No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Friday, October 12, 2007

War and Peace

It's almost too stark a contrast.

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the day that the US Senate authorised George Bush's war in Iraq. Today, Al Gore was named the winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

It is almost exactly 7 years since George Bush won the Presidency of the United States, defeating Al Gore in the electoral college, despite the fact that half-a-million more Americans actually voted for Gore.

At the time, I wondered at the reasoning of middle America. Presented with a choice between two men - one of whom was clearly more charismatic and one of whom was clearly smarter - Americans went with the dumber but charming one. Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks Bush is an idiot. Idiots don't get elected President, no matter who their daddy is. Don't kid yourself: he's both clever and crafty. But book smart? Not so much. And, clearly, not as smart or thoughtful as Gore.

So, given the events of the past 5 years - thrown into stark contrast with today's Nobel announcement - one is almost forced to ask how different things might have been had Gore managed to win Florida and those last key electoral votes. Would a smarter, more cautious, President have changed America and the world?

It seems likely that 9-11 would still have taken place - Bin Ladin and his followers were mobilizing long before the election took place. But then what? An attack on Afghanistan? Probably - something had to be done about those training camps. A war in Iraq? Almost certainly not, given the utter lack of evidence to support it. And would a focus on one front have meant a different outcome in the morass that has become the war on terror? No one can really say for sure. Hell, perhaps we'd be even worse off. Perhaps the environment would still be a back-burner issue if Gore hadn't been free to create his Inconvenient Truth tipping point.

But a president who cares about the world, one capable of winning a Peace Prize, surely that would have offered more promise than one who reacted to terror with terror.


Post a Comment

<< Home