Monday, April 17, 2006

'Staying the Course'

Bush & Iraq vs. Clinton & Sudan.

Since coming to the US and following the words and actions of both these presidents closely, I have come to appreciate charisma and wisdom more than ever.

Both presidents are patriotic and passionate. Clinton towards fast food and fast living, Bush towards conservative agenda and ideals.

Both made horrendous errors of judgement. Clinton indulged in supreme professional misconduct, Bush dragged an ailing nation into a pre-emptive war on fabricated grounds.

Both were friendly to bin-Laden and his men in a personal level. Clinton invited members of current-day "terrorists" to the White House and funded their campaign, Bush shared an oil-related business with the bin-Laden family, allowed safe passage to members of the accused families immediately after 9/11, held the troops back from bombing bin-Laden to death when he was cornered in the Tora Bora mountains.

Both supported the war on Iraq. Clinton supported the war, Bush is the war!

Both had a highly biased view of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Clinton unequivocally vowed to protect Israelly interests, it didn't bother Bush to drain his own country's resources to save Israelly interests by ravaging Iraq under false pretence.

And the list goes on.

The point I wish to make is that Clinton had the wisdom and charisma to turn the tide, to stop where he should, and to accept what he has done wrong.

It took a supremely shameful verdict of the Supreme Court to "elect" Bush to office and a supremely loyal Christian base to keep him in office despite a series of misconducts, while only a candid speech and a nice, wry smile did the trick for Clinton.

To the rest of the world, Clinton is just another US president. To the black people in US, he is the only president to have come close to truly understanding their troubles and their concerns. To the pocket-book Americans, he is the only one to left them a solvent life and a healthy 3-trillion dollars surplus. To the Republicans, he is an "ouch!". To the Democrats, he is a "wow!".

To me, he is a living lesson.

He bombed Al-Qaida facilities in Sudan, only to realize later than the situation didn't require such extensive military involvement. He pulled back! He didn't have to think again, he didn't bother shouldering the responsibilities.

He insisted that Israel's claims be accepted by Palestinians. He realized that the claims were not as justified as the lobbyists had suggested. He pulled back! He insisted that the border of 1967 be re-enacted. Precisely the claims of the Palestinians! (If only Arafat and/or Hamas were a bit thoughtful at those times!!)

He rocked a conservative, Christian nation (trust me, that's the real America. New York and California are populous exceptions only) with sex scandals. He apologized. That part was to save his neck, I agree. But he jokes about it now! He is the one who brings up the topic during fund-raising events and makes fun of himself! If that's not charisma, what is?

I'm not licking Clinton's toes by any means, but the guy has a sense of aura around him that one must appreciate. To me, the problems with the Bush administration is lack of wisdom and charisma. He could learn a lesson or two from his predecessor, I believe.

Staying the course is the motto of Bush Jr. If only he knew that the course he is staying is a wrong one!

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