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Author: Subject: History will show that George W Bush was right

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:25 PM
I know this will get the typical responses from the Bush haters, but so what? The Liberals don't own this thread , and we Conservatives don't need permission to post a minority point of view!
quote:
History will show that George W Bush was right

By Andrew Roberts
Last Updated: 4:51PM GMT 15 Jan 2009

The American lady who called to see if I would appear on her radio programme was specific. "We're setting up a debate," she said sweetly, "and we want to know from your perspective as a historian whether George W Bush was the worst president of the 20th century, or might he be the worst president in American history?"

"I think he's a good president," I told her, which seemed to dumbfound her, and wreck my chances of appearing on her show.

In the avalanche of abuse and ridicule that we are witnessing in the media assessments of President Bush's legacy, there are factors that need to be borne in mind if we are to come to a judgment that is not warped by the kind of partisan hysteria that has characterised this issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

The first is that history, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the 24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Mr Bush's presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites.

At the time of 9/11, which will forever rightly be regarded as the defining moment of the presidency, history will look in vain for anyone predicting that the Americans murdered that day would be the very last ones to die at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in the US from that day to this.

The decisions taken by Mr Bush in the immediate aftermath of that ghastly moment will be pored over by historians for the rest of our lifetimes. One thing they will doubtless conclude is that the measures he took to lock down America's borders, scrutinise travellers to and from the United States, eavesdrop upon terrorist suspects, work closely with international intelligence agencies and take the war to the enemy has foiled dozens, perhaps scores of would-be murderous attacks on America. There are Americans alive today who would not be if it had not been for the passing of the Patriot Act. There are 3,000 people who would have died in the August 2005 airline conspiracy if it had not been for the superb inter-agency co-operation demanded by Bush after 9/11.

The next factor that will be seen in its proper historical context in years to come will be the true reasons for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in April 2003. The conspiracy theories believed by many (generally, but not always) stupid people – that it was "all about oil", or the securing of contracts for the US-based Halliburton corporation, etc – will slip into the obscurity from which they should never have emerged had it not been for comedian-filmmakers such as Michael Moore.

Instead, the obvious fact that there was a good case for invading Iraq based on 14 spurned UN resolutions, massive human rights abuses and unfinished business following the interrupted invasion of 1991 will be recalled.

Similarly, the cold light of history will absolve Bush of the worst conspiracy-theory accusation: that he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq. History will show that, in common with the rest of his administration, the British Government, Saddam's own generals, the French, Chinese, Israeli and Russian intelligence agencies, and of course SIS and the CIA, everyone assumed that a murderous dictator does not voluntarily destroy the WMD arsenal he has used against his own people. And if he does, he does not then expel the UN weapons inspectorate looking for proof of it, as he did in 1998 and again in 2001.

Mr Bush assumed that the Coalition forces would find mass graves, torture chambers, evidence for the gross abuse of the UN's food-for-oil programme, but also WMDs. He was right about each but the last, and history will place him in the mainstream of Western, Eastern and Arab thinking on the matter.

History will probably, assuming it is researched and written objectively, congratulate Mr Bush on the fact that whereas in 2000 Libya was an active and vicious member of what he was accurately to describe as an "axis of evil" of rogue states willing to employ terrorism to gain its ends, four years later Colonel Gaddafi's WMD programme was sitting behind glass in a museum in Oakridge, Tennessee.

With his characteristic openness and at times almost self-defeating honesty, Mr Bush has been the first to acknowledge his mistakes – for example, tardiness over Hurricane Katrina – but there are some he made not because he was a ranting Right-winger, but because he was too keen to win bipartisan support. The invasion of Iraq should probably have taken place months earlier, but was held up by the attempt to find support from UN security council members, such as Jacques Chirac's France, that had ties to Iraq and hostility towards the Anglo-Americans.

History will also take Mr Bush's verbal fumbling into account, reminding us that Ronald Reagan also mis-spoke regularly, but was still a fine president. The first MBA president, who had a higher grade-point average at Yale than John Kerry, Mr Bush's supposed lack of intellect will be seen to be a myth once the papers in his Presidential Library in the Southern Methodist University in Dallas are available.

Films such as Oliver Stone's W, which portray him as a spitting, oafish frat boy who eats with his mouth open and is rude to servants, will be revealed by the diaries and correspondence of those around him to be absurd travesties, of this charming, interesting, beautifully mannered history buff who, were he not the most powerful man in the world, would be a fine person to have as a pal.

