I am also a terrible son. Could we just cancel all birthdays?
I have to be social this weekend. This evening, we're going to the Aussie Rules up in Brisbane, and my grandparents are over from NZ so I'll have to see them too. I don't object to any of that, but I just don't feel like being social. In fact, that's something I don't understand - people say I should be social, but WHY? Is there any actual reason that adequately justifies why I should be social? I don't believe I have ever been presented with one, and quite frankly, I prefer not being social. I'm more comfortable with that. Is it so shocking that someone does not want to go out? I don't think that it is.
Now to continue on from yesterday ...
This is my response to the article The Case Against Him [Bush] by Michael Kinsley. Yes, I really am going to criticise an anti-Bush article. Be amazed. Be very amazed.
'when most of us voted for someone else'
Am I the only person tired of this point being brought up? Yes, there was a lot of controversy when Bush won. Yes, the circumstances were dubious. Yes, maybe he shouldn't have been granted the victory. Yes, yes, yes. I know all of that. BUT IT'S NOT RELEVANT. Just because he shouldn't have been elected in 2000 is no reason to say he shouldn't be elected in 2004. It is not a reflection on his character or the quality of his presidential abilities. Really, it's an unnecessary ad hominem attack - use real arguments instead.
'And never has any President been tested so dramatically so soon after taking office.'
I don't know the history of American Presidents all too well, but I'm sure that's an exaggeration in a big way.
What really bothers me is that a lot of this article is not actually proper arguments against Bush's governing abilities or his policies, but simply attacks upon his past or irrelevant aspects of his personality. Sure, maybe he bludged his way through life, but the author does not show why that weakens his skills as a leader. It's one thing to say "Bush was immature even when he was 40;" it's quite another to say "Bush was immature even when he was 40, and this made him a bad President because of [reason] and thus he should not be given a second term." The author does the first but not the second.
'Various American freedoms have been suspended.'
Could someone enlighten me on this one? I don't see anyone in America comaplaining about a lack of freedoms ...
'At the rate things are going, the toll of American lives lost responding to 9/11 may exceed the toll of 9/11 itself. The toll of innocent foreigners is higher already.'
That's a scary figure, but what does it prove with relation to Bush's presidential skill? The author doesn't say. It's left for the reader to figure out for themselves, and in this case, I say that's detrimental. Too many people will be swayed without considering the realities of armed conflict or the reasons that brought about such hostilities.
'But what has it all amounted to? ... The only honest answer is, Who knows?'
So why bash Bush? Is he the military strategician planning attacks? Is he the soldier in Tora Bora, searching for Osama? Is he the fellow sorting through intelligence, looking for significant details? Or is he simply the guy who is presented with options devised by others and then approves them to be carried out by others? Ultimately, just because he approves something, is he responsible for the way it was presented to him or the mistakes and accomplishments of those delegated with the task of carrying it out? Those questions need to be asked. And if it is not Bush's fault that things are not done correctly, then what is his fault? I presume he chooses who carries out his orders, so if he's making bad selections, then yes, maybe he should be removed.
I think it's a very complex issue that should not be dealt with in the simplistic manner this journalist is dealing with it in.
'it is clear beyond dispute that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.'
True; Bush made a major mistake here and was most likely following his own crusade. That said, the author seems to exaggerate things a bit.
'Subtract the war on terror, including Iraq, and the Bush presidency looks small indeed.'
That's one thing I have noticed - people only focus on 11/09 and Iraq when discussing Bush. He could have done all kinds of other initiatives during his time as President, but I wouldn't know. All I hear is that he's either a hero or an idiot for the way he's responded to terrorism and Saddam Hussein. Oh, and that he's a religious nut or virtuous man for his stance on homosexuality. But I don't know what he's actually accomplished for his nation, and while the author of this piece claims he's done precious little, it must be remembered this author is amazingly biased. I'm holding a grain of salt right now.
From here, the article descends into more ad hominem and I can't be bothered responding to it. I think it's sad that both opinion pieces in Time are quite significantly flawed - Krauthammer's by blind arrogance and stupidity, Kinsley's by irrelevant personal attacks and not actually proving why Bush is not as qualified as Kerry (or anyone else) to lead the USA. Some of you may say this is not my issue and I should stop commenting on it, but it's all over the news and US foreign policy affects just about anyone, so I'll keep commenting and criticising.
I guess the biggest lesson is not to always believe what the media tells you. Yet people do, time and time again ...
I thought I would just note here that the Australian election date was announced a couple of days ago - it will be on 9 October. Hopefully the irrelevant 'children overboard' scandal won't play a part in the election, but it seems I'll be wrong there. People, it happened in the past, so MOVE ON. Furthermore, it was only an example for an argument, not a critical point on which Howard's 2001 campaign was based. If people voted purely based upon that EXAMPLE, they deserve to have been fooled.
Give John Howard another term. The nation's doomed with Mark Latham at the helm. Or do us all a favour and vote for a minor party like the Greens.