Until 2017, I rated George W. Bush the worst American president in history. Today I believe he is only the second worst.
I wrote about Bush 43 after he was reelected in 2004. I claimed that his invasion of Iraq was a war crime, and his lies about “weapons of mass destruction” demanded punishment from the House and Senate. He chose to invade two countries, Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003, which resulted in the loss of thousands of lives in both nations, and thousands of Americans. The financial cost of what proved to be “two unwinnable wars” is more than 6.4 trillion dollars. Look at this number: $6,400,000,000,000.
In 2008 the “great recession” began. Continuing the fiscal policy of Ronald Reagan, Bush nearly forced our nation into a second depression. Americans began losing their homes, and their life savings. Not a single Wall Street executive paid for their crimes, but average citizens continue to pay for their sins and will for years to come.
The worst of all damages caused by the Bush administration was the division of our nation’s people. The problem was raised to the extreme during Trump’s illegitimate presidency, and because “the truth lives here,” I admit that I see no solution to the situation. Not only are right-wing politicians to blame, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News must share in the tragedy.
Yesterday Bush made a speech he will regret for the remainder of his life. He was speaking at his library in Dallas, Texas, attempting to convince voters that our election process is safe and secure, voiding the baseless accusations of Trump, his party, and Fox. It didn’t go well. A slip of the tongue offered the truth about our Invasion of Iraq.
As he began talking about Russia and its sham elections, he said the following.
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq — I mean of Ukraine,” Bush said.
“Iraq… anyway,” he said with a shake of his head, as members of the audience chuckled. He then cited his age, 75, before returning to his speech.
The truth always survives an onslaught of lies, even when those lies continued for 19 years.
The sad truth is that nothing positive was accomplished by our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Not since WWII has America been able to claim victory in a war. After leaving Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban has complete control of the country. After we retreated from Iraq, ISIS grew into a force equal to Al Qaeda, and the region remains in turmoil.
Bush placed our nation in two wars but was incapable of finding a way out of them.
The truth is, although our military is the largest in the world, by far, five times bigger than all others combined, and costs about $800 billion each year and rising, it is unfit for today’s warfare. However, Republicans love wars: they’re good business, at least for those invested in the military industrial complex.
Beginning with the Reagan administration, every Republican following his administration proved that they were incompetent when facing domestic issues.
Op-ed by James Turnage
The Guardian: ‘I mean Ukraine’: George W Bush says Iraq invasion unjustified in speech gaffe – video
NPR: Trying to condemn the war in Ukraine, Bush inadvertently calls Iraq war unjustified; by Bill Chappell