History Cannot Save Him

WASHINGTON -- As he leaves office, President
Bush is passing on to his successor two wars and a growing economic
debacle. What a way to go!

Because of Bush's policies, the U.S. also is complicit in the
Israeli attack on the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip by providing a
"made-in-America" high-tech arsenal for the assault and blocking a
ceasefire for nearly two weeks, a move intended to help the Israelis
consolidate their hold.

Not to worry, Bush says he isn't concerned about how history will
view his militant eight years in the White House, telling ABC News that
he "won't be around to read it."

Well, they say that journalism is the first draft of history. So I
am going to predict that those future historians will not deal kindly
with the Bush presidency.

It's true -- as Bush and company point at their proudest
achievement-- there have been no new terrorist attacks on the U.S.
since Sept. 11, 2001.

But they fail to acknowledge administration mistakes before and
after that fateful day, starting with the fact that White House and
security officials ignored significant early warnings of an imminent
strike against the U.S.

The second half of the double 9/11 mistake was the trampling of our
constitutional system and American values by the administration's
infamous torture policies, illegal interrogation practices, including
water boarding (simulated drowning), secret prisons abroad and U.S. run
jails at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. Post- 9/11 Bush strategy also
nurtured a climate of fear that enabled the self-styled "decider" to
lead the country into a senseless war against Iraq, a calamity still
underway as he leaves office almost six years after the invasion.

Add the administration's pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina in
2005 and you have basis to dub Bush's eight White House years as the
"Bush error."

He was to be the great "unifier" but instead he became a great polarizer.

While he remained stubbornly steadfast to his core social
convictions, he did a 180-degree turn when it came to the role of
government in the economy when he bailed out the collapsed giants of
Wall Street.

He told CNN: "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free
market systems." So much for all the anti-government rant of Republican

After the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and then-national
security advisor Condoleezza Rice drummed up the fiction that Iraq was
linked to the al Qaida attacks and sold that fable to a naive Congress
and jittery American people. During the first crisis meeting after the
9/11 attack, neo-con advisor Paul Wolfowitz, said: "Let's bomb Iraq."

There were no Iraqis involved in the attack and no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any role in planning or executing it.

Other falsehoods that these officials peddled included the tale that
Iraq's Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
Cheney told his Sunday television audiences, "We know where they are."

Official inspectors found none. The non-existent weapons were used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Bush is not about to admit that his costly inhumane attack on Iraq
was a mistake. How could he tell grieving families of more than 4,000
American service members that their loved ones had died because of his

In addition to the flawed decision to attack Iraq, Bush and Co. used
the aftermath of 9/11 to take wholesale swipes at our civil liberties,
including warrantless wiretapping.

So those future historians will have a clear view of the 43rd
president as they look back on the early years of the 21st century.

A list of Bush's accomplishments also should include his efforts to
pay more money and political support into helping victims of AIDS and
malaria in Africa. And he is proud of his controversial program "No
Child Left Behind" to upgrade public school students by imposing
national standards on an education system that had none.

Those future historians should also take note that Bush was hailed
for his "likeability" when he came into office and was dubbed the guy
you would like to share a beer with.

However, a CNN poll last year suggested that Bush had become the
most unpopular president in modern American history. That CNN/Opinion
Research Corp. survey indicated that 71 percent of the American public
disapproved of how Bush was handling his job as president.

Bush must have a sense of relief in giving up the presidential burdens.

He is confident that those future historians will vindicate him and his presidency.

But no one is expecting him to wind up on Mount Rushmore.

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