Seeing Bush everywhere is a sign of PTBD — Post Traumatic Bush Disorder.
Just because President Bush lied us into a war based on nonexistent WMD and his Vice President puppeteer’s former company Halliburton got filthy rich off of it does not mean that every person who claims we have a moral responsibility to take some kind of action in another country is also lying and is also hawking for the defense industry.
It’s not the same even from the outside. To wit:
No one is pretending the Syrians had something to do with the attack on 911 so we need to invade them with boots on the ground.
This is not a ruse to justify making big bucks for contracting companies the President and/or Vice President ran prior to taking office (see Republican former VP Dick Cheney). Dick Cheney got a 34 million dollar “signing bonus” (as Chris Matthews called it) from Halliburton for becoming the Vice President, as reported on his May 2001 disclosures.
Also, Cheney’s ties with Halliburton and subsidiary KBR did not end when he took office. If you can’t spy the glaring differences yet, try this and ask yourself if community organizing for the poor in Chicago carries the same suggestion of financial gains via war:
“Cheney was defense secretary the Pentagon chose Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root to study the cost effectiveness of outsourcing some military operations to private contractors. Based on the results of the study, the Pentagon hired Brown & Root to implement an outsourcing plan. Cheney became Halliburton CEO in 1995.”
While the stock price of Raytheon, an international aerospace and defense company that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles many speculate would be used in Syria, reached a 52-week high last week on the heels of the news of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical attack on his own people, President Obama does not own Raytheon, has never run Raytheon, is not receiving major payouts from Raytheon. Currently, to much objection, Obama is the person making the decision regarding Syria.
It’s a bit of a stretch to implicate Obama in a conspiracy to make money for a company he has no stake in. Furthermore, Raytheon donated more money to Mitt Romney in 2012 than to Obama, $143,806 to $89,788, so it can’t be that. They gave just under that to Republican Scott Brown, who took in $84,350. Their PACs, which gave 4 times more than individuals, gave a majority to Republicans.
There are ten members of Congress who own Raytheon shares. Seven of them are Republicans and three are Democrats. Now that Obama has taken Syria to Congress, people who stand to profit from the matter will have a vote.
Corporate profit is not the motive for this Democratic President, but that doesn’t stop the false equivalencies to Bush nor the accusations that he’s hawking for big oil like Bush, as if there is no difference between an administration personally knee deep in oil interests and one that is not personally knee deep in them (there is no one in government who is not impacted by big oil interests, sadly — even if it’s just playing defense against negative ads secretly paid for by big oil).
George W. Bush ruined the presidency by earning your mistrust. However, applying that mistrust more strongly to this president than to Bush to make up for not applying it to Bush is a logic fail. Each situation is different, and Obama is not Bush.
Cynicism passes inaccurately and lazily for intelligence in us, the pundits, and the politicians.
Bush and his buddies took us to war for very cynical and personal reasons. They pretended Iraq had something to do with 911, using our emotions to blur the facts. Fox viewers still believe that Iraq was behind 911. Imagine their heads popping if they learned that their jingoistic party chant USA! Drill here, drill now! directly benefited Cheney’s former oil company, which opened what they called their “second headquarters” in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. USA!
Assuming Obama has the same character as Bush is like assuming all presidents are FDR. It’s illogical. The case can be made for it either way if you presume to know motives — but that’s a fallacy. It’s fear-based; a sign of past trauma informing the perception of unrelated events.
The facts are that the Bush administration and the media lied to us on an epic level about WMD for purely cynical reasons. Obama doesn’t own a Blackwater/Halliburton/KBR and neither does Biden. This is not Bush.
That does not imply or infer that we should do even limited strikes on Syria, but it does remove a fallacious and lazy argument against it.
If you have PTBD, look to the Teapubicans in the House of Representatives to remind yourself what Bush was really like, because it’s not community organizer and fighter for the poor President Obama, and you have to be quite a desperate hack to pretend it is.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.