presidential math and regret

On one side of the Puritanical, political equation, we have former President Bill Clinton who was impeached for a single personal sexploit after he lied about Monica and tried to cover it up. He was “caught”, held accountable, and apologized for it, much to the disbelief and distaste of half the American people and a great deal of the rest of the world. Yet in Clinton’s own words, the greatest failure of his Presidency, was not this, but his not taking action in 1994 to prevent the hundred day Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.

On the other side of the equation, we have sitting duck President George Bush who has apparently lied about weapons of mass destruction, led America into a calamitous war in Iraq that is bankrupting the nation, still has no exit strategy, and has changed the balance of power in the Middle East, as well as the lives of Iraquis and Afghanis, for the worse; whose hegemonic, myopic “spreading of democracy” has led to newly elected militant and theocratic anti-American governments in Palestine and Iraq; whose country’s own shameful military behavior has become a world-wide human rights embarrassment in places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo; whose government’s response to our nation’s worst recent natural disaster last year in New Orleans was, and continues to be, clumsy and ineffectual; whose policies on Social Security, Medicare, health care, and taxation are ill-conceived, failing, and designed mostly to benefit the rich; whose over-reaching Patriot Act and probably illegal, wire-tapping intrusions into the privacy of American citizens are another mis-calculated and over-bearing response to a self-described and unwinable “war on terror”; whose personal image and that of his country is daily becoming the object of derision and hatred in more and more places on the planet; and whose stubborn, inflexible policies refuse to recognize the consensus of the world’s nations on such things as the Kyoto Treaty and any other agreements or proposals that do not directly benefit the United States’ short term economic or nationalistic interests.

Yet while this President continues to be called out by his own nations’ citizens, as well as by many nations and peoples around the planet, on this abominable laundry list, he also continues to simple-mindedly deny and dissemble about almost all of it, rarely, if ever apologizes for any of it, and with his gun-toting (and misfiring) colleagues, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove, continues to flaunt his arrogance and aggression to the nation and the world, while, at the same time, remaining, miraculously, unaccountable and un-impeached. You do the math.

Meanwhile, we have heard not a single word about the current genocide in Northern Uganda, where thousands of “invisible children” are being abducted every day for the last twenty years, by a mad rebel army leader in the bush, who brainwashes and trains five to ten year olds to murder villagers and to continue this heart-breaking cycle of abduction and slaughter. Will this current President look back with regret if he and his country refuse to take a stand and make a difference in Uganda? Again, you do the math.