I've been thinking about this a lot. What is it that gives people comfort?
Sure, our unelected president fits into a flight suit. He sure sounds tough as he says, "Bring 'em on." And gosh, that "You're with us or you're with the terrorists" line was impressive.
But let's take a look at what's actually happened. Are we safer? Or are we just more afraid?
Osama bin Laden has not been caught. Supposedly, lots of 'masterminds' from all levels of his organization are out of commission. If that's so, why is every new bombing attributed to Al Qaeda? There've been plenty lately. So, the head of the organization that brought us 9-11, who has been convicted sans trial by the way, is still roaming around, and despite our efforts to dismantle his terrorist network, it seems to be functioning just fine. Why give kudos to W for this abject failure?
Since we couldn't catch Osama, we moved on to the next 'front' in terrorism (according only to the neo-cons, but hey, let's pretend for the sake of continuity here that Saddam had anything to do with 9-11 or posed a looming international threat of massive death), Iraq. We marched in and overthrew the government by force. The people resisted. We now call them terrorists. We flex our muscles, break down their doors, kill innocents with trigger-happy fingers, bomb their cities again, incarcerate thousands without a decent system to sort out the captives, torture those captives, man roadblocks (how would you feel if you had to stop and be questioned when you wanted to go to the next town to visit relatives?), decide who can be an interim leader, shut down newspapers and television stations, cleanse the textbooks and fire the teachers, and generally break rule after rule within Iraqi culture. As a result, the resistance grows and insurgents make deeper and deeper forays. So, how is this making us safer? It sure as hell isn't safer for our troops.
Let's not forget that we insulted and scoffed at all the allies we may have had in this operation. Let's not forget that we ignored millions and millions of voices all around the world. The result? More violence, more deaths, more resentment, more frustration, but no help or assistance, and no true international face on our actions. Doesn't sound to me like this has made us any safer.
To those who still believe W can save you: I think the only reason you are willing to give W the right to break international law, disregard our own Constitution, and continue to wave his pecker on the podium is because you've let him scare you. You've let him tell you only he can take care of this. You've let yourself be un-empowered.
The blood of all the well-meaning troops and the true innocents is on someone's hands. I'm sure W will be more than willing to share.