Monday, January 19, 2009

President Bush's Last Day

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

John Farmer wrote a piece
for the Star-Ledger Editorial page which I found both comprehensive and convincing. He pointed out, as have many others these days, that Bush is being blamed for a number of serious problems: the Katrina incompetence, reckless spending-and-borrowing, a politics-driven Justice Department, the Iraq war with its legacy of torture and global disapproval, the economic collapse. But according to Farmer, there is one issue which stands out above the others.

Bush's great event was the world-altering 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. But in the days and months that followed, Bush and his political consigliere, Karl Rove, employed it to divide the country along ideological and political lines rather than unify the nation as they might have done bringing Democrats into a war-time government of national unity.

It was the great missed opportunity of the Bush presidency.

My own opinion is a little stronger than that, not that I think I'm a political analyst or anything. I agree with those who have pointed out that after 9/11 there was a calculated and systematic program to raise the fears of Americans in order to elicit support for a war that we had no business engaging in. It worked extremely well, but turned into such an unwieldy debacle that public opinion gradually and consistently plummeted.

The outgoing president is extremely unpopular. Yet his supporters are not shy about commenting, just take a look at the remarks generated by John Farmer's article.

What's your opinion? Was Bush really that bad? Did he mean well at least? If suspicions about what his administration did after 9/11 are true, that they manipulated the American public in order to drum up support for the war, a natural question would be, "why?" Was it because they sincerely believed it was best for the country and the world, or was there a more sinister motive? Did they act to solidify personal power or to enrich themselves and their friends? Did they perhaps act out of some exaggerated American-centric ideology?

What do you think?


  1. I didn't go and see the comments you cited

    But I'll answer your question.

    Of course, GW Bush was well-meaning. I think he believed there were WMD as everyone else believed from the intel--and Sadam was one WMD himself --and a threat to the region with his crazy sons --though his sons may have self-destructed through their debauchery before being a threat to the region as their father was. But I understand they had already distinguished themselves in cruelty.

    Bush knew that Iraqis were suffering death and torture under Sadam and that they had wanted his father to help them in the wake of their uprising after our victory in Desert Storm.

    I think he BELIEVEd there were WMD there because Sadam didn't want UN inspectors to have free reign in his country --i also think we warned him sufficiently and gave him time so he would get rid of the WMD before we entered the country --I'm sure we all hoped that the WMD would not be there to kill our guys. "Coming...ready or not! did you hear us? we're coming, 10, 9, 8, 7....." Afterward, there were credible reports by Iraqis that caravans of trucks had left the country for Syria-possibly containing WMD's --as they hoped we'd inspect instead of invading. There were some remnants of WMD found in Iraq.

    but we went in --to at least depose Sadam. The Shia had tried and paid a terrible price in lives buried in mass graves --family members who had disappeared without their families knowing what had happened to them until we discovered the burial grounds.

    When the US entered Iraq, we went where angels fear to tread --it was a victory over a menace of potentially Hitlerian proportions.

    He had started the war with Iran that killed a million. He had gassed the Kurds. He was known for extremely cruel tortures and atrocities/murders--like killing babies in front of their parents.
    He was evil personified.

    And GWBush sent the troops on a mission of mercy to those under Sadam's boot.

    He was also a natural sympathizer with al qaeda and could be expected to do anything he could to support further terrorism in America. Was known to have Osama's right hand guy in an Iraqi Hospital at one point.

    Did citizens and troops die? Yes, but citizens of IRaq were dying before we got there --at Sadam's hand. He was sure to have dissenters and he annhihilated them as a matter of routine.

    Bush believes he directed our troops there to protect freedom for us by engaging a potential terrorist stronghold--and to achieve freedom for the Iraqis. Never forget that about 80 per cent of the citizenry voted in their first free elections and happily showed their inked finger (evidence that they had voted) to the media. Don't forget how they pounded their shoes on Sadam's toppled statue. don't forget the terrorists in their country who beheaded randomly selected people.

    Bush's war was a war against evil.

  2. PS--also, don't forget that we lose more young (and older) Americans to drunk driving and murder annually--than in all the years in Iraq. That doesn't make the war losses less tragic --but it does make me wonder why we don't do more about alcohol availability in our country --we need to oppose drinking the way we do smoking --they both contribute to high cost of healthcare--and drink is associated with all kinds of dysfunction, including family violence.

    As for murder rate --we need to really promote positive parenting --and abstinence until marriage to slow down the teen pregnancy rate in the group that sends the most people to prison and has the highest murder rate among their men--as victims and perpetrators.

    Fatherlessness (and irresponsible parenting) in our country is a blight more destructive than terrorism --just like Dan Quayle noted --and James Dobson --and many other honest social critics.

    and our sexual immorality (and porn) has a lot to do with family breakdown and the failure to marry faithfully and raise families well.