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The anti-cowboy

President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

Twelve years ago, on this day, we were in shock. We wanted decisive action, we wanted it now, and we had a president who as clear was a president can be.

“We will act with the full power of the Untied States military,” said President George W. Bush. “And we will prevail.”

He didn’t wait for Saddam to use chemical weapons. Just believing that he had them was enough to send in the cruise missiles, the bombers, the tanks and the troops.
And we did prevail. We saw Saddam hang, and we planted seeds of democracy so Iraq would never pose a threat to anyone again.

Today, we have a president, who when he was faced not just with the potential use of chemical weapons, but the actual use of chemical weapons, took a very different approach.

“So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress,” said President Obama Tuesday night.

Twelve years ago we had the “decider.” Today we have the “thinker.”

And the Internet is pummeling him for it. People seem to miss the days of “Good versus Evil” and “You’re either with us or against us” – except – how well did that work? How are things in Iraq these days?

The U.S. media doesn’t even cover Iraq anymore, so we have to check in with the BBC: “In Sha’ab, a suicide car bomb targeted a military check point. In Mahmudiyah, a suicide vest bomber targeted a restaurant where a couple of police officers were there having their breakfast.”

It goes on and on. Just something to think about before we start longing for the good old days when everything was crystal clear.

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