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By George, He’s Back

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In his book, Decision Points, George W. Bush writes that, “History can debate the decisions I made, the policies I chose, and the tools I left behind. But there can be no debate about one fact: After the nightmare of September 11, America went seven and a half years without another successful terrorist attack on our soil. If I had to summarize my most meaningful accomplishment as president in one sentence, that would be it.”

If I were to choose one word to describe Bush, it would be “bravado.” I think it was brazen of him to release his book when the whole nation has not even recovered from the recession that half of America still blames on his presidency. Besides, to pat himself on the back does no good except to himself.

To bring home my point, I really believe that when he decided to go to war, Bush fell into a trap set up by the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks, the most horrific crime against Americans on US soil in history. His decision left behind a nation so divided that election results swing from one end to the other, not to mention an economy that has yet to see the light of day after two years.

If there were something worthwhile for him to write about for the American people right now, it would be a humble analysis of the wrong choices he made. Valuable lessons are welcome anytime.

On the other hand, it might just be the right timing for his book. After all, the pendulum has just swung to the right.

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About Cordi Villa

  • Cannonshop

    Will there be pictures? You know us right-wing-conspirators need pictures…and short words.

  • Baronius

    The most interesting thing I’ve heard so far is that Mitch McConnell wanted Bush to pull out troops before the 2006 election. I’m no fan of Harry Reid, but I don’t trust McConnell at all.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cordi –

    What’s really sad is that so few on the Right know how completely Bush unknowingly followed Osama bin Laden’s stated plan – that he would draw us into an unwinnable war and thus destroy our economy. From a purely historical viewpoint, bin Laden’s attack ranks with the great strategic masterstrokes of history…all thanks to the testosterone-fueled Right and the “I wanna be a war president and do what my daddy didn’t do” idiot who led our nation down this path.

    But don’t tell the Righties that any of this was their fault, oh no, ’cause no true patriot would ever accuse them of flushing thousands of servicemembers’ lives, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, and trillions of our taxpayer dollars right down the tube JUST AS OSAMA BIN LADEN PLANNED.

    And they really think they should be running the country?

  • Irene Athena

    Obama had more years than Bush to figure this all out, Glenn. So what’s HIS excuse for staying in Afhanistan?

    What’s REALLY sad is how few on the LEFT can answer that question for me.

  • Irene Athena

    …and that’s even when I DO spell Afghanistan correctly.

  • zingzing

    irene, bush put our collective boot on a land mine. we walk away now, it blows up. taliban takes over. the damage is already done. going in is the easy part. getting back out is far more complex. but you know that. makes one wonder why you needed to ask.

  • Irene Athena

    Afghanistan was a land mine long before we put our boot in it, zingzing. But then you were the one who had to ask Baronius what FSU meant.

  • Irene Athena

    Thank God I have clothes and hot water. Can’t keep feeding these quarters to this Procrast-o-meter. Take care zing.

  • Ruvy

    Boy, what a pack of losers! An incompetent thief for a president who writes two auto-biographies after having done nothing, and a monkey who pats himself on the back for spending the country into bankruptcy, bragging that there were no major terror attacks AFTER 9/11….

    I really feel sorry for you Americans! On the precipice of being flushed into irrelevance – and none of you can see that! Not even the idiot who USED to be president!

  • zingzing

    irene: “Afghanistan was a land mine long before we put our boot in it, zingzing.”

    but we’re the ones who stuck our boot on it, eh? like it or not, that’s the reality we have to deal with now. you asked why we’re still there, why we don’t just pull out all our troops, and that’s the answer. sorry if you don’t like it.

    “But then you were the one who had to ask Baronius what FSU meant.”

    so what? there’s tons of institutions named fsu. baronius gave no indication of which one he was talking about, so i asked. that’s fair, isn’t it?

  • zingzing

    ruvy–DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. you’re welcome.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Zing, confusing Florida State University with the Former Soviet Union is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Shame on me for being such an acronym Nazi. :P

    Well, the FSU (the one that’s closer to the North Pole) had a rag-tag band of enemies way back in 1970. That’s why China, and the CIA, and Saudi Arabia and others, if you can believe the reports, supplied training and other support to the Muslim mujahiddin who were rebelling against Soviet rule in Afghanistan in the 70’s. Back in the 70’s is where you want to look, Zing, for non-Afghanistan entities (not all of them American) putting their boots in Afghanistan, and leaving a stronger radical Islamic militant force behind them.

