Yesterday I stopped by the library to return some books that were getting close to the due date. While there, I picked up George Bush's Decision Points. I'm only 23 years old so the first presidency that I can say I actually had opinions and (somewhat) knowledge to make those decisions was the Bush-era. I was in 8th grade and 13 years old when during our "Career Block" class I first heard the news about the World Trade Centers. My entire teenage years were affected by that day, as I am sure it did for a lot of people. The aftermath also helped to shape a lot of my somewhat confusing political views.
At 13, I did not like the reactions that I saw. I have never been a person that my first reaction to any situation is violence. I have known a lot of people that their only reaction to a bad situation is to use violence. I sometimes think people make decisions to use violence as a answer to a problem because violence can happen now. Anger provides us with all the ammunition we need to rationalize a violent response. What I saw after 9/11 was that before mourning could take place and before we could see through the fog that anger produces we chose that more violence was the only possible solution to what happened to our country.
Now, I am not saying that I do not think that we should have went on the defense, but I am also saying that we could have used a cooling off period to make sure that we were going on the offensive as a way to defend our country instead of going on the offensive as a retaliatory measure. I remember being in a Wal-mart store with my grandfather when he saw a man that he knew that informed him that we "dropped our first bombs". My grandfather and this man cheered and somewhere inside of me I questioned how this was any different than the people that cheered in the Middle East during the attack on 9/11.
This all leads to the point that I did not like George Bush much at all during his administration. I did grassroots efforts for Howard Dean prior to the Democratic primary and then remember my heart breaking when George Bush was re-elected to a second term. I remember fearing for our country and after looking back all these years I cannot keep myself from thinking "What if?".
However, yesterday I picked up this book wanting to see him explain it all. Wondering if it could provide some insight that my teenage self didn't know or didn't want to know. I'm about 100 pages into the book and while I haven't changed my mind about the President George Bush - I do feel respect for the man George Bush that had to be the one to make these impossible decisions.