Vail Daily column: Preordained? |

Vail Daily column: Preordained?

Butch Mazzuca
Butch Mazzuca |

I am not a conspiracy theorist; but I don’t believe in political coincidences either.

Short memories

“Bush lied, people died” was the cry from the anti-war crowd after the Iraq War began. But in a moment of sober reflection let’s not forget that in 2003, 72 percent of American voters favored removing Saddam Hussein by force. At the same time, 69 percent of the House of Representatives and 77 percent of the Senate voted to give then President Bush the authority to use that force.

The “Bush lied” mantra was a far-left straw man kept alive by the media, because if Bush lied, then so did 70 percent of Congress since both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had the same information on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program as did the Bush administration.

This isn’t a retroactive justification for the war, but does anyone really believe that had the U.S. not invaded Iraq the current unrest throughout the Middle East wouldn’t exist? Similar to the movement of earth’s tectonic plates, the Sunni and Shia ideologies have been moving ineluctably toward a cataclysmic collision for decades; and with the advice and consent of a willing Congress, the Bush administration simply accelerated the process.

Bush, Obama, Trump

President Barack Obama rode to power on a media-fueled wave of anti-Bush mania. In essence, Bush gave us Obama and now Obama has given us Trump who’s riding the wave of anti-establishment sentiment, as trust in our government continues to erode. Both Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders have tapped into this milieu of skepticism that permeates today’s realpolitik.

Obama’s biggest fear

If we examine President Obama’s actions, it’s not difficult to ascertain his motivation. He doesn’t want to be Jimmy Carter or Bush III. The Iran hostage crisis brought down the Carter administration — the nightly drip, drip, drip (for 444 days) of media newscasters telling us how long Americans had been held hostage took its toll on the Carter administration, and eventually put Ronald Reagan in the White House. Similarly, Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath and the gross mishandling of post-war Iraq, dutifully illustrated by the media, took its toll on the Bush administration.

Obama knows instinctively that Americans won’t tolerate that type of torment, which is one reason he allowed Syrian dictator Assad to cross the red line he drew regarding chemical weapons. And nothing creates a more damaging torrent of bad news than does a war perceived as going bad or a hostage situation.

When Capt. Richard Phillips of the U.S.-flagged M.V. Maersk Alabama was being held hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, people were unaware that the White House gave explicit orders to the Navy that the lifeboat carrying Capt. Phillips and three Somali pirates was not to reach shore “under any circumstances.”

Fast-forward to January, when the Iranians captured 10 U.S. sailors and put them on their knees and held them at gunpoint. Why would the Iranians do such a thing, especially after the administration gave them everything they wanted in the nuclear deal? Were the Iranians fearful of an attack by two lightly armed patrol boats?

Hardly — and while I’m sure the mullahs were more than happy to humiliate Obama on the world stage, the real reason for the episode was to send a message they knew the president would listen to, i.e., “Hey, Mr. President, don’t screw with us or even think about reneging on our deal because we can take American hostages anytime we want and destroy your presidential legacy in the process.” Obama heard the message.

Email Scandal

To paraphrase a recent piece in the American Thinker magazine — to understand the genesis of Clinton’s legal issues — one needs to understand that the former first lady clearly mishandled highly classified information during her tenure as secretary of state. Some would go further and call it intentional exposure of state secrets, but absent further revelations from the FBI investigation, that remains speculative, however likely it may appear.

So what’s the Democratic Plan B should the FBI advocate indictment and the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges? While this is speculation, should that occur, look for Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren to come to the rescue.

The Democrats know Trump is loaded for bear and waiting for Hillary. And with a scandal-ridden legacy and two-thirds of the American public feeling she is untrustworthy, Trump will excoriate her in ways that will make the media’s attacks on Richard Nixon appear tame.

But Joe Biden is Mr. Nice Guy — and while not the sharpest tool in the box, people like him. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren is the female reincarnation of Bernie Sanders, and other than the little white lie she told about her Native American ancestry, she’s not in the same league with Mrs. Clinton regarding scandals, cheating and deception.

So here’s the hypothetical situation: The FBI recommends indictment, and Hillary drops out of the race citing medical reasons. The avuncular and scandal-free Biden along with socialist Elizabeth Warren come to the rescue, leaving Trump and the Republicans with little or no time to dig up dirt on their “new” opponents.” Then, in exchange for bowing out of the race, Obama pardons Hillary for any real or perceived crimes.

Quote of the day: “You do the math.” — Dennis Miller

Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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