Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush says farewell

After Bush's farewell address, the first thought that came to mind was a quote John Oliver once delivered on the Daily Show, "President Bush is exactly the man this country needs-- to pull us out of whatever horrible mess he gets us into next." Oliver delivered it with the same kind of assurance that Bush had on his face tonight. As he talked about the triumphs of the administration, standing for freedom, standing for human rights, I wondered whether where he was getting his information.
It doesn't take liberal bias to see that this country's image took a real downturn in the world's eyes during the Bush administration: that image has only recently begun to recoup itself, perhaps now that Iraq seems to be improving and Obama's been elected to take over.
Bush called these last eight years a "period of consequence, a time set apart"- rather hollow rhetoric. Like the eight years before weren't important times for America, or the eight years before that. What really got to me in his address was his inability to address openly the damage that the war in Iraq did to the country. I think he truly believes what he did was right, despite the hundreds of thousands of lives lost.
Iraq might have lost Saddam Hussein, but I think in many ways our image in the eyes of many in the world was irreparably damaged by our invasion. Just like the Supreme Court's stopping the Florida recount, I see the Iraq war as having been an unnecessary intervention, one that likewise caused and me and many others around the world to lose faith in the American government.
I don't care frankly if Obama lives up to all of his campaign promises: what I do demand is that he conduct the office with a greater respect for the intelligence of the American people, for national sovereignty worldwide and the lives and dedication of the people who serve this country, whether it's as a soldier or a citizen.

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