Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Bush Farewell

Reports and opinions abound on the internet about President Bush's final farewell press conference. CNN reports that the President admitted mistakes but touted some accomplishments.
"Clearly, putting a 'Mission Accomplished' [banner] on an aircraft carrier was a mistake," Bush said about how his administration handled the fall of Baghdad to U.S. troops. "It sent the wrong message."

I thought that may have been the most embarrassing moment, but to mention it as a "mistake" seems to be an attempt to smokescreen the real mistakes. By contrast, more egregious things were called something else.
He termed other aspects of the U.S. invasion of Iraq "disappointments," including the failure to find weapons of mass destruction and the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

On the Newsweek.com site, Jacob Weisberg analyzed the outgoing president's term like this.
Bush's three most obvious legacies are his decision to invade Iraq, his framing of a global war on terror after September 11 and the massive financial crisis.

Probably the biggest question Bush leaves behind is about the most consequential choice of his presidency: his decision to invade Iraq. When did the president make up his mind to go to war against Saddam Hussein? What were his real reasons? What roles did various figures around him—Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice—play in the decision? Was the selling of the war on the basis of WMD evidence a matter of conscious deception—or of their own self-deception?

I feel these are good questions. To mention the silly incident on board the aircraft carrier as a "mistake" while describing these other troubling situations as "disappointments" is political spinning at its most transparent.

What's your opinion? Do you think Bush's selling of the Iraq war "on the basis of WMD evidence" is a punishable offence that should be investigated at the international level, as some have suggested? When do you think the President decided to invade Iraq? That seems to be an important question about which experts disagree. Do you think it was mainly his own idea or was there pressure from other sources to go to war?

Please feel free to comment.


  1. Thats one of the many reasons i cant stand Bush... after the mission accomplished incident, he originally said that he knew nothing about the banner, and some serviceman put it up there without his knowledge..

  2. I would hate to see him walk....
    Even if Obama doesn't want to go there, in the next few years, as more hard evidence comes out, there will be war crime prosecutions in other countries.
    A ineffective gesture, to be sure, but the coming years will hold no hope that his "legacy" will be avenged in any way.
    Look at Nixon, he was the evil brain that enabled Bush/Cheney...Cheney was a Nixon staffer who helped formulate the idea of the Unitary Executive.
    One of Cheney's raisons d'etre was to vindicate Nixon.

    Yes, after a few years in purgatory, Nixon was allowed to come in from the cold and enjoy a sort of aura of elder statesman, but he was never "vindicated" in the eyes of the American public.

    Bush on the other hand, has presided over a disaster in progress and short term realistic analysis will prove very easily that he was the catalyst for the disasters.
    In the long term, it would be very interesting to see how this will be written and spoke of 50 years from now.

  3. The World Court has his GPS location in Dallas and I wouldn't be surprised that some day, during an afternoon stroll, Mr. Bush may suddenly disappear and show up next morning at The Hague.

  4. I'm sure, Slyde, that a lot of things were done by Bush supporters/underlings/managers that backfired but were not of his firsthand doing or knowledge--did he know about the banner beforehand?

    Yes, Bush had more confidence in peace for the region than I do. Knowing the centuries of Islamic civil strife and the millennia of hatred for Jews by Middle-easterners, I was pretty sure the mission was not accomplished.

    However, when a nation tastes peace and prosperity, will it not give incentive for the majority to control their miscreants and volatile radicals? That's my hope anyway. But I'm not sure regions can have peace and prosperity without a history of Judeo-Christian values --of which Europe and US cultures are beneficiaries.

    Unfortunately, america's slide into a moral sewer lately--with our porn and family breakdown, new definitions of marriage, gives religious muslims reason to call us "the great Satan" and see western ways as bad temptations to their youth --justifying (in their minds) their negative attitudes toward the West.

    Our friend who served in Iraq as an AF officer, said Iraqis they knew laughed about the prisoners making a human pyramid and having cute women jailers lead them around with dog collars. They said themselves that it surely beat torture by Sadam. He said it was a case of jailers with too much time on their hands. I say it was also a result of uncouth youth raised on raunchy western TV --that they would think such antics were merely amusing and not inflammatory to Muslim sentiments.

    but again, that was a disappointment and not Bush's "mistake."

    I think everyone who voted to go into Iraq for WMD believed there were WMD --that's why it's a disappointment and not an error, per se. They thought the WMD were there by intelligence reports. Bush was not responsible for the intel he got. Iraq HAD had a nuclear program in the past --we DID give them plenty of time to get their stuff over a border into Syria or buried in the desert. The history channel once broadcast a program that showed WMD that WERE found in Iraq --evidences of chemical and other WMD.

