Listening to George W. Bush’s second inaugural speech yesterday, a few minutes into his speech I had some initial impressions. Then after I heard most of the speech, I was stricken by an overwhelming sense of sadness and fear! Sadness and fear for the lives of Americans, as well as other peoples around the world who face the prospects of not just another 4 years of George W. Bush as the U.S. president, but also the consequences of a stubborn desire to realize a God-given vision and establish some kind of legacy!
My first impression was that whoever(s) wrote this speech, did a fantastic job! It was the best speech I have heard in a while. In fact, I believe in its spirit and content wholeheartedly! Freedom is good! I was also impressed that after years of failing as a public speaker, George W. has finally arrived! He managed to read and look presidential at the same time! I really thought he did a good job in delivering that speech. Now this is where my compliments stop!
My sense of sadness and disappointment is for several reasons. First and foremost is the arrogant manner in which the worthy message is being delivered! It also represents a hugely failed opportunity. This could have been George W.’s chance to clean the slate and start afresh! But the rude and arrogant message that was sent out to the world couldn’t possibly bring about anything positive!
More than anything, the arrogance and individuality of the President’s message is highlighted by the fact that it is disconnected from the will and mandate of the American people, as indicated by numerous polls and surveys. The American people do not think that his Iraq policy was a good thing and certainly do not want to keep marching on the same path and start other conflicts as implied by the Bush’s pipe dream!
For the rest of the world, if followed through, the stated ambitions herald years of war, fear and insecurity to come. As George W. presses his domestic agenda in areas like Social Security, judicial appointments, tort reform, etc., he is almost certain to face a crippling fight and will quite likely accomplish very little, if anything! And before long his name starts to appear in sentences along with the term “lame duck”! For a president with an almost obsessive preoccupation with his place in history and leaving a grand legacy, this will almost certainly mean that he has to look for his lasting legacy abroad. And for the people of Middle East, this is bad news!
For Americans at home, the tone and spirit of Bush’s speech heralds a year or two of extremely partisan viciousness in the national political scene. Just long enough for the lame duck status to kick in. After that we’ll see the political campaigns that will take us all the way to that dog and pony show coming up in 2008!
So, there won’t be much of anything that is new, as far as the domestic political scene goes! But what every American should prepare and brace for is the fallout from the president’s arrogant foreign policy dreams, as outlined by his speech today.
American people need to know the simple facts that will shape the outcome and future of Mr. Bush’s stated utopian ambitions. George W. Bush is making a global call to freedom and democracy at a time when an overwhelming majority of people (not politicians but regular people) around the world consider him a phony and a fraud!
People of the world, to whom Mr. Bush was speaking today, consider him a friend to some of the worst totalitarian governments in the world, and a servant of multinational corporations, lead by the oil and military interests! People consider his invasion of Iraq a crime against humanity, committed on false grounds! And further steps in the Middle East along this path will be considered more criminal, and likely to not only further alienate our European allies, but could line some of them up for possible showdowns against us!
Even if he was sincere, Mr. Bush is advocating the export of American style democracy and “freedom” without actually asking the people of Middle East if they want it. In case of Iran, for example, although the people are unhappy with their current theocratic rulers, but continue to oppose the type of foreign meddling that will leave their cities looking like Fallujah and Baghdad!
So, the saddest impressions from this inauguration may be for the American parents who are now looking at thousands more of their children being killed on foreign soils just to make possible an arrogant orgy of legacy and petro dollars for some of the shadiest characters seen in the American political history!