In the sports world, cheerleaders don’t necessarily have to know much about the game or its personnel. They dress up in little costumes, do somersaults and form pyramids but play no part in the strategies or conduct of action on the field.
Sadly we have a president who is not so much an effective leader as he is a cheerleader – – someone whose limited knowledge and understanding of the world has led to policy decisions based on the wish fulfillment of ideologues and political cronies.
After 9/11 Bush happy talk instructed us to shop and travel while his team set about capturing Osama bin Laden, “dead or alive”. But in the deal making that accompanied our invasion of Afghanistan, nationals who fought alongside Al Quaeda or the Taliban found refuge in the country’s rugged mountain terrain or crossed the border into Pakistan. Eventually we declared victory and turned our attention to Iraq, leaving Afghanistan’s governance to regional warlords and Hamid Karsai, who some refer to as the Mayor of Kabul in a country so unstable that reconstruction has stalled and aid workers have been unable to perform their tasks safely, while the economy has grown increasingly reliant upon heroin production and the influence of drug dealers.
In the constant replay of action in the field we have either captured, killed or are in hot pursuit of Al Quaeda’s number two man; a recent bombing raid just over the Afghan border in Pakistan apparently killed a number of civilians without bringing down another operative reputed to be number two. And while the administration ponders publicly what to do about Iran’s nuclear program, huge anti-American demonstrations in Pakistan, a country already in possession of a nuclear arsenal, call into question the stability and reliability of such an ally.
Nevertheless, White House optimism continues to be trumpeted by the mindless incantations of Scott McClellan and other Stepford cronies who insist this administration is still the country’s best national-security bet. Amidst a shocking level of corruption and cronyism and an arrogant disregard for the Constitution and our nation’s laws, we are asked once again to trust flawed leadership skills and the siss-boom-bah of our cheerleader in chief.
On the homefront the president recently traveled to New Orleans’ garden district, virtually untouched by Katrina, and proclaimed the city a “heck of a place” with great food and tourist attractions. The depravity of his words is surpassed only by his salute to “heck-of-job” Brownie in the aftermath of the storm’s havoc. As New Orleans struggles to rebuild and deal with countless homeless, jobless inhabitants platitudes take the place of effective, well-coordinated planning on the part of FEMA. One can’t help but wonder what the federal response would have been had we sustained an attack by some force other than a hurricane.
Meanwhile, into the mix of a scramble to project positive forecasts about the economy and what our leaders like to call the “war on terror” (estimated to continue into the far distant future) comes word that The White House is engaged in warrantless wiretaps it says are perfectly legal. At the same time the president signs into law an anti-torture measure he immediately forswears in a signing statement.
In the matter of mail and phone intercepts, these could conceivably include communications by members of the press or university officials with colleagues and contacts abroad, in which case the government would become privy to investigations and/or research being conducted by these parties. Small wonder The White House doesn’t want to go to the FISA Court. Its reticence seems to have less to do with speedy action (given that they have a 72-hour window) than fishing expeditions unrelated to terrorism. And in the matter of “signing statements” they render the legislature all but meaningless.
With all the threats from outside forces, our constitutional form of government is being threatened from within by twisted interpretations that would expand the scope of the executive branch of government. This administration is making fools out of Congress and the American people by refusing to accept any limits on its power and masking its power grab through twin deceptions – – the rhetoric of fear and continual senseless go-team babble.

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