Dear President Bush,
You are in one tough position having to justify the loss of American soldiers and our huge expenditures in Iraq while trying to minimize future expectations. With high costs in both lives and dollars, people naturally question the value of the effort. Calling the progress incremental swings the pendulum to the "not worth it" side of the value equation, at least in my mind. No, it is not a glass half full, half empty thing nor is my position coming from a “Sad Sack” mentality. I just don’t think it is worth it, especially for incremental progress.
What does concern me is your language regarding Bolivia and Venezuela, acting as if they are not democracies due to “erosion”. Both leaders have been democratically elected. You don’t like their left of center policies and their blustery, defiant Presidents who relish thumbing their noses at the United States and its heavy handed international policies.
While I may have similar concerns about the United States inconsistent and selfish behavior relative to other countries, I believe one can govern their country well with having to make another group “the dastardly villain”, a strategy you have perfected with the Axis of Evil. President’s Morales and Chavez would benefit from toning down their inflammatory rhetoric.
My concern is they are playing into your game. Are the two South American leaders unaware of the CIA backed overthrow of an Iranian democracy in 1954 after their President nationalized part of the Iranian oil industry? Dwight Eisenhower ordered the CIA to engineer a coup on behalf of a British oil company. How far will you go for Exxon/Mobile and Chevron/Texaco?
"Let me just put it bluntly: I'm concerned about the erosion of democracy in" Venezuela and Bolivia, Bush said.
When Western companies can’t get their oil and gas, is it time to lock and load? We have a history of doing such a thing and you have a history as a corporate oil man. It sounds like a dangerous combination for the two caballeros….