The fundamental conflict played out in the 2008 Presidential campaign that brought Barack Obama into the White House revolved around a dramatic difference of opinion between George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. Is national security or personal comfort the most pressing problem facing the American people?
In June of 2008, President Bush signed the last funding bill of his 8 years in office to fund the wars in Iraq and the Afghanistan against worldwide terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and renegade regimes like that of Saddam Hussein. That bill brought the cost of fighting those two wars to $850 billion from 2001 to 2009.
And what was accomplished by that $850 billion appropriated over President Bush's eight years in office? Two terrorist regimes were ended that had caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and perpetrated horrors not only in their own nations but in other nations, including the USA . Also, freedom was brought to over 50 million Iraqis and Afghans.
In November 2008, Barack Obama was elected based on promises to withdraw our troops from Iraq , "cut investments in unproven missile defense systems," and improve the personal comfort of Americans. After only three weeks in the White House, President Obama was ready to sign a 1400 page, $787 billion bill that funds the largest pork barrel spending bill ever passed by Congress.
In March of 2008, while campaigning in West Virginia, Obama promised, if elected, he would make "universal health care a reality in this country" by using funds "we spend in several months in Iraq ," for "affordable health care that every American deserves."
He also promised in that speech that "Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting to give every American a quality education. We could be fighting for the young men and women all across this country that dream big dreams but aren't getting the kind of education they need to reach for those dreams. For a fraction of what we're spending each year in Iraq , we could be giving our teachers more pay and more support, rebuilding our crumbling schools, and offering a tax credit to put a college degree within reach for anyone who wants one."
"Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting to rebuild our roads and bridges. I've proposed a fund that would do just that and generate nearly two million new jobs - many in the construction industry that's been hard hit by our housing crisis. And it would cost just six percent of what we spend each year in Iraq .
"Instead of fighting this war, we could be freeing ourselves from the tyranny of oil, and saving this planet for our children. We could be investing in renewable sources of energy, and in clean coal technology, and creating up to 5 million new green jobs in the bargain, including new clean coal jobs. And we could be doing it all for the cost of less than a year and a half in Iraq ."
So, here we are, only three weeks into his administration and he has a bill on his desk that is about 1.7 times the size of the largest U.S. budget deficit in history -- $455 billion -- recorded in fiscal 2008. In effect, with the help of only three renegade Republicans, Senators Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Obama has been given a blank check to spend borrowed money that equals 5.5% of the $14.3 trillion U.S. economy.
George W. Bush, after 9-11, concentrated the majority of his efforts in making sure that there would be no more terrorist attacks that killed thousands of unsuspecting civilians. Since 2001, Bush managed through his Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to prevent another terrorist attack similar to those that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. American security, not entitlement programs, was the main thrust of George W. Bush during his eight years in office.
He also launched the most significant transformation of the Army in a generation, transitioning from a Division-based Army to more lethal, agile and capable Brigade Combat teams and provided battlefield commanders with an information infrastructure that enables rapid data processing and analysis.
He expanded the use of unmanned aerial vehicles that perform reconnaissance, strike and force protection activities, transforming the way U.S. forces fight while developing and procuring new technologies to detect, disarm, destroy and protect against improvised explosive devices.
While these accomplishments were either not reported or were ridiculed by the media, they actually transformed America 's global defense posture. Our armed forces are now able to deploy more quickly in times of crisis. President Bush also delivered aid to millions at home and around the world that were affected by natural disasters, i.e. the December 26, 2005 Asian tsunami that killed more than 160,000 people or the hurricane destruction of New Orleans. Â
However, in the 2008 election, the media ridiculed and American voters rejected that leadership to stop terrorist threats. Somehow, the success of a few Al Qaeda terrorists armed with box cutters who managed to destroy the World Trade Center, damage the Pentagon and attempted to destroy either the White House or the Capitol building seems to have been forgotten by most voters.
In 2008, the majority of America 's voters seemed to prefer a leader who promised government handouts rather than prevention of terrorist attacks and world leadership in helping fight AIDS in Africa and in helping people survive massive natural disasters. .
Since his election, Barack Obama has hardly mentioned threats from terrorists that were President Bush's primary concern. In fact, Obama has appeared so weak that two weeks into his administration, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded an apology from him for past "crimes the United States has committed against Iran ."
Yet, over the weekend on the other side of the world, we find that Pakistan , a nuclear nation, is now being threatened by a possible government take-over by Al Qaeda and the Taliban. If that occurs, Al Qaeda operatives, who somehow managed to destroy the World Trade Center and kill 3,000 people armed only with box cutters, would have Pakistan 's nuclear bombs and missiles to use against America .