Why Throwing Shoes Is Not Enough
In keeping with his final Farewell, I Screwed You All Tour, our President has, according this Times article, directed his henchmen to leave President-Elect Obama a set of crisis warning briefings about potential trouble spots around the world. The Times interviews sympathetic experts who proclaim what a thoughtful gesture this is.
On which planet? The only useful warnings Bush could leave Obama are ones he can read on the front pages of the nation’s/world’s newspapers:
Allow me to write the Executive Summary of the new Bush Report, Watch out for the Shoes!:
“Dick and I, and our two ‘national security’ teams [ha, ha, ha, ha] have made the world more dangerous; we’ve angered just about everyone, and it will take you years to turn that around, if ever. Ha, ha, ha, ha ha, [smirk, smirk].”
— After turning Afghanistan over to a corrupt regime, we’re desperately trying to save it from being overrun by a totally resurgent Taliban. The Afghanis hate us for bombing them.
— We supported a dictator over democracy in Pakistan and left that nuclear region a dangerous mess; they hate us.
— We’ve destroyed much of Iraq, killed hundreds of thousands, turned millions into refugees; most Iraqis want to throw shoes at us.
— We caused chaos and civil war in Somalia, imposing murderous war lords and an invading army who raped and killed people. They all hate us.
— We’ve supported repressive policies in the Middle East; the Lebanese hate us; the Palestinians hate us, the Syrians hate us.
— We’ve angered most of the civilized world by kidnapping people, rendering them to countries to be tortured, tortured them ourselves and held innocent people indefinitely without accountability. The world hates us for this.
— We’ve succeeded in convincing the Iranians that building a nuclear deterrent is perfectly rational.
— We blundered in Georgia, which has been humiliated by an angry Russia.
But not to worry, we’ve exhausted our armed forces, depleted our National Guard, overused our reserves, and blown through a $1-3 trillion, while maiming 10-30,000 soldiers and killing over 4200, all to make sure much of the world hates us.
We’ve wrecked the economy, allowed the banking system to self destruct, destroyed jobs, weakened health care and retirements, and we’re about to allow our domestic manufacturing base to collapse after squashing the workers who built our middle class.
We’ve left the entire nation more vulnerable to oil dependence.
And we’ve done everything we can to delay, obstruct and make more difficult the effort to save the planet from global climate change. Present and future generations will hate us for this.
Here’s an alternative plan, Mr. President Elect: Arrest these thugs. Clean out the Justice Department these thugs have so disgraced and compromised. Then instead of shoes, throw the book at them, starting with the Constitution, War Crimes Statutes and the Geneva Conventions, and the entire set of the US Criminal Code. WaPo’s Ann Telnaes has the idea. (h/t Elliot)
Update: NYT Editorial discusses the Senate Armed Services Committee Report on the DoD’s authorization of torture, calls for appointment of prosecutor. Glenn Greenwald has more.