I often scratch my head and wonder, “Was it really just 2001 when Bill Clinton left office, leaving the United States as strong economically, militarily, and diplomatically as it has ever been? Was it really just four years ago that the 21st century seemed most likely to be a second straight century of American global pre-eminence, and potentially a time of unprecedented peace, prosperity and cooperation across the globe?” And then, I wonder, “What in the hell weakened our nation so much in just four-and-a-half years? How could we slip from a position of unquestioned command to our current cowardly and fear-infused defensive crouch, alienating our true friends and lashing out at false enemies, all while fomenting economic unfairness and division at home?”
And, the answer logic consistently sends back is, “Your country was weakened abroad by the dramatic mishandling of the aftermath of 9/11. Your country was weakened at home by the drastic unbalancing of domestic policy in favor of large corporations and against the individual taxpayer.” The indispensable author of this methodical program of weakening our country is, of course, the Weakener-in-Chief (a/k/a, “W”).
Painful as it has been for us patriotic outsiders to witness the president’s methodical program of weakening, dismantling, and humiliating our country, we should also remember that some members of the administration — not a lot, and certainly fewer every day as the purges mount and the flunkies like Condi Rice and Harriet Miers advance — are appalled and mortified and tried to slow the weakening process. For instance:
As Colin Powell’s right-hand man at the State Department, Larry Wilkerson seethed quietly during President Bush’s first term. Yesterday, Colonel Wilkerson made up for lost time.
He said the vice president and the secretary of defense created a “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal” that hijacked U.S. foreign policy. He said of former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith: “Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man.” Addressing scholars, journalists and others at the New America Foundation, Wilkerson accused Bush of “cowboyism” and said he had viewed Condoleezza Rice as “extremely weak.” Of American diplomacy, he fretted, “I’m not sure the State Department even exists anymore.”…
If there is a nuclear terrorist attack or a major pandemic, Wilkerson continued, “you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that’ll take you back to the Declaration of Independence.”