    Nothing the US has done in Afghanistan since then has made radical Islam any more powerful, and unfortunately, any less powerful either. And that isn’t likely to change. Brick wall. Bloody hand.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Ruvy’s been gone so long that I can’t remember what he…some tribe in Afghanistan…dang, what was their name…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Pash Toong? Well Ruvy, I hope this latest prophecy of yours is true. If being flushed into irrelevance means the U.S. starts minding its own store, then I’m all for it, even if our store had to get pretty well trashed to distract us from all the other stores we were minding.

  • zingzing

    “Zing, confusing Florida State University with the Former Soviet Union is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Shame on me for being such an acronym Nazi. :P”

    florida state will definitely pop up first in your search engine for that phrase, but i certainly didn’t think he was talking about it. still, there are shitloads of groups that use the acronym. political organizations, financial institutions, street gangs, other universities, etc, etc, etc. no reason to be a little poop. (and if that’s seriously the best you’ve got on me, do a little more searching. i’m sure you can find plenty of ammo. all it takes is a little work.)

    “Nothing the US has done in Afghanistan since then has made radical Islam any more powerful.”

    really? i don’t think that’s true. i know full well of soviet attempts quash the rebellion in afghanistan of the late 70s. i know that it set the stage for the taliban and radical islam in that country. but to suggest that those actions left behind a stronger militancy in afghanistan (and the larger middle east), while our current actions won’t… well, that’s the kind of thinking that told us we could succeed where the soviets failed.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    I wasn’t talking about the impact the Soviets had on Afghanistan. I was talking about the impact the CIA, China and Saudi Arabia had on Afghanistan in the 70’s, when they were helping to build up the mujahideen.

    People who thought, or think, that the US can succeed in defeating, militarily, radical Islam in Afghanistan, where the Soviets failed, were wrong when Bush was president, and they’re still wrong now that Obama is president.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Also, I’m not sure I’d that Soviets set the stage for radical Islam in Afghanistan. Radical Islam isn’t a reaction AGAINST anything (although it recruits from oppressed populations.) Radical Islam is one of the myriad movements for world-domination, rolling over anything that gets in its way. In Afghanistan, the Soviet push for world domination ran afoul of the radical Islam push for world domination–it didn’t give birth to it.

  • zingzing

    and i wasn’t not talking about the impact of the cia, china and saudi arabia, but i suppose i could have been more clear on that. i was talking about the entire thing… it’s all related. the soviets created the power vacuum that their enemies were more than prepared to fill.

    but i most certainly was talking about what you say in the second paragraph. unfortunately, we’re kinda stuck, aren’t we? the political quagmire that was prophesied. we can’t stay without only making things worse, and we can’t leave without only making things worse. if i were in charge, i’d slowly back off, hoping nobody noticed.

  • zingzing

    “In Afghanistan, the Soviet push for world domination ran afoul of the radical Islam push for world domination–it didn’t give birth to it.”

    well, it allowed them to gain more power. and the tentative, the enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of recognition in the west. we were more than happy to help them out when they were fighting the russians.

    “Radical Islam isn’t a reaction AGAINST anything”

    well, that’s how it likes to present itself, especially to its recruits.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    *shrugs* But you aren’t arguing with me anymore.
    That must mean I won.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Obama had more years than Bush to figure this all out, Glenn.”

    Really? They let junior Senators from Illinois know as much as the Commander-in-Chief. Seems hard to believe.

    What’s even sadder is that it took a quick Google search to find out why we are still there so I am not sure why you expect the LEFT to do it for you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Except for the part about making things worse if we leave. That depends on how long after the departure you’re measuring negative impact. Things got worse in Vietnam after the U.S. left….but it would have taken longer for things to get better again, for them and us, if we hadn’t.

  • zingzing

    “But you aren’t arguing with me anymore. That must mean I won.”

    nah, it means we weren’t as much at odds as you thought we were.

