George Bush's "All-Time Low"

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The New Statesman

George Bush's "All-Time Low"

He's got to be joking, right? No, he isn't.

It's been nearly two years since he left the White House with the lowest domestic and global approval ratings of any US president in living memory. But, it seems, we still can't get enough of George W. Bush. This morning's papers lead with extracts, snippets and lines from Bush's new memoir, Decision Points. The Times (£) is serialising the book and has an exclusive interview with "The Decider" himself. The Guardian's front page focuses on how Bush instructed the Pentagon "to draw up plans to attack Iran". The Indy, oddly, leads with a review of the book from the New York Times's chief literary critic, Michiko Kakutani.w.jpg

One bit from the extracts of the book that stands out to me, and perhaps sums up both the ridiculous and odious nature of George Bush and his presidency, is the section on Hurricane Katrina and the fallout from it. The ex-president describes how upset and angry he was to hear, at the time, how rap star Kanye West had told television viewers: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

From the Guardian:

Five years later, I can barely write these words without feeling disgusted. I am deeply insulted by the suggestion that we allowed American citizens to suffer because they were black... The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. I was raised to believe that racism was one of the greatest evils in society," Bush writes. "I faced a lot of criticism as president. I didn't like hearing people claim I had lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was a racist, because of the response to Katrina, represented an all-time low. I told Laura at the time that it was the worst moment of my presidency. I feel the same way today.

Hmm. So the botched response by the federal government to Hurricane Katrina itself, the costliest natural disaster in US history, that led to the deaths of 1,836 people, wasn't Bush's "all-time low", it was all the nasty name-calling afterwards.

And even "today", with the benefit of hindsight, the suggestion from a rapper that he might be a "racist" is considered by Dubya as "the worst moment" of his presidency; not the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; not the failure to prevent the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001, which killed 3,000 people on American soil; not the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison; not the hundreds of thousands of people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as a direct result of his so-called wars of liberation.

Words fail me...

Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan is the political director of the Huffington Post UK and a contributing writer for the New Statesman.

 

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