A Conversation for Bushisms: the Wisdom of George W Bush

The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 1

quizzical

Bush was asked to name his 'most wonderful moment' in office during an interview with the German newspaper Bild. Here is his answer:

'I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake.'

Unfortunately he's probably correct. His accomplishments in office are dubious (perhaps I should say 'dubyous'). At least when he's fishing, he isn't violating US or international laws, wrecking the US economy, or starting wars. I don't know who scares me more: Bush himself or the people who support him.


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 2

iPad

Commentators in America have often talked about the divide in America between the thin slivers of coast and the big bit in the middle. The middle bit is sparsely populated, rebublican voting and according to these commentators not as well educated as the coasts. The Bushisms are simply not noticed because many in that area speak no differently to Dubya.


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 3

Recumbentman

And yet his speeches in the last presidential campaign were clear and made sense to the voters, while Kerry couldn't put a sentence together without either contradicting himself or leaving people wondering what he meant. What Dubya's missing is credible opposition. Something is rotten in the States.


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 4

quizzical

"Something is rotten in the States."

You said it. It's hard to believe that, with all of the targets that the Republicans have handed the opposition, the opposition *still* can't do anything with them. A pox on all their houses.

Part of the problem is the support that the religious right gives to the Republicans, who portray themselves as 'God's own party' and all others as Godless heathens who would lead the country to its doom. This message plays well, especially since the others have let the Republicans define the terms of engagement.

What amazes/digusts me even more is that Bush et al. have strong support among America's midde class, even though Bush et al. are conducting a massive redistribution of wealth out of the hands of the middle and lower classes and into the hands of the wealthy. It's like helping the burglar who's just broken into your house, fer cryin' out loud! But the poor dumb shmucks don't see it. Bring God into the political debate and everybody gets stupid. Meanwhile America's middle class is disappearing. Scary stuff.

Emigrating is looking more and more attractive...


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 5

Steve K.

Gore Vidal: "Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them, either."

smiley - boing


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 6

Hoovooloo


I saw a *great* t shirt the other day. It was a map of the area between Mexico and Canada, divided up into three areas.

The area on the left was blue, and labelled "America". The area on the right was also blue, and labelled "America".

Then there was a huge area in the middle, in red, labelled "Dumbfuckistan". smiley - ok

SoRB


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 7

Recumbentman

http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/04/11/con04485.html


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 8

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

Bush Snr. was famously unable to put together a sentence - even when scripted. In his case it has all the signs of being a neurological condition. But he was far from dumb. They may let you be president if you're dumb...look at his boy...but not Director of the CIA!

smiley - popcorn

'bentman has a point - he normally does. Bush won fair and square...this time. The Democrats were not able to offer a credible alternative. Even the nominally anti-war opposition didn't have the cojones to say that it is not unpatriotic to support an ill-conceived, illegal, murderous war that is doomed to turn the middle east into a quagmire. They were too scared of turning off the waverers.

And there's their problem. The battleground for American elections are ranges across the right and centre-right. There is a small, intellectual left ('the liberals'). But there's nobody talking to the mass of the population. What are the figures these days for the percentage actually registered to vote?

(Elsewhere on this site I've been baiting a young USAnian with talk of Marxist analysis - but that's another story).


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 9

Recumbentman

>didn't have the cojones to say that it is not unpatriotic to support an ill-conceived, . . . war<

support > oppose (at a guess) smiley - biggrin


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 10

iPad

"to support an ill-conceived, illegal, murderous war that is doomed to turn the middle east into a quagmire"

I hate it when people state things as fact when its opinion.


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 11

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

Well spotted, R'man once again.smiley - blush

iPad...for future reference...anything I say should be regarded as an opinion...although in this case I'd be happy to supply supporting evidence.smiley - winkeye


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 12

quizzical

"to support an ill-conceived, illegal, murderous war that is doomed to turn the middle east into a quagmire"

What part of that sentence isn't factual?

The war was certainly ill-conceived. The stated reasons for going into Iraq (weapons of mass destruction, ties to 9/11) were tenuous at best. And there is something wrong-headed about imposing democracy from the outside; isn't democracy supposed to arise from the will of the people being governed? What isn't debatable is the incompetence of the Bush administration in conducting the war. They vastly underestimated the size of the task; the war continues to be understaffed, undertrained, and underfunded (despite producing huge budget deficits), and they were much mistaken in their notions of how the Iraqis would react.

