Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blame Clinton for the Mess in Iraq by Dennis Vanvick

Blame Clinton For The Mess In Iraq
by Dennis Vanvick

Sprinkled throughout history are a handful of seemingly insignificant events that have caused cataclysmic changes in world history. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, is an oft-used example. His murder in 1914 presaged the start of WWI.

So what, you may be saying, let’s have something more current, more relevant.

Okay, sorry, I am just trying to set the stage a bit. Let me get more topical. How about this...what if Monica’s blue dress incident never happened? That is to say, what if Bill Clinton never lied to the Independent Counsel, and the American people, about engaging in illicit sex in the Oval Office. Yes, I am proposing that the Monica’s blue dress incident is linked to the Iraq War as least as convincingly as the Archduke’s murder was to WWI.

I can hear your muttering clearly. You said, “What the hell does Clinton’s sordid mess have to do with the Iraq War?”

Okay, okay, perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.......suppose Clinton and Monica had never gotten involved or if their flagrante delicato had not been discovered, don’t you agree that George W. Bush would not have won the 2000 election? That the Vice President at that time - Gore - would have been the chief beneficiary of the Clinton legacy, encompassing eight years of economic growth and peace? And that the concept of hanging chads would be virtually unknown to the electorate?

You’re blanching. Feeling okay? Good, let me finish, it won’t be long.....

If Bush had lost, then you must agree that Gore, as president, would never have taken the country to war. Right?

You’re steaming again. Whoa, drop the letter opener and kick it over to me, slowly... slowly. That’s it, now just listen for a minute more.

You must admit that Al Gore was against the war from the very beginning of the administration’s drumbeat. He strongly criticized the buildup to the war and talked about “squandering” the international goodwill engendered by the tragedy of 9/11. Turns out he was right, by the way.

So what does this all prove? Nothing, much. That’s the trouble with these retrospective what if games - it’s too late to do anything. Yet maybe there is one lesson to be learned. Perhaps the electorate should be more concerned with a president’s ability to lead and less concerned about his or her libido. Interestingly, the Eisenhower and Kennedy peccadilloes were uncovered much too late to do anything about it, but history tells us that was probably a good thing...

Author bio:

Dennis Vanvick is a retired, self-employed techie. He winters among the 7 million inhabitants of Bogota, Colombia and summers amongst the flora and fauna of northwest Wisconsin. Dennis has been writing fiction since 1997, after taking a creative writing course at the University of Minnesota. Prior to 1997, he wrote some nonfiction, in the technical and managerial areas. Print publications include Computerworld and Information Week, which you probably haven't heard of. One online publication in College Journal (sister site of Wall Street Journal). He has been published in Pulp and Dagger, Muse Apprentice Guild, Boston Literary Magazine, The Humanist, Noo Journal, Neonbeam, and Flashquake.

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