasons why, despite having an all too typical spineless centrist Democrat in the White House, we should be more grateful than ever that George W. Bush is still not occupying it. Presidential term limits denied us the excitement of seeing yet another Diebold/ES&S/Sequioa/Karl Rove-rigged election that would’ve resulted in a third term for one who had to be the most surreally inept and unqualified boob whose portrait was ever hung in a federal building.
Yet consider what would’ve happened as a result of Major Hasan’s shooting at Fort Hood last week if Dubya was still squatting in the Oval Office and especially if the Republicans were still running Congress while they weren’t engaging in furtive, extramarital affairs, lining their pockets with soft PAC and bribe money and turning graft into a largely-passive spectator sport:
Major Hasan is obviously a very deeply disturbed man whose fundamentalist Muslim beliefs eventually won out over his psychiatric training, humanity, patriotism, oath to defend his adopted country and pragmatism. Yet if George W. Bush was still running from the center ring his pathetic yet highly lucrative and deadly flea circus, Major Hasan would’ve been linked to virtually every Muslim terrorist group on the planet. Plus we probably would’ve renewed our dedication to the destruction of Afghanistan, the source of Dr. Hasan’s discontent, even moreso than President Obama already had.
We’d be seeing even more Muslims detained at airports and put on terrorist No Fly watch lists and Gitmo and torture palaces in places such as Syria and Egypt would be steadily filling up again under a ramped-up extraordinary rendition program. Who knows? In Dubya’s Christian fervor, we may have even invaded another weak Muslim nation in response.
Look what we’ve done to Iraq so far and Saddam Hussein, a former ally in the Reagan years, hadn’t been responsible for the taking of an American life or even threatening an American life since a few dozen of our men and women were killed during Operation Desert Storm in early 1991.
Even if Republicans remained in the minority, you could count on an invertebrate Democrat majority under Bush to remain just as supine as they were during the first 6 years of his Reign of Error. This is a Democratic Party that gave their Republican overlords the power to invade Iraq, designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, officially condemned Moveon.org for telling the truth about Gen. Petraeus, renewed the USA PATRIOT Act with the draconian sections 215 & 218 intact, helped give retroactive immunity to the telecom giants for illegally spying on us, ratified with hardly a Nay Jane Harmon’s HR 1955 that would label bloggers and other dissenters as potential terrorist threats, year after year shoveled tens of billions into Iraq without asking for nor getting any worthwhile results, voted in the Military Tribunal Act, refused to seriously entertain articles of impeachment and a whole host of other complicit evils.
Major Hasan’s murder spree, while certainly horrific, would’ve been conflated into another 9/11. Starting with Fox “News”, terrorist threat assessments in all their pastel glory would be back on TV every day in advance of the 2010 midterms and we’d be rounding up the usual suspects of those suspected of comprising part of Major Hasan’s nonexistent support network. Think of the poster board of the 19 9/11 hijackers that was leaked to the press within hours after the attacks in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania and the underreported and inconvenient fact that about half those men were still alive. Think of Mohammed Atta’s pristine passport found several hundred yards from Ground Zero.
Yes, the Obama administration has deeply disappointed me and regardless of what this man will do in the next 3+ years, he has permanently lost my vote. But we should all be thankful for small favors, grateful this coming Thanksgiving that we don’t still have a neoChristian warrior in the White House who is dedicated to the extermination one way or the other of every Muslim on the planet. In a way, if we had a Muslim President as Fox would have us believe, perhaps we as a nation would immediately have some actual credibility in the Middle East and could even more quickly begin a diplomatic process that would usher in a period of healing after this last Stupid White Man crusade.
As Thom Hartmann said last November 11th, the White House (and the disillusioned American people) needed a super hero, a St. George who could slay a dragon and it didn’t matter to us at first if the dragon that St. George slew was still a threat or even real, whether or not it was Dick Cheney hunting canned pheasants on a larger scale. They’d demonized an aging dictator whose days were numbered while forgetting all about the very real supervillain that was Osama bin Laden.
George of the Bungle, St. George Dubya, The Lord of War, was a superhero whose only power was in choosing old, incompetent enemies. He could’ve accepted the offer of Mullah Omar of Afghanistan's Taliban, who before the largely-unexamined rubble at Ground Zero was carted away offered to hand over bin Laden gift-wrapped or have him tried for 9/11. He could’ve told French special forces snipers to take out bin Laden when they had him in their crosshairs not once but twice. He could’ve dispatched our forces to Tora Bora more quickly instead of letting Musharaff’s men take point then loaf their way to the mountain pass while bin Laden was airlifted out like Jimi Hendrix leaving Woodstock (But to show that we still respected their opinion, we have the consolation of knowing that four years later, the Bush administration earmarked a half a million of our tax dollars to get the Taliban to the negotiating table, an amazingly generous offer that was rebuffed.).
He had real, effective options, Super George did, yet did absolutely nothing while his Justice League (aka the Coalition of the Willing) loitered. 6 months after 9/11, bin Laden was no longer Hitler but a fading unpleasant memory, hardly worth the time and cavernous space in George’s beautiful mind. Meanwhile, Iraq had become Nazi Germany, Saddam had become the Hitler du jour and many wealthy men got even wealthier while Iraqi children continued dying of cancer due to Daddy’s depleted uranium shells and hospitals and cancer clinics crumbled before they were even finished.
We the people had begun to see SuperGeorge as did Molly Ivins for the bumbling, ineffectual buffoon that he was after putting on blinders during the 2000 election. Then, the second we were attacked on 9/11, a blitzkrieg killing almost 3000 innocents that could’ve been avoided in so many ways yet wasn’t, we kicked back to the curb Ivins and precious few others in the reality-based community as we scrambled to put those blinders back on. And still, to this day, we have yet to completely take them off.