Roger Watson: Look in the mirror |

Roger Watson: Look in the mirror

Ann Coulter’s (Sept. 14 Steamboat Today) column sought to put the blame of world terrorism on Bill Clinton’s administration. She states that Bush was in office only eight months before Sept. 11 and was really not accountable. She fails to mention that Clinton warned Bush that Osama Bin Laden would be the biggest threat to national security, which Bush ignored, already setting his sights on Saddam Hussein and Iraq. She also conveniently ignores the fact that it was Bush who got a briefing five weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks that the threat of an attack was at a fevered pitch. Of course, Bush was at his ranch on vacation, and his response to the report was to go fishing.

Coulter and other Bush apologists are now desperate to blame anyone for the current situation except the people that have been running the show. Tony Snow and others have even pointed the finger at Bush’s own father and Ronald Reagan in their attempts to cover up their ineptitude. They can say that everyone in the world thought Saddam had WMDs, but there were many in our own intelligence agencies that doubted that, and the information was there for the current administration to examine, but it was ignored because, as anyone now understands, Bush wanted to go to war with Saddam and nothing was going to stop him. It was Bush that pushed for military action while weapons inspectors were still in Iraq and had failed to find anything.

When Bush was first elected he said he wanted to usher in an era of personal responsibility. But as we see, this is just another one of those catchy phrases thought up by Rove & Co. When people accept responsibility they must also assume the consequences of the actions they take. But a consequence in Bush’s world only applies to powerless underlings and people not rich enough to hire high-powered lawyers. Or those without rich friends that can come to their aid. In Bush’s world, when you screw up, you might even get a medal or cushy job in the corporate world.

Bush and Coulter’s problems are that they want to come across as tough and resolute. But this resolve is just a cover for their pathological indifference to the suffering of those less privileged than themselves. Both state they are Christians, but to take a page out of the religious rights playbook and not judge the sinner but the sin, they must have missed the Sermon on the Mount. Perhaps they were reading the gospel according to Cheney.

Clinton certainly had his faults as a president, and Bush certainly has killed more terrorists. But how many innocent people lost their lives or were maimed in the process? How many U.S. troops have been killed and wounded, not to mention those close to them; their lives were changed forever. How many squandered tax dollars could have gone to more productive endeavors? None of this matters to George Bush and Ann Coulter, because they are kindred spirits, not able to look at themselves and see their own moral dyslexia.

Roger Watson

Steamboat Springs

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