    We did find how many dead victims of Sadam buried in mass graves? We DID know that Shia and other Sadam opponents hoped the elder Bush would have entered Iraq after Desert Storm --when they rose up against Sadam --and were crushed cruelly when we did not come to their aid as hoped. We did hear of Nazi-type atrocities committed by Sadam before and after we went there. We know he gassed the Kurds.

    Sadam did threaten to assassinate the elder Bush and did pose a continuing threat to his own people, to Israel, and to Middle east peace. His war with Iran killed at least a million. My neighbor who worked in Saudi Arabia said the Saudis also feared Sadam and his preying on neighbors. He was a WMD himself.

    I think we were also worried that we couldn't sustain our national defense if all middle eastern oil were cut off from us by Sadam. he went after Kuwait, after all --why not Saudi Arabia next? Because he was so secretive with the UN inspectors, so bold to attack Kuwait, the US feared the worst from Sadam and his lovely sons.

    Perhaps we DID realize there were no WMD --I was so frightened for the troops when they went in --would we have gone in if we suspected a big arsenal of WMD would be unleashed on us? Maybe that's why we announced early, "We're coming!!! to find your WMD's! Counting to Ten! Coming --ready or not!!! " So they would get rid of them before we found them. At the last minute, I believe they announced they were now ready for the inspections, didn't they? And we pounced.

    As well we should have. That guy and his sons were Hitlers.

    We are having the most beautiful snow storm today. "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

    What's interesting to me is what dems and liberals see as impeachable, criminal --compared to what conservatives decry.

    We don't like our leaders of our party to be found guilty of bribery, theft, adultery, soliciting for sex from minors and strangers in bathrooms and from employees and interns --and Barney Franks' boyfriend running a gay brothel out of their basement, accepting foreign money for campaigns against the law as obama and Clinton did, and other illegal doings.

    Democrats want to make big issues out of firing attorneys whom the pres. had a right to fire, out of an underling saying to a media person that someone was in the secret service, out of banners hung prematurely, out of a spy mission at democratic headquarters called Watergate, ( really John Dean looking for John Dean's wife's roommate's call girl black book) --and out of going into Iraq on a false pretense in order to attain some higher national security goal --whether it be oil for national security or the elimination of an evil threat in the middle east who wanted revenge against America for sure for thwarting his plans in Kuwait--who was sure to be a supporter of Osama, a harborer and funder of terrorists, in the long run, after Osama's "success" of 9/11 --which had Muslims dancing all over the middle east.

    If we stay in Iraq long enough to secure the peace there --and get them mildly westernized in the good sense of the word (with free elections, e.g.), so they taste peace and prosperity --I believe Bush will be vindicated in history.

    He is not an immoral man or a wicked, self-centered man --but earnest in his belief in democracy and liberty for the world.

    the bad press surrounding him is largely bad press surrounding him. Liberals wanted so badly to crush the conservatives so they could keep their abortion and gain their gay marriage. So Iraq and the missing WMD made a good issue to spin for their nefarious purposes.

  5. Some background on barb from someone who has suffered through most of her delusions. I have seen that same, long-winded comment by barb on my blog months ago. She voted for him twice and is one of those Bush-apologists who drank heavily from the Kool Aid served to her by the Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld junta. She commented on my blog that she would vote for him a 3rd time if she could because 'he saved babies.'

    She has no legitimate news/fact resources to give her the real truth about the lies that led to the preemptive Iraq War. Thus, she spins the same old, disproved tales that were in the original Kool Aid.

    Thus, she and Bush wander off believing that they did something wonderful for this nation and the world. Delusions are comforting.

  6. Barb, Do you think you could shorten up your comments a bit? You're cutting into the time I would normally spend reading the pro-gun blogs.

    One thing the president took issue with in his press conference was the low opinion the international community now has of America. He said it's not true. Well, I say it is and I think one of the reasons it is so low is because Europeans find it weird that Clinton was impeached for his silly shenanigans while Bush has gotten away with everything he's gotten away with: stole/cheated to win an election, invaded Iraq based on lies, condoned torture, mounted a totally ineffectual war on terror all while the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes was happening. I think people here are aghast.

  7. Mudrake, I think you do not need to explain or apologize for Barb. But, yes, perhaps a 2 or 3 thousand word editing job is in order.

  8. I do digress, Mike --like in a living room conversation--free-wheeling --association takes me around corners. I'll try to digress less....

    But remember, you don't have to read me at all --no one has to.

    Mudly should not --I'm bad for his blood pressure and contribute to his generally, naturally sour disposition. He hopes you will censor me off your blog as he does his blog. That's his sole purpose in slithering around behind me --wringing his flippers and trying to protect his "preshusssss" liberal views from contradiction.

