Sunday, December 28, 2008

Amen, Condi!

From an interview with the Secretary of State:

"This isn't a popularity contest. I'm sorry, it isn't. What the administration is responsible to do is to make good choices about Americans' interests and values in the long run -- not for today's headlines, but for history's judgment," she said.

"And I am quite certain that when the final chapters are written and it's clear that Saddam Hussein's Iraq is gone in favor of an Iraq that is favorable to the future of the Middle East; when the history is written of a U.S.-China relationship that is better than it's ever been; an India relationship that is deeper and better than it's ever been; a relationship with Brazil and other countries of the left of Latin America, better than it's ever been ...

"When one looks at what we've been able to do in terms of changing the conversation in the Middle East about democracy and values, this administration will be judged well, and I'll wait for history's judgment and not today's headlines."

And to those Bush Bashers who say he's been the worst president ever, let's just wait and see how history judges "W" okay? That's what really matters.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The thing that gets me is the ones who have bashed Bush for a failed presidency are claiming Obama's presidency is the most sucessful, and he hasn't even taken the oath yet.

Nikki said...

I don't completely agree with this point of view. Of course she's going to say that; she's partially defending herself. I think the beauty of this country is we get to have a say in who our leaders are and how our country is governed, and if we're unhappy with the results, we get to change it. I do agree that to an extent we won't know the full effects of Bush's terms for a while, and I do agree that you can't blame all of our country's current misfortunes on the Bush administration, but there are certainly some mistakes made by the administration. Even Bush has admitted that. If we just wait for "history" to tell us what to think, isn't that a little passive aggressive? I have a hard time believing that all the Obama bashers will sit back and say, "Oh well, we'll just see what 'history' says" when he makes mistakes. They'll be rushing to criticize every move he makes, just as they already are, and he hasn't even gotten into office yet.

Pat Austin said...

Well, in terms of individual decisions, of course folks will continue to criticize presidents as those things occur but in the context of judging the legacy of an entire term (or terms), I do think it takes time to assess that. Certainly Bush has made mistakes, but when judging the effectiveness of his legacy you have to determine if the mistakes over shadowed the good as you judge the entirety of his presidency, and that's what history will decide.

Luculent said...

"And to those Bush Bashers who say he's been the worst president ever, let's just wait and see how history judges "W" okay? That's what really matters."

I dont mind, as long as if/when history judges him as still being the worst, that those who defended him will finally accept it...

:)

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that the pro-Bush crowd will be selective in their hearing. "Let history be the judge" is the new battle cry for Bush apologists. Its the same avoidance logic that led them to most recently defend the mindless ramblings of Sarah Palin.

In all of our partisanship, we've forgotten that regardless of your affiliation, it's ok to admit when you're being handed nonsense. I'm a liberal democrat, and guess what, Carter was terrible. A well-intentioned man and humanitarian, who has proven himself to be much better out of office than in it. He was a poor president. Why conservatives have such a difficult time accepting the Bush Administration's ineptitude i do not understand. It's ok, just admit it, he's a well-intentioned man, but he's been a terrible president and this administration has been a disaster. Whether its been the worst presidency ever doesn't even matter, poor is poor, and our country is in a worse place because of it.

To a certain degree, the suggestion that the public should wait for history to judge his presidency suggests that the end justifies the means. As if, we'll see in 10-20 years that the middle east is more pro-american, thereby validating his administration. This misses the point completely. He's been criticized widely not for his intentions (national security, economic prosperity, advancement in education, stability in the middle east, etc.) which we can all agree are good intentions, but for his actions. In the pursuit of good intentions, this administration has made a mockery of our foreign policy, left the economy in disarray, strapped our schools with a misguided education policy, driven us into historic debt, and sacrificed the lives of thousands of young americans in a war which the administration itself freely admits now was misguided. As hindsight is 20/20, history can look fondly upon certain outcomes, but the actions of this administration have still been undoubtedly devastating to our country. Much of which we're experiencing now.

The most insulting thing about this interview: This administration sent 100's of thousands of troops into harms way (and some to their death) under the guise of protecting America from a threat which ONLY this administration believed existed. Many Americans didn't believe it at the time, and MOST of the world didn't believe it at the time. Yet, this administration pressed on. Now that its become common knowledge that this threat never existed, the administration has the audacity to LAUD ITSELF for freeing millions of Iraqis from the tyranny of Saddam, as if bringing democracy to the middle east was our intention all along. Was that what our troops and our citizens signed up for when we invaded Iraq? No, it wasn't. But that's what this administration and all of its apologists hope history will remember it for.

Pat Austin said...

There is no question that it takes the passage of time for an administration to be assessed. We're still evaluating Truman for crying out loud. That's just the way it works.

I agree that Carter was awful. I agree that Bush made some mistakes, but I do not agree that his administration has been a total failure by far. I don't like the Iraq war; nobody does. But do I think Bush has kept this country safe from another terrorist attack? You betcha.

I've never seen Bush freely admit that the war has been "misguided." I must have missed that one.

Do I think the world is better off without Saddam? Yep. And what's wrong with democracy in the Middle East anyway? I don't want Iran moving into Iraq and forming another terrorist breeding ground. Afghanistan is bad enough with the Taliban now beheading people and reclaiming much of the disputed territory along the Pakistani border as reported yesterday.

When we went into World War II we didn't realize a lot of things at the outset that ended up being beneficial results. Nobody knew that Allied forces were going to walk in at the end and liberate hundreds of concentration camps but there you go.

NeNe said...

Do you really believe what historians say in the end will be the qualifier? Historions LOVE Clinton. ;)

Pat Austin said...

Blech - not all of 'em. Besides, he's still too recent. We're still figuring out Truman after all.