    “Things got worse in Vietnam after the U.S. left….”

    one example does not a trend make. and it’s mere speculation to say that things wouldn’t have gotten better quicker if we hadn’t have left. although i’m not saying it wouldn’t have.

    if we were to leave afghanistan in its current state, with the taliban virtually running certain sections, it could easily descend into civil war, or the taliban could completely take over. of course, that would have us back to where we were before, but that didn’t end up too nice for us back then either. the taliban are evil, but we should have picked our targets with a lot more precision. hunting down terrorists with an army is difficult, and it causes more destruction and ill-will than it’s worth. (if our real goal is to hunt down terrorists, which is a bit doubtful.) but that’s the mess we’ve made, and we need to figure a way out. unfortunately, just leaving isn’t an option that people are willing to consider at this moment. even if it’s possible that that just might be the best possible thing we could do, political realities make that impossible. mostly because politics and reality aren’t often on speaking terms.

  • zingzing

    “one example does not a trend make. and it’s mere speculation to say that things wouldn’t have gotten better quicker if we hadn’t have left. although i’m not saying it wouldn’t have.”

    hrm. i wonder if that’s comprehensible. i think you can figure it out.

  • Irene Athena

    Whadja come up with El Bicho? This?

  • Ruvy

    Irena, the puzzle for me is what happens once the US fades into irrelevance. You’ll either pull your troops out of your myriad bases – or abandon them and the soldiers in them to their fates on the ground. It doesn’t matter all that much to me.

    But we who live here have to deal with these things nevertheless. It’ll be nice to see all that American influence disappear from here, because most of it is deleterious and harmful to Israel – and everybody else, for that matter. Your GOVERNMENT consists of a bunch of evil bastards who should be shot straight to hell for eternity. But once your influence DOES disappear, then what? It ain’t your problem – but it IS ours.

    That is one of a number of reasons I bother with reaching out to the Pashtun in Afghanistan and Pakistan – but certainly not the primary one.

    Guys like zing just do not have the imagination to realize that his country isn’t so damn necessary to anybody anymore. He can’t get over the fact that the US economy is merely an overinflated balloon kept that way for the convenience of the exporters to its shrinking market. One day, he’ll wake up. See ya later!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    True, Zing. “Politics and reality aren’t often on speaking terms.”

    I don’t want to be on the Left, and I don’t want to be on the Right. That boundary is the “political reality” that stands in the way of perfectly reasonable things getting done.

    But, “stands in the way” doesn’t mean “makes it impossible.” Tearing down the wall is the first step.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    I hate it when the results of quick Google searches I’ve done for El Bicho roll into obscurity mere minutes after they’re posted. See? What? Is Obama on “the Right” or is he on “the Left?”

    Pashtun, that’s it. Thank you Ruvy. Que sera sera, I suppose.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Do you know why Bush Sr. didn’t order the troops on to Baghdad in the first Gulf War? He said it was because there was no viable exit strategy. In other words, he KNEW that you can’t just “pull the troops out” like you’re assuming Obama should be able to do.

    But his son didn’t listen to him. His son didn’t listen when the CIA told him that it was highly doubtful that Iraq had any WMD’s either. That was a couple trillion taxpayer dollars and several Hague-worthy war crimes ago…but does the Right want to hold him accountable? Heck, no! Because “that’s in the past!”

    Of course, if crimes that occur in the past are not prosecuted, then NO crimes would ever be prosecuted….

    But I digress. Irene, you cannot just suddenly pull out troops out of a war. If you knew aught of military history or of military logistics, you’d know that even to attempt such is to invite disaster for the land being deserted…and a near-certainty of a service-wide malaise for the armed forces of the retreating country just as we suffered from the time we fled Vietnam (where we shouldn’t have been in the first place) till Reagan was able to build up the morale of the troops once more.

    I wasn’t there for Vietnam…but I sure as heck was there to see what condition the Navy was in when I joined in 1981. I’m a proud liberal, but I’m deeply grateful to Reagan for how the military changed under his watch from having all the morale of a beaten dog to what it was the day I retired…which was the day before 9/11.

    If we pack up and suddenly flee Afghanistan like we did Vietnam, our military will face what it did after the Vietnam war – a service-case case of “I don’t give a f***!”…and that’s not a good thing.

  • Ruvy

    You WILL pack up and flee Central Asia, Glenn. You will run out of money, clips, food, etc, and either you will flee or your soldiers will be at the mercy of the Pashtun. American soldiers aren’t bad sorts – they’re like Americans – good people, for the most part. But your GUVMINT has made them stink like manure in the world’s nose.