Instead of Al Franken, history will listen to Bob Geldof praising Mr Bush's efforts over Aids and malaria in Africa; or to Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, who told him last week: "The people of India deeply love you." And certainly to the women of Afghanistan thanking him for saving them from Taliban abuse, degradation and tyranny.

When Abu Ghraib is mentioned, history will remind us that it was the Bush Administration that imprisoned those responsible for the horrors. When water-boarding is brought up, we will see that it was only used on three suspects, one of whom was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda's chief of operational planning, who divulged vast amounts of information that saved hundreds of innocent lives. When extraordinary renditions are queried, historians will ask how else the world's most dangerous terrorists should have been transported. On scheduled flights?

The credit crunch, brought on by the Democrats in Congress insisting upon home ownership for credit-unworthy people, will initially be blamed on Bush, but the perspective of time will show that the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started with the deregulation of the Clinton era. Instead Bush's very un-ideological but vast rescue package of $700 billion (£480 billion) might well be seen as lessening the impact of the squeeze, and putting America in position to be the first country out of recession, helped along by his huge tax-cut packages since 2000.

Sneered at for being "simplistic" in his reaction to 9/11, Bush's visceral responses to the attacks of a fascistic, totalitarian death cult will be seen as having been substantially the right ones.

Mistakes are made in every war, but when virtually the entire military, diplomatic and political establishment in the West opposed it, Bush insisted on the surge in Iraq that has been seen to have brought the war around, and set Iraq on the right path. Today its GDP is 30 per cent higher than under Saddam, and it is free of a brutal dictator and his rapist sons.

The number of American troops killed during the eight years of the War against Terror has been fewer than those slain capturing two islands in the Second World War, and in Britain we have lost fewer soldiers than on a normal weekend on the Western Front. As for civilians, there have been fewer Iraqis killed since the invasion than in 20 conflicts since the Second World War.

Iraq has been a victory for the US-led coalition, a fact that the Bush-haters will have to deal with when perspective finally – perhaps years from now – lends objectivity to this fine man's record.

Andrew Roberts's Masters and Commanders: How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke Won the War in the West is published by Penguin.
From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/4241865/History-will-show- that-George-W-Bush-was-right.html , linked via http://realclearpolitics.com/ .

Billastro

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:29 PM
Of course history will prove Bush correct. Reasonable, rational people have known that all along.

That said... INCOMING!

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:37 PM
If this article is indeed written by "Andrew Roberts", the British Conservative & Historian......
His book, "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900" was "Panned by critics for A NUMBER OF HISTORICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL, and SPELLING ERRORS".

[Edited on 1/15/2009 by woodsdweller]

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:37 PM
BwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!





Best one I have heard in a long time! Better chance of the Detroit Lions winning the Superbowl............... this year!!!

BwaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:40 PM
right about what

WMDS?

where is Bin Laden?

major failures.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:44 PM
quote:
Of course history will prove Bush correct. Reasonable, rational people have known that all along.

That said... INCOMING!
You, sir, are a prophet!

Billastro

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:46 PM
nothing but irrelevant conservastism

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:47 PM
quote:
quote:
Of course history will prove Bush correct. Reasonable, rational people have known that all along.

That said... INCOMING!
You, sir, are a prophet!

Billastro


I know. It seems to make people around here nervous.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:47 PM
quote:
Of course history will prove Bush correct. Reasonable, rational people have known that all along.

That said... INCOMING!


So in other words only 34% of the people in this country are "Reasonable and rational"........HMMMMM...

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:49 PM

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:56 PM
quote:
History will show that George W Bush was right


Perhaps. Perhaps not. Just have to wait and see.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 04:57 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Of course history will prove Bush correct. Reasonable, rational people have known that all along.

That said... INCOMING!
You, sir, are a prophet!

Billastro


I know. It seems to make people around here nervous.


We're not nervous. We just enjoy how easy it is to make you look foolish.

[Edited on 1/15/2009 by woodsdweller]

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:02 PM
Wow, right off the bat someone knows that the majority is going to laugh at this article. It's so incredibly ludicrious on so many levels there's no way to even comment. Thanks for the laugh.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:03 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Of course history will prove Bush correct. Reasonable, rational people have known that all along.

That said... INCOMING!
You, sir, are a prophet!

Billastro


I know. It seems to make people around here laugh their a** off.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:06 PM
quote:
The credit crunch, brought on by the Democrats in Congress insisting upon home ownership for credit-unworthy people, will initially be blamed on Bush, but the perspective of time will show that the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started with the deregulation of the Clinton era.


