Beating Ourselves?

“What’s the matter, pal? You look down in the dumps.”

“I can’t help it. I’ve been wondering lately — could Osama bin Laden be winning?”

“Winning? Are you nuts! After he and his conspirators attacked us on 9/11, he had to flee to a cave.”

“I may not be a policy expert or historian, but hear me out. Right after al-Qaida attacked, we were united. We invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban harbored terrorists.”

“We rolled right through the place, too!”

“But then we overreacted and were soon divided. President Bush and the Republicans, fearing one of our cities would go up in a nuclear blast, invaded Iraq to kick out Saddam Hussein and seize what we were told were his weapons of mass destruction.”

“Saddam flouted the rules. He had it coming!”

“Invading Iraq was an idealistic move, however — never the government’s strong suit. The hope was to implant a shining democracy in the Middle East.”

“Things are better there now than when Saddam was running the joint!”

“Aside from war, America was already in recession before 9/11, thanks in part to the bursting of the tech-stock bubble. After 9/11, a worried Federal Reserve began a series of interest-rate cuts to pump ‘easy money’ into the economy.”

“Desperate times call for desperate actions!”

“That policy, combined with bad government policies to both create (Citizens Reinvestment Act) and buy (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) bundles of risky subprime loans, would lead to a massive housing bust, which would really crash our economy.”

“You’re saying bin Laden indirectly contributed to the housing bust and the economic meltdown that followed?”

“By 2008, the American public was sick of Republicans, who had majorities in the House and Senate. They were tired of wasteful spending and angered by a war that dragged on, costing us lives and treasure. Combine that with a bad economy and the public was eager for any kind of ‘hope and change.'”

“Now you’re saying a backlash to the war, which was a result of overreacting to 9/11, set the stage for Democrats to take over the House, Senate and presidency?”

“Yep. And Democrats have spent billions we don’t have on programs that did little to stimulate the economy. They imposed a government-directed health care system on us that is going to send costs through the roof. They have extended the tentacles of government more deeply into the private sector. How we will manage trillions in new mandates and costs, as well as the trillions in liabilities we already had, is beyond anyone’s guess.”

“So you’re saying bin Laden had this all planned? He knew his attack would cause us to overreact in war and knew that the way we managed our economy would lead to the election of Democrats, who would weigh down that fragile economy with more burdens that would make us even weaker and more fragile?”

“I don’t want to give the jerk that much credit. But bin Laden has said loud and clear that his intent was not to fight us militarily, but to destroy our economy. His only hope for doing that was to divide us and get us to destroy ourselves.”

“We fell into his trap?”

“I hope not. But I do know it hasn’t been 10 years since 9/11 — and look at the mess we’ve created. If we don’t get beyond this Democrat-Republican bickering — if we don’t come together as Americans to resolve the sizable problems we face — a real world of hurt lies ahead.”

“I get it, pal. You worry that we’re beating ourselves, just as bin Laden had hoped — and you’re beginning to depress me.”

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  • I strongly support our men and women in uniform–I even have it on my license plates–but I did have to ask, as I saw those videos on the news of our troops withdrawing from Iraq a couple of weeks ago, “Did we win?” Usually a war ends because one side has surrendered. The terrorists have not surrendered; they’re still there and they still intend to wreak havoc. Did we really invade a sovereign nation to build schools and water plants?

    We installed a government in Iraq that we hope, perhaps naively, will enable the Iraqi people to live in stability and freedom while giving the U.S. an important ally in a dangerous region. We really can only pray that these goals have been achieved. So far, the Iraqi government hasn’t been much able to organize even itself. As for me, I’m with Indiana Jones (or was it Han Solo?), who was fond of saying, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

  • stevef

    I say Han Solo…
    I like the article, it seems to be a good primer to the major political contributions to the war and economy the past few years. I would encourage readers to delve more into the subject. I don’t know if it was just worded badly above, but I’m pretty sure the Democrats had majorities in Congress (House and Senate) in Nov, 2006. Republicans were NOT in control of both houses in 2008 as was stated in above article. Thanks.

