Four More Years Part Three
He walked over and sat down at the Resolute desk. He glanced at the pile of papers and noticed the security briefing that had been placed there hours ago. He didn’t bother to look, he knew what was in it. Israel was gone. All but the city of Jerusalem anyway. It was leveled six months ago by Iranian nukes that he had believed in spite of credible intelligence reports, were sill years away from development. It served BiBi right he had said to himself, the Prime Minister insisted on striking Iran’s main nuclear facility. Unfortunately Iran had more secret sites than they knew of. Within three months of the Israeli action, Iran was pounding them with fully functional bombs leaving the entire country a smoldering, desolate, uninhabitable landscape. Its people scattered once again over Europe and the United States. At the insistence of the Ayatollah Khamenei, the new Iranian President, Saeed Jalili, left the Dome of the Rock and surrounding Jerusalem intact as a slap in the fact to the West. He shook his head as he remember the day, Netanyahu desperately pleading for military help from the US. Help that he was unable to give. Unbeknownst to its citizens he had ordered the American nuclear arsenal destroyed as a good faith gesture to encourage Russia and China to do the same. It was the keeping of a promise that he had made to Vladimir Putin though Dmitry Medvedev in the spring of 2012. Then in a cost cutting measure necessary to keep his programs afloat a few more months, he pared down the Navel fleet to handful of warships, four nuclear submarines and two aircraft carriers. Aging fighters and bombers were not replaced, affectively grounding the Air Force, and the manpower of the Army and Marines were cut in half. Now, thanks to Netanyahu’s impatience (the sanctions would have worked, eventually) the whole world knew that the United States is militarily weak and vulnerable. Putin, that double-crossing bastard didn’t live up to his side of the bargain. Russia retained its nukes and now was aiding Iran. India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the other smaller Middle Eastern nations were marshalling their forces, ready to join a coalition against the West, or to dig in a defend their own borders, whichever would suit them best when the time came. Al Qaeda, made quick work of the power vacuum and over ran Afghanistan, almost overnight. Then it set its sights on Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal. He knew the report would tell him that any day now missiles would be headed toward the United States, as the Russian Army and Al Qaeda terrorists, strange bedfellows indeed, had joined forces and built up arms across the Bering Strait.
Alaska, well at least that will get rid of Sarah Palin and her inbred, white-trash, red neck family. He half smirked to himself. The thought amused him for only a second. Alaska was vital. Two years ago he reluctantly caved on his own policies and opened up ANWR to drilling. He then agreed to finishing the Keystone Pipeline. He had hoped that these moves would provide much need jobs. But as the oil flowed South into Texas, the hope that flowed along with it waned. The refineries that were to turn the thick smelly crude into much needed gasoline, were crumbling and inadequate for the task. Long standing environmental regulations, ones that he in all good conscience would not overturn, made the building of new refineries impossible. The oil that was supposed to bring relief from eight dollar a gallon gas, was instead stockpiled in huge, hard to secure tank yards. Unsaleable to other countries because of an OPEC strangle hold on the petroleum market. A terrorist’s dream or an environmental disaster just waiting to happen.
He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He thought back to four years ago. Then he was unstoppable. If Congress wouldn’t act on his agenda, he could enact it by executive order. He was a rock star and everywhere he went he was surrounded by awestruck, adoring crowds. He was a media darling, the toast of Hollywood. Letterman, Oprah, The View they just couldn’t get enough of him. But those days were gone. Now whenever he made a rare appearance outside the gates, he could feel the loathing of a disperate people. His once cheerful and stalwart wife, his outspoken defender, was now sullen and bitter and rarely spoke in public anymore. His daughters could no longer romp through the grounds with their dog, or spend afternoons with their mother, tending their vegtable garden. Now they spent their days shut up inside for their own safety. No more sleepovers with friends or attending school. The prestige he so craved as a young Senator, the power of the Presidency that stirred the passionate fire within, now wore him down like a cumbersome weight around his neck. The toll it took on him, on his family, on the nation, was just too much to bear. He stood and again walked over to the window. He watched as the sun sat behind the Washington Monument and longed for November.