OK, I don't know how history will view President Bush, but this is nothing more than a partisan cheap shot weak on actual truth.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:14 PM
quote:
quote:
History will show that George W Bush was right


Perhaps. Perhaps not. Just have to wait and see.


The only thing in this thread that is fact.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:15 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
History will show that George W Bush was right


Perhaps. Perhaps not. Just have to wait and see.


The only thing in this thread that is fact.


Wow. Props from heineken. I should buy a lottery ticket on the way home. The calendar is marked.

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:33 PM
quote:
OK, I don't know how history will view President Bush, but this is nothing more than a partisan cheap shot weak on actual truth.


Pretty much the whole article is a partisan cheap shot weak on actual truth. You know its bad when you have to rely on the old 'just wait, history will prove him to be a great president' bit. If he were any 'better' we would all be dead, I guess, instead of just broke, but that is just my irrational and unreasonable thinking ability manifesting itself, I guess.

Good one, Bill.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:43 PM
I find it funny that most of the "refutations" are as shallow as can be. I figure a few of the more thoughtful types (Squatch, for example -- and I'm serious) will at least try for some kind of point-by-point disagreements. The rest really don't have anything of substance to offer.

Consider this paragraph:
quote:
Similarly, the cold light of history will absolve Bush of the worst conspiracy-theory accusation: that he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq. History will show that, in common with the rest of his administration, the British Government, Saddam's own generals, the French, Chinese, Israeli and Russian intelligence agencies, and of course SIS and the CIA, everyone assumed that a murderous dictator does not voluntarily destroy the WMD arsenal he has used against his own people. And if he does, he does not then expel the UN weapons inspectorate looking for proof of it, as he did in 1998 and again in 2001.
The people who post most regularly in this forum are light-years away from the names above, yet somehow they know vastly more than any of the experts they sneer at.

IIRC, the UN and other mighty forces threatened Hussein for months. There were at least a dozen "reprimands" (I don't recall the exact term) from the UN, nothing happened. Hussein had more than enough time to gather, store, and hide his WMDs. Supposedly he could have fit everything into a semi-trailer, then hidden it anywhere.

According to Saddam's Secrets, by Georges Hormuz Sada, the facts speak otherwise. Here's the review from Publisher's Weekly
quote:
Former Iraqi General Sada delivers a riveting inside account of Saddam Hussein's tyranny, including confirmation of the existence and hiding of weapons of mass destruction. Despite being a Christian and refusing to join the Baath Party, Sada was promoted to Saddam's inner circle for his honest advice. Sada criticizes most countries and the United Nations (whose workers he accuses of accepting bribes) for their complicity in propagating Saddam's regime. But he strongly praises Operation Iraqi Freedom, pointing out that no other country would take the first step. The book has an unexpectedly religious angle, being slightly Christian-centric and paranoid over Muslim population growth in the West. Regardless, Sada blames Saddam for destroying Iraq, but remains hopeful the nation will have a chance to become a modern society, fulfilling its great historical legacy.
(I can't find the exact citation, just this quote from Amazon. Grrr! )

But the true believers won't accept this. Even though "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" they keep playing the same tired song: we didn't find any, therefore Hussein never had them.

None of you are dummies, but you sometimes show a real lack of logic.

(I'm aware this will get me an "Oh, yeah, what about you?" or two. Reminds me of the old Pee-Wee Herman schtick in which someone calls him a name, then he retorts, "I know you are, but what am I?")

Billastro

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:52 PM
quote:
quote:
OK, I don't know how history will view President Bush, but this is nothing more than a partisan cheap shot weak on actual truth.
Pretty much the whole article is a partisan cheap shot weak on actual truth. You know its bad when you have to rely on the old 'just wait, history will prove him to be a great president' bit. If he were any 'better' we would all be dead, I guess, instead of just broke, but that is just my irrational and unreasonable thinking ability manifesting itself, I guess.

Good one, Bill.
Evidence?

BTW, are you willing to give Bush (and his policies) any credit for the fact that there haven't been any successful terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11?
quote:
The decisions taken by Mr Bush in the immediate aftermath of that ghastly moment will be pored over by historians for the rest of our lifetimes. One thing they will doubtless conclude is that the measures he took to lock down America's borders, scrutinise travellers to and from the United States, eavesdrop upon terrorist suspects, work closely with international intelligence agencies and take the war to the enemy has foiled dozens, perhaps scores of would-be murderous attacks on America. There are Americans alive today who would not be if it had not been for the passing of the Patriot Act. There are 3,000 people who would have died in the August 2005 airline conspiracy if it had not been for the superb inter-agency co-operation demanded by Bush after 9/11.
Billastro

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 05:56 PM
quote:
I find it funny that most of the "refutations" are as shallow as can be.


