Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’
Remember the Iraq War? The one the CBO estimates will have cost us $1.7 trillion by 2017? With over 4,000 American soldiers killed and over 30,000 wounded? With at a minimum over 100,000 Iraqis dead (Iraq Body Count has about 100,000 civilians killed and about 50,000 combatants, though some had much higher numbers)? With about 2.2 million Iraqis fleeing their homes? The one that saw countless people tortured by Americans? The one that brought Al-Qaeda to Iraq (who continue killing people)? The guy that gave us some of the evidence we needed has admitted he just made shit up, but all of this was worth it.
I’m sure he has to tell himself that, otherwise being a main reason for all of the above would seem pretty awful.
Colin Powell didn’t say I was the only reason for this war. He talked about three things. First of all, uranium; secondly, al-Qaida; and thirdly, my story.
I don’t know why the other sources, for the uranium and al-Qaida, remained hidden and my name got out. I accept it, though, because I did something for my country and for me that was enough.
Powell went ahead and used Curveball’s (which was the US codename for Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi) report, though he had been warned that he was “suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar.
Couple this with the fact that the yellowcake uranium in question was based on forgeries (which was known) and the dubious claim that Al-Qaeda was in Iraq (which was disputed before the war). It has even been alleged that officials seeking to justify the war after these claims proved false ordered the forgery of a document.
Sorry to get back into all of this stuff, but I think sometimes we forget just how at best this was an epic intelligence failure and at worst it was the intentional use of false information to justify war. The costs continue, and we didn’t have a leg to stand on. I guess there is the fact that weapons inspectors didn’t have perfect access, though even on our tips they couldn’t find anything.
I think if we want the real reasoning behind the war, we need look no further than ten days after Bush took office. At his very first National Security Council meeting, Bush was already talking regime change in for Iraq. The rest of the evidence just a means to get people to go along with it. He thought Saddam was a bad dude and that was enough for him. So it didn’t matter that we should have known a guy like Curveball was full of it, because their mind was made up. Our leaders thought the cause was right even if the intelligence was wrong, so it should be no surprise that they didn’t care that it was wrong.
As Paul O’Neill put it, “It was ‘Go find me a way to do this.’ For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”
It’s a really huge leap, indeed. We leaped right into the first paragraph of this post.
Enjoy Curveball’s clean conscience.
I have not read Laura Bush’s book, but I think I will have to. I guess I have never spent a lot of time contemplating the policy preferences of Laura Bush, but perhaps I should. She apparently disagrees with her husband about both gay marriage and reproductive rights. I have to imagine this makes for some interesting segments in the book.
(Another fact I had not paid much attention to: Laura is apparently more of an intellectual than George, interested in things like literature.)
Laura Bush recently went on Larry King to discuss the book, and she point-blank said she was for equal rights for gay couples and thought abortion should be legal. The video is here.
Most of the time I don’t much care for books from those leaving office (whether they be Clinton or Bush), but this could be worth a read.
Enjoy pondering how that relationship worked when he backed the gay marriage ban amendment.
There has been some talk that the elections in Iraq mean victory at last for George W. Bush.
Even if the elections went off without a hitch and the democracy was perfect, you could still debate whether or not seven years of war under carried out for none of the reasons advertised constitutes a victory. You could also wonder if hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, millions displaced, the introduction of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and the loads of destruction mean it went well. But there may be more negatives coming from the election, including lower turnout, delayed results, and violence.
Colbert on flaws in the election, both with numbers of candidates and election law:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Stewart on election-day violence:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
The assassination of “a few” candidates? Can you imagine? And how would we react to bombings at polling locations?
Despite 38 deaths, the Iraqi people still turned out at 62%, which is higher than our 2008 election turnout and will be much higher than our midterm turnout.
I’m still not sure if there is a point I’m driving at other than we can’t call this a glowing success and forget about it. I don’t like the idea of us saying we were right all along when they’ve suffered as much as they have. Elections do not equal democracy, and we must be wary of putting it so simply.
Enjoy the search for a new Twins closer (can Neshek return to greatness?).
Seriously. He just seems like a huge jerk with anger issues.
He claimed Obama saw in the disaster in Haiti not a tragedy, but a political opportunity. Rush somehow knows that Obama is going to use this to boost his credibility in the black community (both light and dark skinned). Rush also has some imaginary intel stating that Obama will use the opportunity to attack Republicans. Odd since he asked George W. Bush to help Haiti.
How he knows this is a mystery. How it won’t increase his credibility with white people (like me) that care about humans, not just listeners, is also a mystery. And why anyone listens to him is a mystery.
Enjoy the Golden Globes.
It’s been some time since I’ve posted Jon busting out a funny but poignant little ditty. This video begins by making fun of Blagojevich and Reid for their ridiculous comments before getting into one of the biggest double standards in politics.
The double standard is, of course, about national security. None of the attacks that occurred under Bush count as terrorist attacks and Obama has had millions. For starters, 9/11 doesn’t count. Neither do any of the other attacks before Obama took office.
The logic required to come up with the numbers conservatives have been using is baffling, and Jon and Jon Oliver lay them out as the rules of Terror Ball. In Terror Ball, Obama simply cannot win. Also, if you listen to Oliver say “Terror Ball,” it sounds an awful lot like “Terrible.”
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
Enjoy Lane Kiffin’s disgrace.
I just read an interesting article by Bruce Bartlett, a Republican economist and one of the first supply-side economists. He believes the rage shown at town halls is misplaced. I thought I’d share this, because I’ve heard a lot of “Bush is done,” but that doesn’t mean his effect on the economy is. And Bartlett agrees. I suggest reading the article, but I’m just going to throw some quotes up.
