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The World In Which We Live

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Message Larry Sakin
In reacting to a federal judge declaring the NSA warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional, President Bush said that he believes his opponents "do not understand the nature of the world in which we live." Perhaps its not that opponents don't understand, but they're just confused by actions Bush has taken which directly counter policies he's generated and statements he's made.

It's very difficult to make sense of the war with Iraq, a country that was never a threat to the US, while little effort is being made to capture Al Qaeda strongman Osama bin Laden, who admitted his groups' culpability for the World Trade Center attacks. Before the attacks, the Bush administration constantly tried to short circuit former anti-terrorism czar Richard Clarke's recognition of Al Qaeda and bin Laden as imminent threats. After the attacks, Bush wanted the intelligence community to find a link between Iraq and 9/11 instead of pursuing Al Qaeda. In Afghanistan, Bush concentrated on getting rid of the Taliban instead of decimating Al Qaeda's numbers. Bush was opposed to the Congressional investigations into 9/11 and the independent 9/11 Commission. In fact, Bush said on March 13, 2002 that "I truly am not that concerned about Osama bin Laden." Yet when it comes to warrantless wiretaps, or his so-called "war on terrorism", the president becomes very concerned. "If Al Qaeda is calling in to the United States," says Bush "we want to know why they're calling." Bush maintains the American Gulag at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba which houses suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban foot soldiers of dubious importance without charging them with any crimes, and uses a number of similar gulags in other countries to carry out torture of similar prisoners. Bush also wanted the suspected plotters in the recent British terrorism crisis arrested even before Scotland Yard had enough evidence to bring the plotters to court. So it seems that Bush views Al Qaeda as a threat when it's politically advantageous, and not a threat when he's got someone else in his sights.

Maybe it's Bush that "doesn't understand the nature of the world in which we live." In our world, leaders who hold people in prison without charges and tortures suspects are considered despots. In our world, a president who attacks a country without provocation, killing thousands of civilians in the process, is considered a war criminal. In our world, a man who allows terrorism to fester while allowing his own countrymen die in an illegal war is considered a butcher. In our world, a person who uses all the deplorable consequences of his own incompetence for political gain is considered a bloodless, opportunistic martinet.

Its possible Bush meant that his opponents don't understand the world in which he lives. If that's the case, I certainly agree with him. Few among us have the delusional mindset that allows us to believe that God is whispering in our ears, telling us how to proceed. We rarely have the certitude that every course we take is the correct one, and are able to abandon reason in favor of misguided faith in making the outer world conform to our egocentric view of it. In a way, Bush's presidency is an ironic metaphor for his life. He abused alcohol and drugs and now he abuses his faith, the Constitution and people he considers enemies. He uses tortured logic to justify the torture of political prisoners. He foments war upon the outer world because he is a man at war with himself.

The definition of insanity is doing the same things the same way and expecting to achieve different results. In the world in which I live, President Bush's picture should be found in the dictionary right beside that definition.
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Larry Sakin is a former non-profit medical organization executive and music producer. His writing can be found on, Blogcritics, OpEd News, The People's Voice, Craig's List and The Progressive magazine. He also advocates for literacy and (more...)
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