Bush II’s Finest Moment

For my money, President George W Bush’s finest moment was also one of his worst moments as president.

He took this nation to war based on the belief that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction.” Our troops got in there and found — guess what? — no weapons of mass destruction!

Why would I think that this was President Bush’s finest hour?

Because he didn’t lie about it.

He didn’t try to fake weapons of mass destruction.

He told us the truth.

Sad to say, that is as rare as hen’s teeth in the American presidency of the past few decades. Of all the things George W Bush did as president, some of which I agreed with strongly and others which I opposed adamantly, none earned my respect like the way he took it on the chin over the lies that got us into Iraq.

I am convinced that there were deliberate lies involved in this; lies told by what President Eisenhower called the “military industrial complex.” This “complex” appears to be always hungry for another war, and always willing to do whatever it takes to create one.

But President Bush redeemed himself and his intentions, at least in my eyes, by telling the truth.

Now, he did try to soft-soap the whole thing with talk about how “evil” the dictator of Iraq was. He did his best to shift attention away from this awful mess he’d made by invading Iraq. But he didn’t lie and he didn’t try to shift the blame. He let the buck stop with him.

For that, hats off, President Bush.

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  • pagansister

    To be honest, I think Cheney probably told him to fess up—not sure Bush II made any decisions without Dick. Bush II totally embarrassed himself with his “we won” stance while standing on the ship 2 weeks after he sent our men and women into combat for no reason—-except the trumped up one. Again IMO, he spent most of his time in office (the first term he really didn’t win) with his foot in his mouth. Sorry, he always managed to irritate me and even out of office, still does.(when he is on TV for something. The votes he got both times didn’t include mine.

    • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/ D. A. Christianson

      That old chestnut, still again. The Mission Accomplished banner was for the carrier which had just returned, not the President. Should it have been taken down before he got there, yeah probably, but I doubt anybody thought of it.

      You could be right, although I’m surprised that you want to give Cheney that much credit, not that he didn’t earn it.

      Bush made plenty of mistakes but he always took responsibility for his actions, if only the other modern presidents would.

      • pagansister

        I have no use for Cheney either—but I think he was the “man behind the curtain” during the Bush II reign. Even without the banner Bush II came off in his speech (if my brain remembers correctly) as if the banner was for him, IOW—we have almost or have solved the problem in Iraq! Not counting on that memory however.

        • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/ D. A. Christianson

          Could be, I don’t remember either. And in truth, that’s where we keep getting in trouble, thinking that everything in the world is just like Germany in 1945, of course they want to be like us, or at least Europe.

          There are times when we need to fight wars, I’m of two minds myself on Iraq. We need to get over the insane idea that we can make everybody Americans, if we have to fight, fight to win and go home.

          We can’t build their nation, they have to do that part, we can maybe help a bit and hold the ring, at the most.

          • pagansister

            I just wrote a response to you, D.A. Christianson, and the DISQUS thing wanted me to sign in or something and totally deleted my message. so will try again. You have said above what i have been thinking for a long time—we, as the USA cannot make everybody Americans, turn them into our type of democracy. We cannot build their nations—that is their job. Perhaps we can help them some, but ultimately it is their job—Egypt, Syria, the Afgans, as horrible as things are for all (not just Christians).

            • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com/ D. A. Christianson

              Sorry about the delay there. I think you’ll find that there are quite a few of us all across the spectrum that are thinking (although not saying loudly yet) this. None of us have it thought all the way through but Somewhere between Ron Paul and Bush/Obama there is a sweet spot, where we can defend America and not try to be everywhere all the time.

              Endless war is not the answer. If it is, we need a new question.

              • pagansister

                “Endless war is not the answer”. You have hit the nail on the head, D.A. Christianson! Also, don’t worry about the delay. :-)

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Strictly speaking- this interview was a couple of years *after* he left office. I guess a little too late for my taste.

    There was ONE day though that I was very proud of President Bush, or at least, ten minutes on that day; and he really took it on the chin for it afterwards.

    On September 11, 2001, he finished the book he was reading to children *before* dealing with the emergency. Before even taking his own safety into account (though, several hundred miles is a nice buffer). And he didn’t panic the kids by leaving abruptly.

    That, to me, was his greatest moment.

    How he dealt with the emergency in the years after that, not so much.

    • hamiltonr

      So it was. I added a video of a press conference while he was in office in which he says that there were no wmds. The press conference shows how defensive he has become by this point in his presidency. It also gives President’s Bush’s arguments for his various actions at that time.

      What I didn’t hear was a lie. I didn’t like everything President Bush did, but I respect him for that.

  • Sus_1

    Why should we laud President Bush II for agreeing with the mountain of evidence that there were no WMD? What other choice does he have but to say he made a mistake?

    President Bush II has zero credibility when it comes to WMD. I think he and his cronies had every intention of invading Iraq before he was even elected. I think the main reason is Halliburton.

    I have rewritten my comment probably 20 times so it doesn’t come across as snarky. This was the best I could do.

    • hamiltonr

      Sus, I think my point is that he didn’t try to fake evidence or even ask people to lie and pretend they had found evidence. It let the truth come through.

    • kowdung

      Sus, you do know that MOST of Congress (both Dems and Reps) thought Saddam had WMDs, right? This wasn’t just a Bush thing, he had the backing of Congress.

      • oregon catholic

        Plenty of people thought Saddam had wmd and moved it into Syria before the inspectors came in. We know he used it on the Kurds. Given what has likely been a wmd attack in Syria I think that was probably the stuff from Iraq.

  • FW Ken

    When George W. Bush ran for governor of Texas in 1994, his resume consisted of leading an oil company into bankruptcy and running a mediocre baseball club. He was considered a sacrificial lamb, because no one, folks believed, could stop Ann Richards. What folks forgot was that Ann was a great governor, but a poor campaigner. So we got Governor Bush.

    And he did a good job, no surprise since the governor of Texas had very limited powers. Most of what he accomplished he did through his personality.

    I believe that had 9/11 not happened, he would have been a decent president. He is certainly a decent man. I think he relied, perhaps like most presidents, on too narrow a range of advisors and made a number of bad decisions.

    It doesn’t help, of course, that a partisan media was also determined to undermine him, except when they were too frightened to beck public opinion about the Iraq invasion. I guess that’s another story.

  • SusanL

    I miss W.

    • pagansister

      You might be one of the few who do.

    • oregon catholic

      I miss Laura and the classiness she brought as First Lady. I mean real class, not fashionista class.

  • FW Ken

    One theory was the WMD in Iraq were chemical weapons trucked into Syria before they were found. Oddly enough, Syria is currently using chemical weapons against the rebels there. While I don’t need Saddam to have had WMD – I oppose the war on other grounds – it’s an interesting coincidence.


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