Well, I was going to, but didn't want to spend the time. An example would be the Downing Street memo that exposed Bush of knowing exactly what was going on with WMD. It would take to long to do a point by point, because nearly every point the guy makes is a lie. I guess you think Bush is leaving us in good shape if you think history will prove him right, but sitting here right now I see deep economic troubles for not just America but the whole world. This has been a dishonorable administration on many fronts and damaged America badly. Why are you so favorable of Bush and his record, Bill? Are seeing something I am not?

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 06:01 PM
A view from the UK. Tony Parsons in todays' Daily Mirror. Thing is, I suspect that the one positive thing Parsons finds about the Bush Presidency would not be considered so, by some of Dubyas' supporters on here.

George W Bush's legacy: The global village idiot



By Tony Parsons 15/01/2009


Was George W Bush really as dumb as he looked?

Widely derided as the very worst President in American history, will the passing of time make us look more kindly on those blank, bewildered features?

Have we - in Dubya's own immortal phrase - misunder estimated him?

History has a way of radically altering the image of American Presidents. Lyndon Johnson, reviled in his day for the escalation of the Vietnam War, is now best remembered for pushing through Civil Rights legislation.

Ronald Reagan, despised as a simple version of Doctor Strangelove during his administration, is now grudgingly admired for his stance against Communism.

Even Nixon - scourge of the hippies, carpetbomber of South-East Asia, the dark hand behind Watergate - is viewed more sympathetically and seen as a deeply flawed, even tragic figure, rather than the murderous crook the world took him for at the time.

Will we start missing George Bush once he has gone? They will miss him in Africa, where a year ago thousands of adoring fans lined the streets to cheer him.

It is a difficult fact for Bush-haters to swallow, but during the eight years of the Dubya regime, America spent Û18billion (£12.4billion) on AIDS prevention, Û1.2billion (£850million) to prevent malaria and gave Û3.5billion (£2.4billion) to African nations that govern well, provide social services and encourage economic growth.

Of course this is small change compared to the Û850billion (£583billion) he has spent on his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a figure currently rising by Û13.6billion (£9.3billion) every month. Add in extra costs, such as payouts to the families of dead soldiers, and estimates put the total bill at three times that.

But all across Africa, even in Muslim countries, George is worshipped. In Darfur, many couples name their baby boys George Bush.

"The Bush regime has been divisive - created bitterness - but not here in Africa," Bob Geldof has written. "Here, his administration has saved millions of lives."

With projects like his President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Bush administration has ensured that, for millions of Africans, from the townships of South Africa to the backstreets of Rwanda, HIV is no longer a death sentence.

If anything rescues George Bush from the dustbin of history, it will be his work in Africa.

And yet Africa is not the world.

George Bush's lifeline for millions in the Third World proves that blanket, unequivocal condemnation of his Presidency is as simple-minded as that little, pea-brained smile that played across his features when he wasn't sure what was going on. Which was most of the time.

But there is also no denying his Presidency has made millions more despise the US. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Africa will emerge from the darkness into the light and history will record that George Bush did far more practical good than Bill Clinton or Bono ever did.

But what about the misery he created in the rest of the world?

When he ducked those shoes in Iraq, his wife loyally said that George was "a natural athlete". But to most of us he always looked like a natural simpleton, a rich man's son who got to the Oval Office on his daddy's shirttails, the global village idiot.

In truth, anti-Americanism is always thriving in large parts of the planet because for most of the 20th Century, the USA was the richest, most powerful nation the world has ever seen. But George Bush gave the world good reasons to hate America. He has been a far more effective recruiting agent for Islamic terrorism than Osama bin Laden.

With his clumsy, murderous war in Iraq, Bush made anti-Americanism a global sport. Even those of us who love America have despaired of the country under George Bush's watch.

The best things about America - its generosity, its sense of limitless possibility, the profound belief in freedom that sent Americans to fight and die in Europe in two world wars - has been replaced by a seething paranoia and murderous belligerence.

When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, almost all of the world was on America's side. It is to George Bush's eternal shame that he squandered that goodwill. Incredibly, on a day when we watched 3,000 people murdered on live TV, George Bush somehow contrived to make the USA look like an aggressor.