I believe that invading a sovereign nation that hadn't attacked you violates international law. And then there's that whole torture business.

The body count, especially among civilians, supports the description of 'murderous'.

As for the contention that the war is turning the Middle East into a quagmire, that's open to discussion, I suppose. Iraq is certainly less stable and flirting with (if not actually engaged in) civil war.

What's not open to debate is that the war has damaged the US's standing in the world, even among its allies. You could argue that the repercussions from the war have destablised much more than just the Middle East, and we'll be dealing with the consequences for many years to come.

smiley - smiley


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 13

Hoovooloo


I think Dubya will be most remembered in one or two hundred years' time as the president who was in office on 9/11, and who took the massive outpouring of sympathy and goodwill from (almost) the entire world and turned it, in a startlingly short period of time, into outright hostility even from nations who were the US's traditional allies and supporters. It takes a very... special kind of foreign policy attitude to get a turnaround like that.

SoRB


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 14

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

And think...if an Americanophile like me is thinking this way...


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 15

quizzical

Oh, and speaking of election irregularities:

The company that won the contract to produce the voting machines is headed by a man who stated publicly that his goal was 'to win the election for George W. Bush'. No one outside the company has access to the source code used by machines to tally votes. There are no audit procedures. There is *no paper trail* or other means of counting the votes manually, or even determining if a manual count should be performed. Security procedures are laughable. In some cases, election workers secured the voting machines *by taking them home at night*. (I wish I were joking about this.)

http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

If I'd produced such a system back when I was a systems analyst, my bosses would have fired my rump, and rightfully so.


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 16

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

As an African American friend told me (he's a USN officersmiley - smiley):

'Every 12 years or so we have referendum to see whether African Americans should still be allowed to vote.'


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 17

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

Actually...the Bass story reminds me of when the Washington Post phoned the British ambassador for a quote about his ideal Christmas present.

He was rather embarassed when he saw the printed story.
The French ambassador had said 'World peace.'
The German had said 'An end to world poverty.'
He'd asked for a basket of sugared almonds from Fortnum's.

True story!smiley - biggrin


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 18

quizzical

On the other hand, the ambassador was much more likely to actually *receive* his ideal present. smiley - smiley


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 19

iPad

Damn it can o worms, I prehaps can't do justice to reply to this in the time I have, but here goes. I have slightly cut up your post where I answer various bits together.

"The war was certainly ill-conceived."

I must admit that I was in two minds when there was talk of a second gulf war. The path to this war is highly complicated and past generations of western leaders do share responsibilty for leading to this impass. But I have the view that letting despots rule to the ruin some or all of their country should be delt with. Apathy let Hitler annex or invade chuncks of Europe and peace treaties and deal just brought him more time and bouyed him on. Saddam has taken every oppotunity to encourage and spread conflict in the middle east and would of followed that pattern of behavior to the grave.

I supported the war in Kosovo and Afganistan, the reasons for those wars were more clear cut, but voices in opposition to actions like these have grown more and more vocal to the point where it is worth the tabliods jumping on the bandwaggon.

"And there is something wrong-headed about imposing democracy from the outside; isn't democracy supposed to arise from the will of the people being governed?"

In the case of Iraq we all know what Sadam Hussain is (allegedy) responsible for. He had such a harsh and affective regime that all domestic opposition had been killed or exiled. This is almost unique as often a charasmatic exiled individual to oppose the regime from abroad or a centre figure in prison or a group of "freedom fighters" who can represent that country's suffering or struggle to our media. No Saddam's "counter terrorist" forces were well funded (stangely) and some of the best in the world. The extent to which opposition has been wiped out is incredible. This means our media didn't have a credible person to face to the pro-lets-free-Iraq-camp. There were numerious refugees speaking of the suffering and the "actual" view of Iraqis still in the country, but no Nelson Mandella or Hamid Karzai style character to be that avatar or to step into the vacume (important later).

It looked certain that his rule would continue until his death and should he die his sons would have taken over and the stories of their amoral tendencies make their father look like a humanitarian. So it was not going to get better.

