It seems like almost every day someone sends me pictures of George W. Bush riding dirt bikes with injured military veterans or greeting returning vets at a Texas airport. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a fine thing for him to do, but I can’t help being reminded that he was the same guy who sent them off to fight two of the stupidest wars we’ve ever waged.
What it mainly reminds me of is John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” The mentally deficient Lennie is eternally grateful to his cousin, George, for saving him from drowning, having forgotten it was George who pushed him in the river in the first place. In similar fashion, young women and blacks are grateful for the welfare that Democrats provide, ignoring the fact that it’s Barack Obama’s policies that have kept them in poverty by drying up the job market, promoting dependency and driving up our national debt to more than $17 trillion, thus ensuring that they, their children and their grandchildren will remain hooked on welfare, the worst addiction of them all.
Getting back to Bush’s wars: I happen to believe Iraq was justified. Even if you overlook the faulty intelligence regarding Iraq’s attempt to pursue nuclear weaponry, Saddam Hussein had used poison gas on the Kurds and had invaded neighboring Kuwait. Besides, it wasn’t Bush’s fault that his old man had defeated Hussein, but, then, for no apparent reason, left him in power. At the time of Desert Storm, I recall wondering if George H.W. Bush had been president during World War II, he would have left Hitler in charge of Germany after we’d defeated the Nazis on the battlefield.
Where George W. Bush went wrong was in his attempt to make “nation building” the cornerstone of his war policy. We helped Europe, including Germany and Italy, rebuild after 1945, but that was a post-war policy. We waited until we’d cleaned their clocks before we concerned ourselves with living conditions in Berlin and Rome. I guess the expression “first things first” was unspoken in the Bush household.
As for Afghanistan, that’s a war that never should have taken place. What business is it of ours if the Taliban run the cesspool? How are they any worse than Hamad Karzai? Or any worse than the regime that is currently destroying our own nation?
For the life of me, I have no idea why we always seem so anxious to run off and fight one group of Muslims on behalf of another group of Muslims.
Even Bill Clinton, hardly the most hawkish of presidents, couldn’t resist sending troops to Somalia. He only came to his senses when he realized it might cost the Democrats some votes if the 6 o’clock news showed the American military killing black gangbangers. Besides, if that’s what he had in mind, he had no reason to go all the way to Africa. He could have found them far closer to home, in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and, of course, Washington, D.C.
Of course he also sent troops to Europe to protect Muslims from Serbs. In that particular conflict, I’d have had to flip a coin before I could have chosen sides.
It strikes me that most people spend more time deciding on a side dish when they go to a restaurant than they do asking themselves if it makes any sense to mortgage their homes to send their kids to college. The college conspiracy has been so successful that it’s become a given that every 18-year-old is entitled to a degree. People no longer even weigh the pros and cons. Unless the kid decides he or she would rather find a job and gather work experience instead of spending four or more years delving into the intellectual shallows devoted to black, Hispanic, gay and lesbian studies, parents have been conned into regarding themselves as abusive if they don’t write out a check.
It’s pretty much the same way that middle-class parents feel if they don’t send their young’uns off to summer camp. But at least at camp, they learn to swim, ride horses and make lanyards. In college, they will have their brains washed and hung out to dry by left-wing pinheads, and, after four years and several thousand dollars, they still won’t know how to make a decent lanyard.
Finally, if you got nothing else out of this column, at least you can now claim that you actually read all of “War and Peace,” even if it didn’t happen to be Tolstoy’s.
Media wishing to interview Burt Prelutsky, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.