Third Party & Independents Archives

If we only knew then what we know now.

Life in the United States with the Bush Administration at the helm has been strange to say the least. As I look back on the past three years and all that has gone on I find myself looking for that one phrase or theme that could define these times. One thought that keeps recurring over and over again is the simple phrase, “If we only knew then what we know now”. Actually I could expand that phrase to read, “If we only knew then what the Bush team knew then and we are only finding out now”. It is a concept that has played itself out over and over again to disastrous results for the United States and the world. Just take a moment to think about it.

A year ago if we knew the true story about the threat of Iraq and Saddam would we have been in favor of a preemptive war? If instead of visions of mushroom clouds we were told that Saddam was a bad guy and the world would be better off without him would Republicans or Democrats in congress have voted for it? If we knew that very early in the Bush administration that a plan for the invasion of Iraq along with control over Iraqi oil was in the works would we have supported this war? Can anyone honestly say that if the rationale for the war that is being laid out today was the rationale that was laid out a year ago that they would have supported this war? I think by and large the answer is no. Had we known then the truth that Bush had been hiding, thousands of innocent Iraqis and hundreds of US soldiers would be alive today, and the Arab world might be working with us against terrorism instead of viewing us with contempt and fear.

Before the vote on the Medicare drug benefit the cost of the program was being touted as 400 billion dollars over 10 years. This was a pretty big number so it took a bit of persuasion by the Bush Administration to convince conservative law makers to support this bill as many of them expressed concerns that the 400 billion dollar price tag would balloon. Well the ink was hardly dry on this bill when word got out that revised estimates show the cost will now be 535 billion dollars over 10 years and that this number could go even higher. A 135 billion dollar mistake is a pretty big screw up but then there are plenty of indications that the Bush Administration was aware early on that their estimates were low. So I ask all of our conservative friends out there, if you knew then what you know now about the cost of the Medicare drug benefit would you have supported it? The Bush team knew they couldn’t sell a 535 Billion boondoggle for the pharmaceutical companies so they told us what they needed to tell us to get the bill passed.

Currently we are now trying to find out just exactly what the Bush Administration new before the horrific events of 9/11. Reluctantly the Bush Administration has decided that an independent team should be appointed to look into the security failures that led up to 9/11. However you slice it Bush seems very concerned about what this investigation will turn up so he is only agreeing to an investigation as long as the results won’t we made public until 2005, or after the presidential election. It seems to me that should Bush prevail in 2004 we might find ourselves looking at the results of this investigation and thinking, “Gee, if I only knew then what I know now”. Of course by then it is too late and this has been the Bush strategy from the beginning.

Posted by William Flynn at February 7, 2004 4:20 PM