  • zingzing

    ruvy: “Guys like zing just do not have the imagination to realize that his country isn’t so damn necessary to anybody anymore.”

    i never really thought it was necessary to begin with. but in our global economy, you can obviously see that what happens here affects many economies around the world, can’t you? when things go bad for us, things go bad for a lot of countries, and vice versa.

    “He can’t get over the fact that the US economy is merely an overinflated balloon kept that way for the convenience of the exporters to its shrinking market.”

    well, i think that economic balloon you see here is for our own benefit as well. we make a lot of money off of other people making money.

    you vastly oversimplify the economic connections in the world. what happens in american markets affects what happens in asian markets affects what happens in european markets affects what happens in middle eastern markets affects what happens in african markets affects what happens in american markets and around and around. you seem to have no clue that economies are connected whatsoever. as if an economic demise anywhere in the world, much less one of the global economic epicenters will do you any good whatsoever. the us is one of the largest nations in the world and also THE GREATEST CONSUMER on the planet.

    do the fucking math, ruvy. you’ve gotten so overzealous that you are thinking stupid.

  • zingzing

    and, for your benefit, DOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. i’ve been on this site for a while now ruvy, must be approaching 4 years, and in that time, you’ve been calling for the imminent death of america from avian flue, swine flu, giant methane bubbles and economic collapse (and i’m sure i’m forgetting a few,) with absolute certainty. yet these things have not come to pass. why do you think that is? are you just really bad at prophecy?

  • Ruvy

    4½ years ago, when I started making comments on the American economy, I told you it would collapse. And I’ve been right. It has. While a tsunami has not destroyed your country – yet – your land and water are so polluted, you do not know what pure is anymore.

    Americans get e. coli from vegetables – because your agricultural processes have degenerated so, you are watering your veggies with manure – that carries e. coli. You buy water in plastic bottles – and the petroleum leaches from the bottles into the water you drink.

    You are killing yourselves slowly – deluded by a false prosperity created on slave labor in China and East Asia. You are not consumers. You are dumb cattle being fattened for the slaughter! And like most dumb cattle, you are too stupid to realize that that shiny thing in the sun is the slaughterers knife.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/joseph-cotto/ Joseph Cotto

    Yet another round of bashing for the man who vigorously and unapologetically pursued one of the most comprehensive and successful national security agendas in United States history, all the while keeping taxes at reasonable levels and fostering stellar relations with Israel.

    Par the course for those on the Left these days, I suppose. How pathetically unsurprising.

  • zingzing

    “4½ years ago, when I started making comments on the American economy, I told you it would collapse.”

    4 1/2 years ago, i was saying that the housing bubble was going to burst. so you wouldn’t have been telling me anything. everyone with a brain saw that as unsustainable. don’t pat yourself on the back too hard for that one. but no, it has not created a complete economic and social collapse in america. for that, you add tsunamis, pollution, e. coli and leaching petroleum. covering your bases there, ruvy? why kind of flu will it be this year? or is this an off-year for flus? come on give us a communicable disease or two to die from this year. and how about a mass bear attack or something? something animal related.

    and yes… the chinese are simply fattening us for the slaughter with their slave labor and all our false consumption we carry out by buying their shit. there will be a sudden revolution and the chinese slaves will be given their freedom and will be lifted up into a new middle class of superproducer-consumer in the communist dream-vision! and then they shall slaughter us! and then who shall wave their american flags? the chinese! the ones who made them!!

  • zingzing

    “Yet another round of bashing for the man who vigorously and unapologetically pursued one of the most comprehensive and successful national security agendas in United States history, all the while keeping taxes at reasonable levels and fostering stellar relations with Israel.”

    oh, joesph… his national security agenda gave us 9/11 and started two overseas wars and the patriot act. his tax policy took a surplus and turned it into a record deficit, he wrecked the economy and israel was already good with us, so it’s no surprise they stuck around when bush told the rest of the world to go fuck itself.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Glenn and Ruvy, maybe after the U.S. pulls out of Afghanistan, JUST FOR EXAMPLE, the Army corps of engineers could be set to work figuring out how to turn the Great Plains (HUGE RESOURCE) into the breadbasket for a starving world. The centuries-long trend toward the elimination of indigenous grains and top-soil is not irreversible.

