I got a lot of flak today for getting a little, erm, emotional during George W. Bush’s speech at his library dedication on Thursday. I’m not forgetting the mistakes of that administration - of which there were many - I’m just compartmentalizing. The library dedication was a historically cool event for people who are into that kind of thing. And I am one of those people. Not so surprisingly, so is Chuck Todd. (see: https://twitter.com/chucktodd/status/327455144373534720)
But I’ll put this out there, because after being told (reminded?) that Bush and his gang are “war criminals” (re: Iraq War) this was my first thought: how do we know Obama wouldn’t have done the same? In more words: It’s been said that Obama’s foreign policy is quite similar to that of his controversial, Republican predecessor. The drone program, for instance. We can agree that’s been a little shady, to say the least. Sure they’re having hearings now, but the Obama administration declined to bring anyone in there for testimony on their behalf. That’s worth pointing out. Also worth saying that while we are on a timeline in Afghanistan, we had a pretty massive troop surge before doing the bring the boys home-ing that was so talked about in 2008. I’m not saying it was the wrong decision - I don’t think it was, personally - but it went against the Election-Obama narrative as I interpreted it.
So my question is this: If Obama’s foreign policy is similar to that of Bush 43, how do we know he wouldn’t do the same thing having been put in Bush’s shoes re: Iraq? And then we got confirmation of Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Which was the red line, the “if-you-do-this-we-go-in” mark set out by the powers that be. Another, different co-worker asked me as soon as we saw the breaking news banner: “So does this mean we’re going to war in Syria now?” It’s a good question. And the right question. Also a slightly scary question. But I guess now people will get to see how Obama would act in this situation. Mind you, I’m not excited. But I am interested to see what happens next.