It's not enough to make the tough decision when you are POTUS. You have to be able to articulate it in such a fashion that the American people can see how they are going to be part of the future you want to create.
It's not enough to have a vision for a "future worth creating" as Barnett says, you must be able to communicate it to the world.
"W" was right to go into Iraq.
Did everything go according to plan? No, of course not. It never does.
Were mistakes made in the execution of the plan? Yes. There has never been any great plan at any time in our history that did not have mistakes and setbacks.
People in America in this new century need to get a grip and realize that our foreign policy dealings are not going to be wrapped up in 45 minutes plus commercials like an episode of your favorite TV series or even a whole season.
In order to keep America with him, "W" needed to help us see what it was he was trying to accomplish that would bring about a better safer world for all of us and our children.
Unfortunately, "W" never did that.
In my opinion, the best thing he could have done leading up to the invasion in '03 was to send Barnett around the country to conduct a series of townhall style meetings. I don't care if some were poorly attended. He should have kept at it. Like FDR's fireside chats, keeping America in the loop. Helping us past our fear. Our fear of war. Our fear of terrorism. Once America got past fear then he could help us understand how being in Iraq was helping them....helping us, helping our future. People had many varied objections to our going into Iraq. The answer was never to ignore them. The answer was to respond and encourage a greater discourse.
The majority of Americans could have seen what he saw. What I see. What others I know see.
It seems so clear now, looking back. Americans have short attention spans. "W" needed to keep them informed and engaged. He didn't.
What I did, and people like me.....we went and found out our own shit. But we were never the majority. We aren't the people who are voting against McCain because Sarah Palin talks funny. We aren't the people who voted for Gov. Patrick here in Massachusetts because Kerry Healy seemed snotty. We aren't the people who are going to vote No on Question 1 because we have some job at the public trough and can not see past our own self interest. We are not the people who say "I like Obama because he is so well spoken when compared to Bush". We are not the people who say "Well, Maggie you know those things about politics and history and foreign policy because it interests you, I don't have time, I have to go on my gut." Or, my personal favorite "I can't make up my mind, so I am going to vote for Nader.....what is the Green-Rainbow party Maggie? Are they environmentally friendly gays?" (**please note, I personally know each of the people I described above they are not caricatures)
Why bring it up now? Because now it's hurting McCain. Because now it's placing us at an even greater risk. Because now it may well cause the 9 year olds to vote for Obama, a man who will do great damage in the Presidency.
When you are President it is not enough to make the tough decisions....it's not enough to do *almost* everything. You have to actually do everything. Maybe that's not fair. But it is what it is. And while I do stand with President Bush.....while I do believe when a more rational, less emotion future generation judges our invasion of Iraq, they will see it was the right thing.....I also believe that they will note it was unfortunate that he could not bring America together to back it.