When President George W. Bush sold the Iraq War to the American people, he claimed that the crisis of global terrorism required immediate action and that refusing to act was simply unacceptable.
In 2002 he said, "Some have argued we should wait — and that is an option. In my view, it is the riskiest of all options because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will become."
Critics wailed that invading Iraq would result in a decades-long occupation, the exorbitant cost of which would be too high, plaguing this and future generations. To date, Bush's critics have been proven right.
When President Barack Obama sold his recent stimulus package to the American people, his rationale paralleled Bush's — the economic crisis required immediate action and refusing to act was unacceptable. Critics argued that the $787 billion stimulus package would result in a weaker long-term economy, and the exorbitant debt would plague this and future generations. Time will tell whether Obama's critics are proven right.
What time has already told us is that so-called government "experts," who allegedly have some superior insight, often lead America hastily down disastrous paths under the auspices of averting some "crisis" that coincidentally always deserves immediate and drastic attention. Given their frequent colossal mistakes and gross miscalculations, Americans would be wise to look upon any current or future crisis-mongering with an inquisitive eye. And the drama and theatrics that accompany these crises should make Americans skeptical of their leaders' true intentions.
Said Republican Congressman Mike Pence of the Democrats' recent attempt to address the economic crisis, "Under the guise of stimulus, House Democrats brought a partisan bill to the floor. It was really more of a wish list of long-standing liberal priorities that have little to do with putting our economy back on its feet."
Pence is right, and reading the details of the Democrats' $787 billion package will leave one scratching his head as to how much of the spending actually qualifies as a "stimulus." Have Obama and the Democrats exploited genuine economic fears to advance long-desired liberal projects?
In attacking Iraq, Bush told Americans it was to rid the world of a dictator who possessed weapons of mass destruction and supported global terror. Any of these crises would suffice in serving as a guise to advance the neoconservatives' long-term goal to establish a strong, permanent U.S. presence in the heart of the Middle East.
In 1998 a neoconserative group calling itself The Project for the New American Century sent an open letter to Bill Clinton, urging the president to invade Iraq. Clinton refused.
Members of PNAC included Bush advisers Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle. After Sept. 11, 2001, these same men found a president who would say yes. Did Bush and his advisers exploit genuine fears after 9/11 to advance long desired neoconservative projects?
In this latest debate on the stimulus package, we are seeing an inversion of the arguments between Left and Right when President Bush sought to take the nation to war. On Iraq, Republicans stood by Bush, who they believed was only doing what was necessary to address a crisis, and they damned the "obstructionists" who dared to stand in his way. Trillions of dollars later — and the loss of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths — it turns out those who tried to obstruct Bush were absolutely right.
Now we are seeing the Obama faithful standing by their president, who they believe is only doing what's necessary to address the economic crisis, and they are damning the "obstructionists" who stand in his way. When it comes to Obama's massive spending, conservatives should hope Republicans keep obstructing. But even if those currently trying to stop Obama's reckless spending are vindicated, liberals still will have advanced their pet projects just as the neoconservatives did with Iraq.
And like the Iraq War, Obama's stimulus plan will likely lead to even more problems down the road — where our leaders will once again act quickly to fix a future crisis of their own making.
Catch Southern Avenger commentaries every Tuesday and Friday at 7:50 a.m. on the "Morning Buzz with Richard Todd" on 1250 AM WTMA.