Point of View Columns

Fool Me Once

One very clear aspect of history is that the facts don’t change. But it is also very clear that the interpretation of those facts can mold history to suit the convenience of the interpreters. The fact is that senior officials of the Bush-Cheney Administration are arguably the architects of the most flawed American foreign policy in modern times. Yet those responsible for the policy debacle for which Americans are still paying the price are actually giving their opinions on foreign policy and critiquing the Obama Administration.

We could begin with Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State during the eight year fiasco that was the Bush-Cheney Administration. She was presumably on duty when everything but a skywritten message was warning of the 9/11 attacks. She was also part of the team that hoodwinked the American people and bamboozled a group of easily cowed “allies” into plunging headfirst into the bloody muck and mire that was the Iraq war. She was also a part of the team that jumped into Afghanistan feet first with no discernible exit strategy.

It is because of the Bush-Cheney Administration, including Dr. Rice,  that the United States economy suffered severe body blows from the costs associated with these unfunded wars of choice. It is because of the mistakes, misdeeds and outright deception engaged in by the Bush-Cheney Administration, including Dr. Rice that thousands of American soldiers died needlessly and thousands more will suffer needlessly for the rest of their lives.

It is good to believe in redemption, but it would seem that the alumni of the Bush-Cheney cabal are peddling mass amnesia without even the slightest hint of humility or remorse for their errors and sins. Condoleezza Rice giving foreign policy advice is the logical equivalent of Sarah Palin advising on national campaign strategy or Rick Perry giving debating tips.

Are the American people supposed to forget or ignore the blood that is pooling at the doorsteps of the Bush-Cheney legacy? When we see the likes of Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld emerging from the wreckage of their foreign policy missteps as if nothing bad happened under their watch, are the American people supposed to forget damage and disaster that occurred?

It seems that the Teapublicans are particularly adept at burying their mistakes in the mud of history assuming that the attention span of the American public is just slightly longer than that of a goldfish. But the survivors of 9/11 victims remember. The survivors and family of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remember.

And there’s more. The millions of Americans who are “structurally unemployed” because of the dislocation occasioned by the Bush-Cheney cabal remember. And the millions of Americans who lost their homes when they were caught in the vortex caused by unfunded and unnecessary wars combined with greed-driven tax cuts remember.

The sight of these architects of misery shamelessly sharing their world views is all the more appalling in light of the Teapublican fascination with the word “scandal”. Like a spoiled child with yet another toy the Teapublicans yelp and yowl and holler “scandal” anytime they can cobble together another criticism of the Obama Administration.

When real scandals were taking place during the Bush-Cheney years, there were appeals for bipartisanship and calls for national unity regardless of the errors that were made. The fact that errors of omission were made by the Bush Administration prior to 9/11 somehow didn’t move the needle on the Teapublican Scandal Meter. The fact that errors of commission were made by the Bush Administration is falsely claiming weapons of mass destruction as the causus belli in Iraq was never deemed to be a scandal even though this country continues to reel from the consequences of that awful war of choice.

Condoleezza Rice and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and now even George W. Bush, can preen and parade across the television screens acting as if all went well during their dance with disaster. But the American people know better and they will not be treated kindly by history.

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