“I like President George W. Bush”

Me too.

The Diplomad brings us this warm appreciation today.

And a commenter, Matt, adds

To your list I would add: He has never bitched or whined about about the unfairness of the criticism directed at him. He seems to accept that bearing the brunt of criticism is his duty. The guy has amazing mental toughness.

Also today in Spiegel during Bush’s farewell tour you have a bit of honesty.

In editorials, conservative papers also defended Bush from the broadsides. The timing of the critical attacks, just two weeks before the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, is in bad taste, suggests Die Welt.

“George W. Bush and his government have made mistakes,” the paper writes. “The biggest is that they believed too easily that democracy could be exported (more…) with guaranteed success. But anyone who believes Bush falls outside Western constitutional ideas and values is overlooking two things. First, it was the US (and not Germany and France) that was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The US had strong existential reasons to react decisively. And secondly, it’s not as if the multilateralism that is so highly touted by Germans would have made the world any more peaceful. Many times, it was just used as an excuse for Germany to keep out while it remained silently confident that in a serious crisis the US would already be on the scene.”

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also accuses Germans of using multilateralism as a tool not to act.

“Most critics of Bush don’t really want the US to pull back and just mind its own business,” the paper writes. “Most of the accusations are that Bush junior used his power erroneously and counterproductively. Unfortunately, the Iraq war does provide some evidence of that. America had to pay for its hubris with many dead soldiers, serious damage to its credibility and massive outflows from the treasury. But to accuse Bush in the same breath of not doing enough to fight for human rights is dishonest. The Europeans, those ├╝ber-moralists when it comes to geopolitics, wouldn’t have gotten their hands dirty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Up until today, the European Union would otherwise still be criticizing the reign of terror of Saddam and the Taliban — strongly, of course.”

Loved that last bit. “strongly, or course”. Maybe even “really strongly”. LOL

Anyway – thank you Diplomad. I’m with you on liking President Bush.

Drilling and Morality

Apparently at $4/gallon of gas if you are still against drilling in the US you are morally bankrupt.

Why? Because in times of crisis it’s the poor that get hurt the most and you can’t be moral unless you care for the poor. Something like that.

In the past I have counseled against opening up ANWR and ripping apart the western states going after shale until we’ve put to use the cheap Middle Eastern oil. Save ours for us later when we’re really going to need it. (yes, now that sounds morally bankrupt to me if you care about the world at all!)

You can’t really just let the free market decide when it’s time to find more oil because oil isn’t really directly related to the free market. Prices are controlled by OPEC and prices are influenced and affected by the US military paid for by taxpayers. There is no real cost analysis of the price of pollutants that are paid for by everyone and there is no real knowledge of supply.

At $2.50/gallon of gas the big truck/suv sales were still climbing. Particularly for city dwellers who’s biggest haul is a load of leaves to the dump. At $2.50/gallon of gas the size of housing was still growing with huge open spaces needed to be heated with …. you guessed it, oil.

At $4/gallon of gas people are just starting to make lifestyle changes. Changes that say “there is a cost to this resource and we need to pay attention to it”. Are the poor hit the worst. Yes. Aren’t they always??

I’m not so cold as Barack Obama who wants prices to continue to ride, albeit more slowly. But I do believe that alternative and yes cleaner forms of energy will not be invented until it’s cost effective to do so. Subsidized oil doesn’t play fair, so yeah – I’m ok with waiting until now to open up drilling in places like shorelines and ANWR.

But yes, $4/gallon seems to be the tipping point when behavior starts to change. Am I for regulating behavior? Hell no. But I don’t see how drilling in Alaska to sell oil to Japan would have been a good thing 5-10 years ago.

So I stand by what I’ve said. Morally bankrupt or not. I’m not so naive to think that writing the bill automatically opens the pipelines. It will take time. And during that time people can get serious about our wastage of resources. And yes we all do it. Including the poor.

Terri, “the morally bankrupt elitist”, has offically said it, it’s now time to start opening up the US to oil exploration.