It seems like only yesterday that old Ross Perot was waving bye-bye and making a beeline into his private bunker to avoid the certain doom that surely awaited us all at the dawning of the third millennium. Turn back the clock ten or so years and try to remember one day passing without the dreaded specter of "Y2K" rearing its ugly head.
Yes, many Americans were frightened by the awful predictions of Armageddon put forth daily by a media that was sure the world would end the minute Bill Clinton was out of office. Maybe that's why they fought so hard to keep him in it. Make no mistake about it, an already biased media truly found its voice as a mouth organ for the Democratic Party in the waning days of the 20th century.
Yet now that we've finally come to the end of this rough and rambunctious run, questions abound. After eight long years under George W. Bush, what can we now look forward to? More specifically, now that a Democrat is back in the Oval Office, will the world once again become a safe and sane place? If the 'Aughts were the Bush decade, will the next be that of the Big O? Sometimes in order to face the future, it's useful to look back.
The year 2000 closed with two events that were to impact the ensuing decade; the unavenged al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors, and the U.S. Supreme Court's ending of the presidential election fiasco with its constitutionally correct ruling in the case of Bush v. Gore. Although these were seemingly unrelated, they would continue to influence world history; the former, which further emboldened an already fanatical and growing enemy, and the latter, which set the face of liberals hard against cooperation with President Bush in the defeat of radical Islamism.
And so the decade with no name was underway, not with a whimper but with the bang felt around the world on September 11, 2001. As everyone remembers, after the initial shock and revulsion came a period of national unity unseen in this country since the days of World War II. But, as everyone also remembers, this era of good feeling was extremely and unfortunately short-lived.
If on September 12, anyone told you that, rather than joining Bush wholeheartedly in combating our savage enemy, many Democrats would instead focus their efforts on the treatment of POWs, you'd have called him insane. But the hatred of George W. Bush only exacerbated the inborn liberal desire for "peace" at any price, in a way that could have been disastrous for our nation, had it been led by a man of lesser resolve.
Yet, despite the rancor that cascaded down on him for most of his two terms, after 9/11 not one single life on American soil was lost to Islamic terrorism under his watch. But our nation grew tired of a war in which the enemy is content to sit and wait -- sometimes for centuries -- and elected a man who was to bring hope and change, not only to our country but somehow to the entire world.
And now we are suffering the ironic trick of history repeating itself; we have come full circle from the onset of the 21st century, where we once again have a Commander-in-Chief who treats acts of war as criminal offenses, despite having witnessed the consequences of such conduct. A man who, like Bill Clinton, directly benefited from the bold actions of his predecessor when it came to confronting evil head on, while failing to learn from those hard-won lessons.
And, once again, the media shows its incredible bias by not excoriating a president who called the events on Flight 253 the work of an "isolated extremist," despite all the evidence to the contrary. The same media who emitted interminable howls of indignation when George W. Bush told FEMA chief Michael Brown that he did "a heck of a job" in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but virtually yawns when our Homeland Security chief proclaimed that "the system worked" after the Christmas Day bomb plot.
And so the new decade begins much like the last one: with the death of a dozen or so American servicemen -- this time on our own soil -- in the war between Islamic fundamentalism and Western civilization; a war that our current president doesn't seem to have the stomach even to acknowledge, much less fight. Welcome to 2010.
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