Bush is not to be blamed, but the attitude that he has displayed since taking office is truly at the heart of what happened on Tuesday. The belief that America can and should act based solely on it's own interests, as if what takes place in other parts of the world cannot touch us, has earned us the sort of enmity that led to Tuesday's acts of terror.
We cannot afford to let this lesson slip away amid our horror, and sorrow, and awakened patriotism. We are - and always have been - just one more part of the world. When we refuse to even acknowledge the suffering in other parts of the world added to, if not caused, by our pursuit of "the good life", we should not expect empathy from those who face terrorism on some scale every day of their lives. When we let hubris (overweaning pride) become our nation's public face, we are daring the gods (and devils) to respond.
Blaming Bush (or Clinton, or Reagan, or whoever)achieves nothing. It simply gives us a convenient way to avoid facing the fact that our leaders reflect us. All we've wanted for decades was cheap oil and a booming economy - and not to be bothered by the taudry details of how what we consume effects the rest of the world. As great as this country is - and I still feel that there is none better - this cultural myopia is a serious flaw in our character. If any good comes out of this, let it be that we begin to work toward becoming the nation that we imagine ourselves to be.