In the news: North Korea “tests” a nuke. Boom!
In the past eight years, how many opportunities did the Bush Administration ignore to address this? Probably too many to even consider.
But then, what would they do? What could they do? They’d gone all-in in another card game:
- All US resources were committed in the Middle East
- The Administration wouldn’t talk to the Koreans
- Any semblance of international coalition-building capability was collapsing faster than a black hole
The end result?
Kim wags the Bush dog, says yes to talks, says no to action, no one does anything constructive and then Bush punts this issue to the Obama Administration, along with an imploding economy, a bloated bureacracy, a failing health care system.
The only good thing you can say is, thank the Higher Power they didn’t privatize Social Security: we still have a few years to do something about that.
I understand why the economy is in the spotlight. It’s like a global pandemic that we unleashed. But nukes are serious business, and in addition to the debacle in North Korea, there is the whole issue of nukes in the former Soviet Union, hundreds of them in questionably secure sites with unstable governments. There was progress being made during Clinton’s tenure, but the effort was largely defunded under Bush. Vast quantities of nuclear “stuff” out there without oversight or control. And when people get desperate, they do desperate things. Like sell little bits of nuclear technology or materials to people who really shouldn’t have them.
And then there was the specter of a renewed arms race with Putin’s Russia. That’s about the only bright side to the global economic downturn and the collapse of the gas and oil markets: Putin no longer has the money to rebuild his conventional and nuclear arsenals. But that won’t last.
As sure as the sun comes up in the East – which will probably happen whether humans are still here or not – when the global economy turns around, demand for oil will go up, prices will go up, and because we in the West didn’t launch a Manhattan Project for energy independence, we’ll be hostage again. And if relations aren’t put back on an even keel, Putin will resume his putsch to relaunch the arms race. And we’ll be funding his efforts. I wasn’t reassured by Bush’s assessment of Putin at any time, and my instincts have been proven correct. Unfortunately correct.
All I can say is I thank the Higher Power that we now have a President who really can and does read. Thank the Higher Power that we have a President who’s willing to roll the dice if the other side of the aisle doesn’t want to play the bi-partisan game.
Because the Conservatives are still going by the Rove/DeLay/Limbaugh/Boehner play book.
Because the upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle seems to be shaping up as another partisan donnybrook, and with moderates like Arlen Specter jumping ship, it should be clear that the GOP’s strategy is simply to play spoiler at every turn.
That’s not a strategy that can be accepted or excused when the nuclear dam is about to burst.
This country and the Western World has taken its eyes off the nuclear threat for too long. Once the economy is stabilized, nuclear dismantlement and the non-proliferation pacts need to take center stage.
This is just one more reason why the actions of the Bush Administration need to be exposed to public scrutiny, to have the drivers of policy exposed to public scrutiny, and make sure those who committed the crimes and betrayals get center stage. Will they be punished? Probably not. But at least we can establish a precedent for airing the dirty laundry and punishing the ideology if not the actual perpetrators.
I’m with Vince Bugliosi: investigate and prosecute. Bring those responsible for the crimes to justice. I don’t care which party they’re from, how senior or junior they are. They need to be brought down, because that’s the precedent we need to establish in the wake of the Bush crimes.
May the Higher Power restore a modicum of sanity to this nation, to the world, bring a bigger perspective to our global political arena and impart some vision to a new generation of leaders.