Bush seemed too stupid to be President. Saddam Hussein has nothing to do with 9/11, and yet Bush and his neocon cronies wanted to make an example of someone with a beard.

Iraq, for all its murder and torture, was a largely secular state. Saddam wanted to be the god Iraqis worshipped. But Bush - and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney - turned Iraq into a seething hotbed of militant Islamic terrorism. And for that, history will never forgive him.

Perhaps the great mystery of George Bush is this: he was not only stupid, but empty.

The very worst forces of America - warmongers, religious nutters, and raving nationalists - swarmed around him and painted their fantasies on his blank canvas.

Lawrence Wilkinson, a top aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell - a good man who was shamefully duped into believing the great lie that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction - said: "Dick Cheney knew that he was going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush. Personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum."

In many ways, Bush was a luckless President. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the global economic meltdown all happened on his watch. That's an awful lot of world shattering events to have sitting in your in-tray, but with a gritty, shrewd response, Bush could have seized greatness.

However, the Texan twit was never made for greatness.

9/11 produced unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The citizens of New Orleans were left to rot in the rising waters of Katrina. And the casino capitalism of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco flourished under his regime, while the response of Dubya's Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, seemed slow and inadequate until he followed the lead of Gordon Brown. George Bush never missed an opportunity to do the wrong thing.

He had his followers, the "USA! USA!" chanters who acted as though the war on terror was a basketball match there to be won if they just shouted loud enough.

But even these chubby patriots have shuffled off now, worried about losing their homes, their jobs and their shirts, and his approval rating has slumped to an almost nonexistent 27 per cent.

Which makes George Bush, at the end of his two terms as President of the United States, only slightly more popular in Biloxi than he is in Baghdad.



They will miss George Bush in dozens of African countries, but the rest of the world will be glad to see him ride off into the sunset.

During the 20th Century America was the richest, most powerful nation in the world. George Bush reminded us that the 20th Century is over. Here was a 10th-rate President for a nation in decline, which still acted like the biggest bully in the playground.

"Goodbye from the world's greatest polluter!" was how Bush wittily bid farewell at his final G-8 summit - a wonderful example of the man in all his belligerent stupidity.

Under Bush, America lost its moral authority and it will take a lot to get it back.

The world will not forgive the images of sadistic redneck trash posing for their photos in the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib.

Nor will the world forget how America's love of "freedom" saw nothing hypocritical about locating Guantanamo Bay far from American soil and far from American laws.

And these were supposed to be the good guys.

Graham Greene's classic novel The Quiet American features an ugly American abroad who firmly believes he is doing good, for his own country and for the world, even as everything he touches turns to ashes.

George Bush was just like that, but on a global, epic scale. For here was the ugliest American of all, who could have united the world after 9/11, but who instead tore it apart.

Warmongers, raving nationalists and religious nutters painted their fantasies on his blank canvas

Here was a tenth rate President for a nation in decline still acting like the biggest bully in the playground

 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 06:04 PM


 

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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 06:05 PM
quote:
Bush Apologizes: The Farewell Interview We Wish He'd Give
W. comes clean - on his dad, Condi's farts and the time Dick waterboarded the house boy

MATT TAIBBI

Posted Jan 22, 2009 11:45 PM

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Despite a financial crisis for the ages, the catastrophic collapse of a Republican Party crippled by his political legacy, and the highest presidential disapproval rating in the history of American polling, outgoing commander in chief George W. Bush has not completely lost his sense of fun. When Rolling Stone caught up with him at the White House shortly after the holidays for what would turn out to be his final extended sit-down interview as president, the graying but still quite fit Texan had just finished his morning exercycle session in an eagle-emblazoned sweatsuit and was fiddling with a new toy.

"They call it a Wii, or a Mee, or something," Bush tells me, smiling as he waves a wandlike plastic device in front of a 54-inch plasma TV in the Treaty Room, a large, brightly lit chamber on the second floor of the Executive Residence that traditionally functions as the president's private study. The president is playing a friendly game of Major League Baseball — the Boston Red Sox against his cherished Texas Rangers — and a computer-rendered Daisuke Matsuzaka drills a hard slider right past him, down and in.

"Huh," says the president. "Might have to choke up a little."

Although now used as a game room, the Treaty Room still has a classic feel, with a century-old painting by Theobald Chartran depicting the signing of the peace treaty after the Spanish-American War, and a magnificent mahogany "treaty table" first used by Ulysses S. Grant. A bookshelf on the north wall displays standard-issue Americana such as Poor Richard's Almanack, but it also contains former swimsuit model Kathy Ireland's Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons That Will Change Your Life ("There's a lot of good life stuff in there, a lot of stuff about patience," the president says) and a well-worn copy of 101 Dumb Dog Deaths ("Makes me laugh every time, especially the one about cow-tipping").

