George W. Bush struggled to attain mediocrity, and failed. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:
George W. Bush reaffirmed his status as garbage last week, for those few cons still in doubt.
Bush got up on the 9/11 anniversary and proceeded to demonstrate, again, the essentiality of class in American society. Not “class” in the sense that he is classy; Bush, though it was very important to him to front that he has such class, in fact, has none. No, the “class” that is important to W is social class. He once again chose his country club pals over you and compounded it by issuing a disgusting blood libel against you. That’s his “thank you” for the thankless job of defending his worthless rear-end we did for all those years back when he was too gentlemanly to do it himself.
His disgusting speech even drew the ire of the even-tempered and thoughtful Byron York, who called it “dreadful.” What I would call it would not pass FCC muster.
This backstabbing creep dared say:
“And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”
George Bush was a third-rate president; it’s no surprise that he’s being swooned over by the current crop of third-raters. From Matt Taibbi at taibbi.substack.com:
After George W. Bush gave a speech comparing 9/11 to January 6th, a parade of high-profile Democrats stepped over the grave of American liberalism to praise him
Former president and onetime ultimate blue-party villain George W. Bush gave a speech Saturday, commemorating 9/11 at the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Much of what he said was tonally quite like the speeches of his presidency, denouncing the evildoers, praising American resilience, calling for pride in “our wounded nation.” Then he shifted gears.
“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” he said, adding, in a passage that sent tents a-pitching across Washington:
There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.
A few years ago, George W. Bush was on track to be remembered as one of the worst presidents of all time, if not the worst. He was both more disdainful and more ignorant of the law than Nixon, his arsonist economic stewardship was rivaled only by Hoover, and intellectwise he made Chester A. Arthur look like Copernicus. He was also a worse and more destructive president than Donald Trump, and it wasn’t close. Trump talked big, but it was Bush who actually smashed norms on a grand scale, from international law to human rights to adherence to the most basic constitutional principles, in pursuit of policies that Brown University just estimated cost $8 trillion and led to 900,000 deaths.
From The Babylon Bee:
SHANKSVILLE, PA—In a stirring speech at the Flight 93 Memorial yesterday, some guy who started two wars called for more civility.
Are those who push for and implement disastrous wars that kill thousands or millions ever called to account? Do they ever bear consequences, or do they just end up on the board of directors of some defense contractor? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
How about some accountability for Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen?
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, Propaganda, War
Tagged Afghanistan war disaster, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, War crimes
Being a neoconservative means never having to admit you were wrong. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
George W Bush has issued a statement on the situation in Afghanistan, and there are not enough shoes in the world to adequately respond to it.
“Laura and I have been watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness,” the Hague fugitive writes. “Our hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have suffered so much and for the Americans and NATO allies who have sacrificed so much.”
Bush tells the US Armed Forces, diplomatic corps, and intelligence community how proud he and his wife are of their “sacrifice” and “courage” and that they “kept America safe” and “made America proud” with their decades-long occupation which accomplished literally nothing besides making horrible people very rich. And, it won’t surprise you to learn, the statement contains exactly zero apologies to anyone for anything.
Unlike in Afghanistan, the government didn’t even have the excuse that there was a prominent terrorist 9/11 mastermind hiding in Iraq to justify its regime change operation. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
President Joe Biden plans to keep U.S. forces in Iraq but out of combat, he hopes. At least that is what he said after representatives of the two governments met Monday in the latest “strategic dialogue.” Americans and Iraqis alike are still paying the price for George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq.
The Islamic State, which overran much of the country only a few years ago, has been defeated. It remains a threat, but one that Iraqis can contain. The continuing divisions within Iraqi society pose a greater challenge to Baghdad. Although nominally at peace, Iraq is riven by sectarianism, violence, and corruption, which have inflamed popular frustration and anger, especially among the young, who are desperate for a better future.
Unfortunately, outside powers exacerbate internal problems. Geography and religion enhance the influence of Iran, which supports well-armed militias in Iraq. They operate outside of Baghdad’s control and today direct much of their fire at US forces.
Although more distant, Washington has acted even more imperiously and recklessly. The Reagan administration supported Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, providing naval protection for oil shipments used to fund his murderous aggression against Iran. However, his 1990 attack on Kuwait turned Washington against him, leading to the first Gulf War. Then Bush used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq. His claim that Baghdad possessed nuclear weapons was false, a striking pastiche of lies and misstatements, highlighted by calculated falsehoods from Ahmed Chalabi, a U.S.-subsidized expatriate who dreamed of seizing Iraq’s presidency.
Bush and Cheney were criminals, Trump is not. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
Fantasies of a Trump-led fascist coup have redounded to the benefit of many — especially those responsible for abuses far worse than those of the current president.
President Bush and Former American Vice President Dick Cheney in the Presidential Limousine. Image courtesy George W Bush/National Archives (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
That the liberal belief in and fear of a Trump-led fascist dictatorship and violent coup is actually a fantasy — a longing, a desire, a craving — has long been obvious.
The Democrats’ own actions proved that they never believed their own melodramatic and self-glorifying rhetoric about Trump as The New Hitler — from their leaders joining with the GOP to increase The Fascist Dictator’s domestic spying powers and military spending to their (correct) belief that the way to oust The Neo-Nazi Tyrant was through a peaceful and lawfully conducted democratic election in which vote totals and, if necessary, duly constituted courts would determine the next president.
