Sunday, June 01, 2008

Recount

I finally watched the HBO film, Recount this evening. It was painful to relive those days. As I watched, I kept wondering how those main characters feel now. Is James Baker proud that he engineered the election of W? Do the Florida officials feel that they were faithful to the law? Do the Supreme Court Justices still feel that they served the constitution? Does Al Gore still believe that he did the right thing by not continuing the fight? And I wonder how things would have been different? Would 9/11 still have happened? And if it had, how differently would Al Gore have reacted as president? Where would we be now?

Obviously, we cannot know how things would have been different. We do know how critical these kinds of decisions are not only for the United States but for the entire world. We do know that politics at the presidential level is not a game to be played and that ego, blind ambition, and partisanship are not worthy motivators when it comes to counting votes.

1 comment:

fernando said...

Revisiting the protagonists in an extended interview format would make a fascinating documentary.

As for what would have happened, it would be nice to think that 9/11 would not have happened and maybe Gore would have been more alert to the intelligence reports. But the odds are he would have continued as per Clinton in that area and so there's still a good chance the attacks would have still taken place.

What is almost certain, however, is that he would not have used 9/11 as a cover for invading Iraq. Assuming he would still have invaded Afghanistan, there would have been a much greater concetration of US forces on defeating AQ and rebuilding Central Asia. Add to that a multilateral approach on fighting terrorism, rewriting international policing arrangements (not ignoring calls for a post-interpol treaty) and better handling of prisoners.

Given all that, it's hard to come to any other conclusion than that the world would have been a better place...