The gross domestic product and the level of employment would be pretty much the same today under any conceivable set of policies enacted since Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Thus the vast bulk of this year’s currently estimated $1.8 trillion deficit was determined by Bush’s policies, not Obama’s.
I think conservative anger is misplaced. To a large extent, Obama is only cleaning up messes created by Bush. This is not to say Obama hasn’t made mistakes himself, but even they can be blamed on Bush insofar as Bush’s incompetence led to the election of a Democrat.
Conservative protesters should remember that the recession, which led to so many of the policies they oppose, is almost entirely the result of Bush’s policies.
According to the CBO, federal taxes will amount to just 15.5 percent of GDP this year. That’s 2.2 percent of GDP less than last year, 3.3 percent less than in 2007, and 1.8 percent less than the lowest percentage recorded during the Reagan years. If conservatives really believe their own rhetoric, they should be congratulating Obama for being one of the greatest tax cutters in history.
In my opinion, conservative activists, who seem to believe that the louder they shout the more correct their beliefs must be, are less angry about Obama’s policies than they are about having lost the White House in 2008. They are primarily Republican Party hacks trying to overturn the election results, not representatives of a true grassroots revolt against liberal policies.
Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect. They can start building some by admitting to themselves that Bush caused many of the problems they are protesting.
You can still disagree with President Obama’s principles, but blaming everything on him just doesn’t make sense.
Also, his points about the protesters seem right on. What’s even enraging is that they often don’t even seem to know what they’re protesting. Death panels? Really? If someone has actually taken to the time to learn about an issue, they don’t just yell made up stuff. It almost seems like more of a way for them to vent frustrations then genuine policy problems.
Also, how great is that tax cutter line?
Enjoy the article.
Update: Apparently the people who devised the legal strategies ignored strong opposition from the military. Many in the military recognized that the behavior the strategy was meant to justify was illegal. This would aid in prosecuting those that crafted the strategy.
Obama recently released the torture memos from the Bush administration. There is, of course, outrage. But the outrage is misplaced. Many people are outraged at their release. That’s right, not at the horrible things done in the name of the United States, but at the fact that we now know about it. If you haven’t looked at the list, here are some depressing lows we’ve hit:
- One detainee was waterboarded 183 times in one month
- “Walling” or slamming detainees into a wall (with protective neck gear)
- Confinement in a box with an insect (insect for detainee who feared insects)
- Prolonged nudity
- Wall Standing (standing 5 feet from a wall and supporting your weight entirely with your fingertips for prolonged periods of time)
- Stress positions
- Sleep deprivation (up to 11 days)
- All fluid diet
That’s not America.
People like Karl Rove are mad that these memos were released because it let the terrorists know what we do. Seriously? First of all, if that was an issue, it would imply that we were going to continue this crap. Secondly, how will this change the strategies of terrorists? Will they now stop recruiting people who want to destroy America but have a pesky fear of insects? Thirdly, do you think the people willing to blow themselves up for an unachievable goal are too concerned with preparing to be caught? Fourthly, the best most information we get occurs before the torturing even starts. Torturing people doesn’t get you actionable intelligence.
This seems like another means for the people who destroyed the integrity of our country and the country itself to deflect the criticism and prosecution from themselves. They have actually managed to at least partially frame the debate as if it is about whether or not Obama should have released the memos. By reframing this, they have taken light off the debate about whether or not to prosecute. Obama originally said he would not seek to prosecute the men who devised the legal authority for these tactics, but he seems to have changed his mind. I don’t even think that is the most relevant debate. The debate should be about the proper punishment of those who allowed this to happen. I’m sure they would hope it isn’t cruel and unusual.
Here’s a video from the Daily Show that is pretty awesome:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|We Don’t Torture|
Here’s a few links to read:
In this one, Russ Feingold supports prosecution and nails Peggy Noonan for the comments you saw at the end of the Daily Show clip: Feingold’s reaction
Here is a NY Times link: torture memos
Here is a link to the Telegraph: more from the torture memos
Here you can actually read through the torture memos: actual torture memos
Enjoy a new direction.
What a day to be alive, huh? Here is some inauguration video in case you missed it. Chief Justice Roberts struggled with the oath a bit, but what do ya do?
It is a new beginning, and it doesn’t feel real yet. George W. Bush has been president for a third of my life (the third I remember most). That hurts. I’m excited that I no longer have to cringe every time our president speaks. We shouldn’t be afraid that our president will offend half the planet when he speaks. That in itself is enough to make me happier. Here’s a video:
Enjoy a new beginning.
Jacob Weisberg compiled a list of his 25 favorite Bushisms for slate. Debate could rage for years and years over which of the countless streams of word vomit deserve the top spot, but I think this is a pretty solid list.
Enjoy flannel pajamas.
“I think across the board he’s led the party to its current position, which means losing both houses of congress and now the White House,” Stone said. “How can you be conservative and justify wiretapping people without a warrant? We’re supposed to be the party of personal freedom and civil liberties. Big brother listening in on your phone calls—I got a problem with that.”
The he referred to is George W. Bush. This is just one of the memorable quotes Roger Stone told The Daily Beast. There are several other points of interest, including how Stone feels some guilt for all of the deaths that happened as a result of the war in Iraq. Stone played an important role in the 2000 recount in Florida and is a notorious political hit man. Not one you’d normally associate with a guilty conscience. Here is the full link:
Stone regrets his role in the 2000 recount
Enjoy flannel pajamas.
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