The motives for concocting this Wagnerian fantasy about coups, dictatorship, concentration camps and civil war are numerous. Politics is boring, and your life unspectacular, if it’s dedicated to a goal as banal and uninspiring as empowering a septuagenarian career-politician — the centrist-authoritarian author of the 1994 Crime Bill, the credit card industry’s most loyal servant, and key Iraq War advocate — along with his tough-on-crime prosecutor-running-mate who always seems as if she just left a meeting of the Aetna Board of Directors where massive hikes in deductibles were approved.
Glory is available only if one can convincingly herald oneself as a front-line warrior risking it all to courageously battle unprecedented evil and a Nazi-like menace. But working to do nothing more than elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the rest of the painfully ordinary and mediocre corporatist and imperialist Democratic Party politicians through a standard American election? There’s no glory residing in that, no courage needed for it, to put it mildly.
When George W. Bush was president, the mainstream media hated him. However, to the mainstream anyone looks like a saint compared to President Trump. From James Bovard at mises.org:
Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”
Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and atrocities that permeated his eight years as president.
In an October 2017 speech in a “national forum on liberty” at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City, Bush bemoaned that “Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.” Coming from Bush, this had as much credibility as former president Bill Clinton bewailing the decline of chastity.
Most media coverage of Bush nowadays either ignores the falsehoods he used to take America to war in Iraq or portrays him as a good man who received incorrect information. But Bush was lying from the get-go on Iraq and was determined to drag the nation into another Middle East war. From January 2003 onwards, Bush constantly portrayed the US as an innocent victim of Saddam Hussein’s imminent aggression and repeatedly claimed that war was being “forced upon us.” That was never the case. As the Center for Public Integrity reported, Bush made “232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda.” As the lies by which he sold the Iraq War unraveled, Bush resorted to vilifying critics as traitors in a 2006 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged George W. Bush, Iraq War lies, Minority home ownership, Patriot Act
One of the drawbacks of empire is you often have to look the other way regarding the depredations of your allies and satraps. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” Everyone who enters the gate at West Point Military Academy must memorize and recite these words on their first day. Failure to follow that protocol, including the “nontoleration clause,” can mean expulsion. Even insufficient adherence to the spirit of said value system can earn one pariah status at the academy. Those who graduate after four years of academics, military training and “character-building” are expected to live by and imbue in their fellow soldiers the seven Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. In most official documents, these terms are literally capitalized.
It’s an old system, one that both senior leaders and most junior officers have eagerly preserved. Yet in recent decades, the purportedly unstoppable force of military ethics has met a seemingly immovable object in the form of an entrenched Afghan child-rape culture. Because in that morally trying case, in which senior “leaders of character” regularly told their troopers to ignore the local practice (and occasionally punished those who refused), the U.S. military chose tactical expedience (or desperation) over virtue. And while what unfolded may not technically qualify as a violation of the honor code, tolerance of rape has nonetheless brought disgrace upon the entire US military.
The American-Afghan child sex scandal was briefly a major story in 2015, and it popped up periodically in the mainstream media through 2018. But if this story is slightly dated, it’s still worth remembering that the practice in rural Afghanistan has been an open secret among US soldiers for decades. Heck, I myself was shamelessly invited by local village elders to such a hashish-smoke-filled bacha bazi party just weeks into my deployment back in 2011 (I politely passed). So well-known was this not-so-secret rape culture that soldiers regularly joked about their own (usually tangential) introduction to its existence.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Law, Military, Morality, Politics, War
Tagged Aghanistan, Barack Obama, Child rape, George W. Bush, President Trump
It is inevitable, given the trend towards decentralized violence, that any attempt at centralized violence such as the US’s many invasions would result only in chaos. From Danny Sjursen at tomdispatch.com:
U.S. Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails
In March 1906, on the heels of the U.S. Army’s massacre of some 1,000 men, women, and children in the crater of a volcano in the American-occupied Philippines, humorist Mark Twain took his criticism public. A long-time anti-imperialist, he flippantly suggested that Old Glory should be redesigned “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.”
I got to thinking about that recently, five years after I became an antiwar dissenter (while still a major in the U.S. Army), and in the wake of another near-war, this time with Iran. I was struck yet again by the way every single U.S. military intervention in the Greater Middle East since 9/11 has backfiredin wildly counterproductive ways, destabilizing a vast expanse of the planet stretching from West Africa to South Asia.
Chaos, it seems, is now Washington’s stock-in-trade. Perhaps, then, it’s time to resurrect Twain’s comment — only today maybe those stars on our flag should be replaced with the universal symbol for chaos.After all, our present administration, however unhinged, hardly launched this madness. President Trump’s rash, risky, and repugnant decision to assassinate Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani on the sovereign soil of Iraq was only the latest version of what has proven to be a pervasive state of affairs. Still, that and Trump’s other recent escalations in the region do illustrate an American chaos machine that’s gone off the rails. And the very manner — I’m loathe to call it a “process” — by which it’s happened just demonstrates the way this president has taken American chaos to its dark but logical conclusion.