It is almost sad to watch Bush now — an energizer bunny beginning to run down. I recall my first awareness of this guy and my outrage with his then smirking response to an appeal from Karla Faye Tucker that she be spared from execution so that she could continue her faith inspired work with fellow prisoners:

There were other death penalty cases under Bush that caught one’s attention — the execution of a young African American for a murder that had raised serious doubts through conflicting witness reports as to whether he was the one involved in a dark night parking lot robbery/murder — he could not now be executed with the revision upwards by the Supreme Court last spring of the minimum age requirements for execution. Bush one year as Texas governor presided over HALF the executions in the U.S. (37) and allowed not one appeal to breach his ‘born again’ soul. Such must inure one to killing?

It has been no surprise to me, therefore, to watch Bush playing the jolly frat president with reporters questioning him in news conferences about the latest mass slaughters here, there, and elsewhere. The U.S. is now notorious for its use, production, and distribution to other nations of criminal weapons (cluster and fire bombs, bombs and rockets from on high that cannot discriminate between military from civilian targets) — Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon — killing and maiming or destroying women, children, homes, hospitals, power plants — anything that sustains human life!

Needless to say the rest of the world sees the U.S. — or at least its national leadership — as war criminals who have launched or supported illegal wars and used deadly military equipment against civilians (fire and cluster bombs). And notice that the neocons — Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, and others — have now fled the scene to leave Bush targeted almost alone — manifestly lost and left mouthing stale slogans without import.

The smirk these days looks forced and its bearer increasingly in retreat around the world — to what effect? Today’s reports in the press indicate that the U.S. stands virtually alone with Israel in a General Assembly vote calling upon Israel to shape up:

How very sad it is that 6 years ago the U.S. was the moral and economic leader of the “free world.” We had won the sympathy of nearly all following upon the horror of 9/11. Now we are despised in most of Latin America, the “old” Europe to use Rumsfeld’s unfortunate term of scorn directed at our former allies, the Far East where North Korea has us dancing to its nuclear tune, the Middle East where we have created massive chaos and placed our one remaining solid ally, Israel, at greatest risk.

The large questions remaining are whether we can make it through two more disabling Bush years and whether we will ever be able to regain the world’s respect as a model society governed for and by its people? Needless to say we bloggers see more than we want to through the typical mass media fog. But it looks as though Americans are at least beginning to awaken from their long sleep. Bush has nowhere to hide — nor do we.
I wonder whether our pols of both parties will have the guts to call things now as they are — disasters created by them in league with our manifestly incompetent ‘Commander-in-Chief’?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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