I was not going to comment on the debate. I'm not sure why... I just thought I'd let it stand on its own. After reading Greg's post today, I decided what the hell.
What most struck me about the President in the debate Thursday night was the arrogance of his posturing when John Kerry responded to the moderator. In more instances than not, Bush's look (rolled eyes and all) was as if the say, Well here we go again...
Body language was what spoke strongest about him. It overshadowed everything. Including his nakedness.
Some will say Bush kept it simple and stayed on cue. That this was a good thing. I don't believe he had a choice. What really struck me during the debate was not a totally new revolution, but it was finally one that I believe was confirmed beyond the realm of theory. Bush may not be "stupid" but he lacks the complexity to deal with broader issues that are often not as simple as black and white.
When Kerry discussed the idea that a preemptive military strike was something so serious that there was a global test or standard that had to be meet, Bush simply did not get it. This is something I have felt strongly about from the beginning. Yet here is the Commander-In-Chief, the man who prides himself in telling us he has what it takes to do this job ( inferring that Kerry lacks it) and he simply was dumbfounded by Kerry's remark.
Many people argue that it is pointless to argue this issue after the barn door was left open and the cow escaped. However, such decisions impact the way the rest of the world views us. In spite of what some people feel, this can become critical. Bush's own simple view is, We'll go to war when we want to and not when someone says it is ok. That is well and good, but the world opinion on this war and the way we prosecute any future wars, may well impact the support we get at some important juncture when there really are WMDs or justification. Will other nations look back and take a pass on supporting us because we cried wolf and there was no wolf? The misrepresentations that occurred and the President's arrogant posturing to any who disagreed with him is of real concern.
There is something we can learn from the mistakes in Iraq. We need to grasp that.
There was something to learn from Vietnam and many still are in denial about that lesson. These are costly mistakes to repeat.