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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Featured, Politics, Terrorism, War | 8 comments

Putting an end to George W. Bush, finally.

bush-left-behind (1)

W.’s library highlights his role in launching the Global War on Terror, an Orwellian phrase designed to conflate the sins of Osama, who was responsible for 9/11, and the sins of Saddam, who was not. That was the fatal mistake and hallmark of the Bush era. W., Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld declared war on a tactic, stoked fear as a smokescreen and treated pre-emptive attacks as just.

Better late than never, Obama brought his lapidary logic and legal cautions to bear. “Neither I nor any president can promise the total defeat of terror,” he said. “We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings nor stamp out every danger to our open society.”

Conservatives can honk, as Senator Saxby Chambliss did, that Obama’s speech “will be viewed by terrorists as a victory.” But this president has killed more top Qaeda operatives than Bush did. …Maureen Dowd, NYT< /blockquote>
Dowd has some on-target comments about Obama’s National Defense U. speech the other day. And some NYT readers have interesting responses to Dowd’s summing up of the Bush presidency. Including one reminder from The Onion.

From The Onion published January 17, 2001:

WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.”

President-elect Bush vows that “together, we can put the triumphs of the recent past behind us.”

“My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.” …NYT

And so we did — with enormous costs.

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  • sheknows

    Absolutely on the mark!
    I truly do not understand the hawk mentality. Why would people PREFER to be at war? Why send soldiers into battle to kill and be killed?
    It makes no sense when you stand there on podiums and spout words of consolation for our lost and injured accompanied by your “hopes” for peace, then turn around and order more troops into the area of a war YOU started.

    GWB may no longer be in office, but he typifies the Republican thinking on the matter of war, killing, and financing our military way beyond necessity.

  • SteveK

    It makes no sense when you stand there on podiums and spout words of consolation for our lost and injured accompanied by your “hopes” for peace, then turn around and order more troops into the area of a war YOU started.

    Absolutely sheknows, and unfortunately this is not a new thing.

    Here’s a poem written by e.e.cummings just after WWI

    “next to of course god america i
    love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
    say can you see by the dawn’s early my
    country ’tis of centuries come and go
    and are no more what of it we should worry
    in every language even deafanddumb
    thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
    by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
    why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
    iful than these heroic happy dead
    who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
    they did not stop to think they died instead
    then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”

    He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

    e.e.cummings – 1926

    This is a topic most apropos anytime but especially on this, and every, Memorial Day.

    Remembering those who gave their all is something me must do but we should also remember those that sent them and why.

    Some of those people should be honored… Some should be reviled.

  • sheknows

    Thanks Steve for that poem.

    It looks like now that our military budget keeps increasing not just because the hawks are in control of congress but because they are putting the brakes on helping our economy ( except for the job creators).
    Alot more are enlisting in the military now just to have a job, learn a trade and get an education. These kids don’t want to fight anymore than we want them to.

  • Today

    War may not be the answer, but, I believe that it is a “byproduct” of being human. IMHO, young people need an adventure, some people are more wired towards life and death challenges, there are many corporate “leaders” and their paid lackeys that are “leaders” of nations that will make up reasons for war because of greed and power, for are young people to risk and sacrifice theirs lives in. I say this with Great Respect to our Soldiers and Veterans who have risked All for a Greater Cause.
    My question is, “what is the alternative”? What can we do to that allows young people to have an adventure to prove themselves worthy? What do we do that allows those that are wired for more dangerous activities to be brave and protect others?

  • The_Ohioan


    That’s an interesting question and you are right about some people being wired for (mainly physical) risk taking. If we could understand this at a young age, we could direct them into productive risk taking activities. First responders comes first to mind and they probably have more risk takers than the general population.

    If we could channel these kids into exploring space or the depths of the oceans or mountain climbing or any of a number things that would benefit their community we would all benefit. It doesn’t have to be the military. But we have to know who they are early, we can’t wait until they join gangs or do drugs or start thieving. The president’s proposal of early childhood education would no doubt help channel some of that energy into being helpful rather than hurtful to the individual and the community.

  • rudi

    More go into the military looking for a job. Most are reluctant heroes, with many reluctant to fire their weapons or wishing to kill another person. A typical soldier is Jessica Lynch or Lori Piestewa.

    Initial media reports on Lynch’s capture and rescue in Iraq were incorrect. On April 24, 2007, she testified in front of Congress that she had never fired her weapon; her M16 rifle jammed, and that she had been knocked unconscious when her vehicle crashed.[1] Lynch has been outspoken in her criticism of the original stories reported regarding her combat experience. When asked about her heroine status, she stated “That wasn’t me. I’m not about to take credit for something I didn’t do… I’m just a survivor.”[2]

    If the choice is McDonald’s or no job, many young people join the military out of desperation, not testosterone fueled wiring for adventure.

  • rudi

    This study of WWII veterans is interesting. Finds the typical hero is “Captain Miller character Tom Hanks played in ‘Saving Private Ryan’.”

    Eager heroes, reluctant heroes
    Unsurprisingly, veterans who had been awarded medals tended to rate themselves higher for qualities like leadership, adventurousness and adaptability. Results became more intriguing when researchers divided medal earners into two groups: those who enlisted (“eager heroes”) and those who were drafted (“reluctant heroes”). The reluctant heroes scored higher than any other group in selflessness and working well with others.

    The study suggests that quiet heroes rely on a deep sense of duty and esprit de corps as opposed to derring-do. That sentiment was echoed by several of the medal-earning veterans interviewed separately for this story.

    To a man, they downplayed any notion of heroism.

  • zephyr

    GWB may be gone, and those who “voted” him into office (one and two) have worked hard to forget him, but his rotten legacy (along with his cohorts) lives on. What a pity we don’t seem to learn from our history – even our recent history.

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