Matsuzaka delivers again, but the president looks fastball when the pitch is a change. "Damn it!" he shouts, bouncing the Wii wand off an antique globe in the corner. "Goddamn mother **** **** !" After collecting himself, he takes a seat at his desk and leans back in his grand leather easy chair, stirring the ice cubes in a glass of Diet Coke with a finger.

So are we meeting up here because Michelle Obama is measuring the Oval Office windows for drapes?
[Laughs] No. I just like it up here. Plus, people tend to get nervous in the Oval Office. Figured I'd make it a little easier on you by doing this here.

While I was waiting, one of your staffers told me a crazy story about a certain member of your Cabinet breaking wind in the Oval Office. Can you confirm that story?
Well, like I said, people get nervous down there. It's — [laughs] — I can't believe someone told you about that.

But you're leaving office in a couple of weeks. Come on. Throw us a bone. Just think, you finally get to talk about all of these things.
Look, I can't. Besides, it wasn't that big of a — OK, fine. It was Condi.

Condoleezza Rice farted in the Oval Office! When she was the national security adviser?
No, this was when she was State. Just after I appointed her. And it wasn't no little whistler, either. She's a little lady, but she let that baby rip. Nearly blew [White House chief of staff] Andy Card's ears off.

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Was this in the middle of something important?
It was January 2005. We were meeting about the first State of the Union speech of my second term. I'm telling everyone about how I wanted to make a major statement about ending tyranny around the world and spreading liberty and freedom, and the so-called pragmatists in the office, especially Cheney, are flinching, telling me I should confine myself to achievable goals. It's a serious moment, and things were getting pretty heated. At one point I turn to Condi and I say, "So, Condi, what do you think?" And she's like, "Mr. President, I think you should — "

And that's when it happened. Ppppllllfft! It sounded like someone had started up a chain saw in there. We have this painting of the Rio Grande by an artist named Tom Lea in the Oval Office, and I swear to you that thing swung three inches sideways. She started looking around all innocent-like, like, "Gosh, who did that?" It was hilarious.

Doesn't she know that cover-ups never work?
That's what Cheney said: "Condi, that's what got Nixon in trouble. You try to hide that **** , it looks 20 times worse." I tell you, it was almost a year before she so much as smiled about that incident.

Let's talk about August 6th, 2001. That's the day you got a memo warning about plans for possible attacks by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. What were you doing that day?
I'll be honest with you. I was at the ranch, on vacation. I was watching the Hall of Fame game on TV. First NFL preseason game of the year, hate to miss it, you know?

I'm the same way. It doesn't matter what teams are playing, I watch it.
Exactly. It's a long off-season, and you start to miss the game. So I'm watching it — I remember it was Miami and St. Louis. First time I ever saw Marc Bulger. He was just a backup to Warner then. I think he threw a touchdown in the fourth quarter. I thought to myself, "This guy looks pretty solid in the pocket. He might have a future in this league."

That's good foresight right there.
Anyway, it was right around then that they brought me my PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing], and it said something about bin Laden. I mean, we get these warnings about foreign terrorists all the time. How was I supposed to know he was going to attack in the United States?

Well, the memo was titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S."
It was?

Yes, sir.
Well, nobody told me that.

But they wrote it to you.
But nobody told me that they wrote it to me.

Who's "they"?
I don't know. Whoever is in the room. Vice President Cheney. Don Rumsfeld. Rove. Sometimes there's some other guys. It kind of rotates.

Do you decide who "they" is?
No, they usually decide who they is. Or at least one of they does. Usually Cheney.

Interesting. What did they tell you they wrote to you about why America needed to invade Iraq?
Sometime in the fall of 2001, pretty soon after 9/11, Rumsfeld and Cheney handed me a piece of paper. I asked them what was in it. Rumsfeld says, "Mr. President, we've just written you a memo explaining that we need to invade Iraq." And I said, "OK. Why?" And Dick says to me, "Because of 9/11, Mr. President." [Silence]

Is that the whole story?
Yeah. Why?

 

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Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8643
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Registered: 12/14/2004
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  posted on 1/15/2009 at 06:07 PM
quote:
Wow. Props from heineken. I should buy a lottery ticket on the way home. The calendar is marked.


Bhawk...you seriously misunderestimate me...

 
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