"The stated reasons for going into Iraq (weapons of mass destruction, ties to 9/11) were tenuous at best."

The UN sanctions were not working. Oil for food had lead to a massive corrupt system that only benefitted Saddam and his cronies. The weapons inspection system had saw Saddam being disarmed of the vast majority of his WMDs. Some were unaccounted for, probably destroyed or possibly hidden and simply forgotten about. They did chaise his nuclear programme all over the desert for ages and do not forget it was Saddams end of co-operation that lead to the war. He was also in a position to restart all programmes as soon as the inspection regime was scrapped.

"What isn't debatable is the incompetence of the Bush administration in conducting the war. They vastly underestimated the size of the task; the war continues to be understaffed, undertrained, and underfunded (despite producing huge budget deficits),"

I'm no fan of Bush's approach to the War. I believe something needed to happen about Saddam, but Bush was the wrong person at the wrong time. His chief people are all big oil men, he isn't the master politian, so he was a far too easy target for accusations of self interest. He also doesn't have the type of military with experience of peace keeping in a atmosphere of sectarian violence, like the British army is. The US military is still learning lessons it should have prepared for before the war.

"and they were much mistaken in their notions of how the Iraqis would react."

Most of the trouble has been caused by the extremists and foriegn terrorists lets face it. According to independant (and non-attention grabbing) reports life in Iraq away from the troubled areas is much better. Trouble is the massive boarders have allowed Iraq to become an easy place to get to for anyone that is disinfranchiced, radicalised or just hates America and Israel. Only recently with the rise in ethnic problems could it be argued that normal Iraqis are becomming more and more brought into the conflict. Also the last orders given to his counter terrorist agency was to resist the invasion and occupiers, prehaps generating the most experienced terrorists this world has right now.

"I believe that invading a sovereign nation that hadn't attacked you violates international law. And then there's that whole torture business."

Much of what I've said earlier gives you my view as to sovereignty and the responsibilities of political leaders. I believe there was room in the existing UN resolutions to cover the invadion of Iraq. The last passed Non-co-operation resolution mentioned "serious consiquences" if Saddam didn't begin co-operating with the inspection system.

The last one would have secured a fully supported war, but was vetoed by countries with massive self interest in maintaining Saddam at the helm. Much of Germany's and Frances oil came from Iraq, China also is despirate for fresh sources of oil aswell. Germany was one of the biggest exporters to Iraq before the war aswell. More than that, there was evidence found that agents of Saddam had bribed ministers in I believe the French, German and Russian foriegn ministeries to use their veto against the final resolution for war and to end the sanctions against Iraq.

"The body count, especially among civilians, supports the description of 'murderous'.

As for the contention that the war is turning the Middle East into a quagmire, that's open to discussion, I suppose. Iraq is certainly less stable and flirting with (if not actually engaged in) civil war."

Palistine is the key to peace in the middle east. I suppose sorting out Iraq and Afganistan would help though.

"What's not open to debate is that the war has damaged the US's standing in the world, even among its allies. You could argue that the repercussions from the war have destablised much more than just the Middle East, and we'll be dealing with the consequences for many years to come."

True.

Sorry got to go, will pick this debate back up next week. smiley - winkeye


The 'Dubya' Legacy

Post 20

Edward the Bonobo - Gone.

No time either to pick up on this whole can of worms. Just a couple of points:

>>but no Nelson Mandella or Hamid Karzai style character to be that avatar or to step into the vacume (important later).

Firstly...Karzai is no Mandela. Secondly...Mandela did not 'step in to the vacuum.' He was already South Africa's leader in internal exile. He was released when it became absolutely necessary, in the hope that he could be controlled. He disabused his captors in his very first public words: 'I am a loyal member of the ANC.'. Thirdly...there has long been an Iraqi opposition in exile (and in Kurdistan). Unfortunately for some of Sadam's opponents, the non-sectarian ones tended to be socialists. There was a long history of undermining them.

I have to say that I was against the war from the start. There were many, many reasons...but even brushing them aside...IT WAS NEVER GOING TO WORK! What *did* become of the Powell doctrine? It was contravened on all three points!


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