Criticism of column just excuses for Bush presidency
August 6, 2008
To the Editor:
Under the heading, “Blaming Bush presidency for woes ignores the facts”, Canton O’Donnell of Grand Lake takes issue with an earlier guest commentary by Felicia Muftic citing failures of the Bush administration. O’Donnell’s rebuttal offers a few “convenient” facts, supported by excuses and opinions.
For instance, O’Donnell makes the excuse that President Bush was in office for only nine months when the Sept. 11 attacks took place. But Bush was the commander-in-chief. He appointed the heads of State, Defense, the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI. Bush was responsible for the security of the United States, and the voters expected him to keep the country safe. We expected a high caliber of elected and appointed officials who didn’t need 17 percent of their terms to get up to speed.
There is no excuse for Bush’s lack of readiness.
As for “no attacks since Sept. 11,” is it possible that the terrorists have made no serious attempts on the United States since then? It is obvious there are serious security gaps at public, industrial and nuclear sites across the country.
O’Donnell cites the Bay of Pigs as an invasion comparable to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It does not begin to compare in terms of lives lost, reputation damaged, and money spent. In fact, the Bay of Pigs was an attempt by a group of U.S.-backed Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro in 1961. President Kennedy had the good sense not to employ U.S. air power and Castro defeated the exiles.
O’Donnell makes a good point that increased domestic exploration for oil and gas, nuclear power generation, and renewable energy sources all have a place in meeting our country’s future energy needs. It will require a commitment to the greater good by statesmen (not politicians and special interests) willing to compromise.
Note that Mr. O’Donnell did not mention that George H. W. Bush put the moratorium on offshore drilling in place, and George Bush had a Republican Congress for six years and did not develop a workable energy policy.
Voters who choose not to understand the issues, or who ignore the facts, and accept the dogma from the extremes of the political spectrum, contribute to the ineffectiveness of government. There is a plethora of credible information exploring, in depth, the issues Muftic mentioned.
It is healthy to encourage debate, which is most productive when based on facts, not excuses, opinions or emotions, and which often leads to novel solutions.
Your paper should continue to encourage all viewpoints. Contrary to O’Donnell’s suggestion, Muftic’s commentary does reflect public opinion.