  • guitarmom

    You’re sure right — both the House and the Senate came under Democrat control in 2006, not 2008. I had to look it up because, like the author, I had thought Congress was in Republican hands until 2008. That means that for the last half of “the Bush administration,” it was the Democrats running the government.

    I will have a totally new attitude when I hear President Obama blaming President Bush for all the economic problems of “the last eight years.” A president doesn’t set economic policy on his own. The laws, passed by Congress, shape the economic climate of our country. And the recession hit when the Democrats were in charge.

  • goral

    Osama did win and Saddam Hussein realized a post mortem victory. Both of them got the democrats to elect the closet Mohammedan, B. Hussein Obama. What could be clearer?
    He is ruining the economy. He’s denigrating the country and he’s advancing the cause of Islam here and abroad.
    Quite a spectacular victory, actually.

  • terrygeorge

    well, there is a lot more to say than has been said. i’m sorry to see that the presentation was decidedly lopsided: well thought out and repsectful on one side only. perhaps it was due to space limitations. perhaps not. i would like to encourage the author and the editors to be more respectful of others with differing opinions than their own regarding the Iraq war.

    Iraq was involved in WMD as proved by documents captured revealing one major site (besides other discoveries). Iraq was cooperating with Iran and Libya and i believe 2 other countries to develop nuclear weapons. There was a very real site in Libya which was not open to UN inspection and was bunker bomb proof deep in a mountain. This was a real project with many scientists involved. The discovery of documents in Iraq during the war lead to the public knowledge of this site (though minimally reported by the media bc it leant support to Bush). This knowledge, along with the demonstrated resolve of the united states at the time (oh yeah, we were largely united in going to war against Iraq also, not just Afganistan), lead to the opening of that site to UN inspectors which proved it was indeed a nuclear research facility with the purpose of producing WMD.

    interestingly, there were 3000 casings found at that site for centrifuges for nuclear processing. at about the same time (from discovery of documents in Iraq to opening of site in Libya) there was an unusual amount of news about US Navy searching ships in the area for contraband. even news about a particular ship being diverted from Libya to Iran to prevent it being boarded. soon it was discovered that Iran had 3000 nuclear centrifuges not approved by UN… Reading between the lines it is apparent that these centrifuges were just days away being delivered to Libya when that was interrupted by the related discoveries in Iraq, so they were diverted to Iran who is now using them to persue the same project.

    so to my mind war in Iraq prevented several dangerous countries from achieving nuclear weaponry and slowed down such developoment in another. i can’t help but wonder if people had been more cooperative at that stage that those centrifuges might not have been intercepted before arriving in Iran.

    if you cannot recall these things yourself spend time researching them online. its all basically verifiable from reliable reports, not conservative blogs. i have a family to attend to and cannot further elaborate now. and that is only one of multiple beneficial results of Iraq war.

    i was also amazed at how many people were ignorant of the fact that dems were in control of congress and drove budget which lead to current economic woes. there were 4 separate major economic downturns which bush handled: inherited from Clinton, post 9/11, Katrina, and dem congress of 07-08. the first 3 he got turned around… we could go into a lot more detail about dems policies burdening country financially etc having a lot more impact than Iraq war!

    one more thought which should be considered: the critics of bush were excessive and acted disproportionately, especially pro life critics. RCC and CE have well proved themselves to be pro life. consider the math however: during war there were at least 1000 times as many deaths from abortion as there were deaths from Iraq war. Did the critics of bush expend at least 1000 times as much effort supporting his pro life policies as they did criticizing him? That would be appropriately proportionate in my mind. if they did not, then they, perhaps unwittingly, contributed significantly to the election of pro choice congress and president, and have need to repent of that. again great pro life people but we need to quit attacking pro life leaders!

    g night. God bless us everyone (tiny tim)