    You, Mike, believe liberal press; European press is liberal, too, echoing american liberal press. There is plenty of evidence that Bush did NOT steal that election. If liberals had their way in Fla, they were going to discount all the military votes. The "hanging chads" on ballots were not Bush's doing but a system Fla. must've used for some time.

    right now, liberal Al Franken wins an election by counting more votes in districts than people who lived in the districts. Dems are known in the USA for stealing elections. They have absolutely no proof of Bush election being stolen --had they recounted the whole state, Bush was going to win.

  9. Clinton deserved impeachment --and if the dems had done the right thing and made him step down for his lies and promiscuous gropings and defiling of the Oval Office --for the allegation of rape by lip-biting of a fellow democrat in his ARkansas political days--for the indecent proposition to the state employee when he was governor, soliciting for oral sex from her and threatening her to keep quiet or else because he knew her boss--for the frontal groping in the White House of Dem campaigner Kathlyn Willys who wanted a job -- for all the suspiciously dead people around him who had knowledge that was unfavorable to him --ron Brown, Vince Foster, secret service guys --such a depressed suicidal and plane-crashed group.

    THIS GUy's mind was NOT on the national business --but on monkey business. He was vulnerable to blackmail and who knows if that might be the reason he allowed that sale by an American company of some secret super computer missile tech to China. Of course there was the illegal campaign scandal that got swept under the rug as far as media was concerned --the Indonesian/China connection --the Buddhist temple donations in CA. There were numerous real scandals of illegality and impropriety on Clinton-- whereas all the gripes about Bush have to do with rumors of conversations and emails--who said what to whom when --were attorneys unfairly fired --who knew what when --revolving around our national security. Torture? shouldn't maim --should scare --they say it worked to prevent more deaths. How long have they been doing water boarding? do you think Bush invented it? Do we really know that prisoners tell the truth about their treatment?

    Had the Dems taken Clinton out, Gore might have been president for 8 years instead of Bush. But no, Clinton's right prevailed --his right to be a philanderer, a liar, a cheat, with dead folks and sexual harrassment victims strewn in his path--and with evidence of illegal campaign funding from other nations. He's STILL getting money from other nations --who hope to buy influence.

    And BTW, the financial collapse was not Bush's doing at all --The sub-prime mortgage situation of Fannie and Freddie was predicted by Bush and supported by the congressional dems including Obama who benefitted from it.

    NAFTA was signed by Clinton and supported by the dems as well as GOP --and blamed for the over-seas business development -which has helped poor nations at our expense.

  10. ...and 'no' would be the answer to your request, Mike, that she shorten her comments.

    No doubt by now the readers of your blog have figured out that she is a compulsive person who cannot let go of a comment without having stated, re-stated, and re-re-stated her thoughts.

    I've come to not reading much of her comments, rather I skim for key words like 'gay' 'lesbian' homosexual' 'scripture' 'Bible.' and 'God Bless George W. Bush'

  11. And by now, the readers here know that the blogger Mudrake is obsessed with following me around. Get a life!

  12. Does anyone else think Clinton should have been found guilty because of this?

    "THIS GUy's mind was NOT on the national business --but on monkey business."

  13. He lied under oath, also. "I did not have sex with that woman."

    She was an INTERN -not sent there to seduce a promiscuous president but to learn--interns are STUDENTS --and the mentors have a teaching responsibility that he flagrantly violated.

    You don't think sexual sin is of any serious consequence --but he was guilty of sexual harrassment in the Paula Jones case --and feminism is a democratic party emphasis --so he was a huge hypocrite. He also got elected with illegal campaign funds

    and then his staff vandalized computers, etc. and he stole stuff as they left the white house.

    Sure, he should've been impeached and kicked out on any number of issues. A disgrace to the office.

  14. As for the mind on monkey business --it did make him a candidate for blackmail --for people to say they would tell about his midnight escapades if he didn't do such and so for them or their nation. We don't know how much of what he did was for blackmail --like the sale of certain computer technology to China which compromised our national security.

  15. Mudrake is obsessed with following me around. Get a life!

    The woman is so paranoid that a month or so ago she threatened to go to the police and charge me with stalking her.

    Funny, funny stuff- always!

  16. One more tidbit of information that I have learned while 'stalking' Ms Barb: the sum total of what she 'knows' about politics has been 'learned' from right-wing sites. Her dopey answers can be traced directly to those sites.

  17. Does anyone else agree with this about Clinton?

    "We don't know how much of what he did was for blackmail --like the sale of certain computer technology to China which compromised our national security."

  18. The only person in 'agreement' with this sentence is the woman who needs some lessons in reality as opposed to the propaganda of her right-wing 'sources.'