    I’m sure the Navy could be involved in a morale-building seafood related exercise, Glenn.

    Use your DANG imaginations, people.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    The withdrawal from Afghanistan is inevitable, even if it will happen YEARS later than it should have. The U.S.’ involvement will be, a few months later, painted as a HUGE success, just as the U.S.’ involvement in Iraq was painted as a “mission accomplished” not only by Bush, BUT ALSO BY OBAMA. (Missed his recent speech? Read the link.)

    We are so busy defending this stupid war, “the Right” and “the Left” (Cockbourne et al. notably excepted), taking turns in sequence, depending on “whose man” is in office.

    There are alternatives. You might laugh at mine, but aren’t some of you smart enough to come up with your own?

  • Ruvy

    Irene, I hope for your sakes, the military can be involved in rebuilding a wrecked country. First you will have to rid yourselves of monsters like Monsanto, and a whole raft of elitist bastards sucking you dry like leeches. I don’t wish you ill will. I’m just glad not to be involved anymore.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    It’ll for sure be a lot of work, Ruvy. I didn’t mean it wouldn’t when I said, que sera sera. I happen to think that with the Prince of Peace, nothing is possible. And I DON’T think that’s just me. See YOU around, ol’ friend. I gotta get MY sabbath underway now. :)

  • Ruvy

    I like your attitude, Irene. A peaceful Sunday to you.

  • zingzing

    “with the Prince of Peace, nothing is possible.”

    ah, little typos. or was it…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/joseph-cotto/ Joseph Cotto

    zingzing,

    Virtually all analyses of the events which precluded 9/11 have come to the finding that it was Bill Clinton’s incompetence with regards to several key national security issues that played the largest role in opening the door for such an event to occur. As for the wars and the Patriot Act, all three were inevitable, in my opinion, and the latter is one of the finest pieces of anti-crime legislation which I have ever seen. Bush’s tax policies were not the defining factor in the deficit’s skyrocketing, as many would like to believe. No, that can be almost solely attributed to his fiscally liberal schemes towards the middle and end of his second term. Despite these shortcomings, Bush was, indeed, a far better president than the vast majority of his contemporaries would care to admit. History will almost certainly judge him in a manner consistent with that fact.

  • zingzing

    9/11 happened on bush’s watch, and he was warned about the plot and bin laden when he took office, but he chose to ignore their warnings. you can place some of the blame on clinton if you want, but if you hold bush blameless, you’re just lying to yourself.

    and what about those wars was inevitable? and why does the patriot act not steal your freedoms, as obama does?

    his fiscally liberal schemes wouldn’t have been necessary (or at least inevitable) if his administration hadn’t deregulated the industry and encouraged the bubble.

    bush was a royal fuckup and one of the worst mistakes america has ever made. and history will judge him, that’s for sure. but i don’t think you can really know how that’ll go down.

  • http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/a-nasty-mathematical-myth/#comments Irene Athena

    …just one little typo, since it was two missing letters right next to one another? Good catch zing. I stand theologically corrected.

  • http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/a-nasty-mathematical-myth/#comments Irene Athena

    Joseph Cotto, the song you’re singing sounds *so* familiar. Out of one side of your mouth, you’re singing Bush’s praises. Out of the other side of your mouth, you’re gleefully sounding death knells for the Religious Right.

    Don’t you think documents like this, which the Religious Right, and your IRRELIGIOUS Right signed together, in 1997, four frickin’ YEARS before 911, played a significant role in enraging the Middle East?

  • http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/a-nasty-mathematical-myth/#comments Irene Athena

    Project for a New American Century, Joseph Cotto….
    …and its signatories.
    friends of yours? Look at the bottom of the page. Gary Bauer, William Bennet. Mmm mmm!

  • Cordi Villa

    Your comments make an interesting read. From someone on the outside looking in, I believe that you all can come together to find a middle ground. Afghanistan is already a given. It will create more problems if we (allied forces) pull out prematurely. I love America for all the good things you have done for the world. Please make it work.

  • Cannonshop

    #44 A fuckup on the scale of either LBJ, or Jimmy Carter, Zing?

  • zingzing

    your question is intriguing. my answer is thoughtful.