George W Bush: was he really that bad?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by pmaitra, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    George W Bush: was he really that bad?

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    US President George W. Bush in 2008 Photo: Rex Features

    More than four years after George W Bush left the White House, his record is being reassessed and throws up similarities with Barack Obama, writes Alex Spillius

    It is George W Bush’s particular achievement to be disliked by both sides in American politics.

    Democrats of course excoriate the damage done to the budget by waging two wars while cutting taxes, his conduct after Hurricane Katrina and his shoot from the hip style, not to mention that fact that he presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

    His own Republican party utterly rejected him during the 2012 campaign. Tea Party types saw him as a big-spender guilty of extending federal government, while few who once stood with him were prepared to defend his military achievements.

    But presidents tend to look better, or at least different, from a distance, and with the opening of his presidential centre in Texas, there are suggestions that Bush the younger may be more fondly remembered than was thought possible when he left the White House in January 2009 as the most unpopular president in living memory.

    He was certainly more socially liberal than his critics give him credit for. No Child Left Behind, whatever its faults and funding, was a centralised attempt to raise educational standards across the board.

    A new prescription drug benefit scheme may have been expensive (though Bush himself argues its cost has been exaggerated) but its aim was to make medicines more affordable for the elderly.

    Bush failed in his most ambitious social reform of immigration law, but he was defeated primarily by the Right of his party, not the Democrats.

    The Obama administration may blame Bush for the crippled economy it inherited, but it has for the most part been unable to rescind his tax cuts. For the time being, the tax argument has been won by conservatives. Liberals may have berated Bush for the security policies of his “war on terror”, but they have been continued and in some regards expanded by President Obama.

    Writing in the Washington Post recently, Jennifer Rubin argued that “Bush seems to be a more accomplished Republican figure in the Obama era”, while summarising his successes.

    Bush himself has told the Dallas Morning News, in an exclusive interview, that he still stands for the “compassionate conservatism” that he ran on in 2000.

    “I’m comfortable with what I did,” he said. “I’m comfortable with who I am.”

    On the debit side, the list remains heavy. His tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq produced budget deficits, which were compounded by a recession and economic stimulus spending. Bush inherited a $5.7 trillion debt, which became a $10.6 trillion debt, and bequeathed his successor an economy on the verge of collapse.

    Obama duly expanded health care and stimulus spending, endured a second recession, deepening the debt still further.

    As Factcheck.org points out, both presidents are to blame for taking the debt to record levels.

    Indeed in Washington they both occupy the middle ground, where most presidents find themselves.

    They could not be more different in terms of background and character; they are far apart on tax, healthcare and gun control. Obama has ended both Bush’s wars.

    But both presidents found themselves in charge of a country in gentle decline without an overpowering vision of how to reverse that process.

    Both have been frustrated by the mud-slinging intransigence in Washington, and a sense that it is all but impossible to get big business done. Six months after his re-election, Obama has yet to table legislation on immigration reform. Gun control, reforming a Byzantine tax code, and reforming Social Security (another Bush failure) remain in his in-tray.

    We may yet be too close to Bush’s presidency to see this clearly, but in the future he and his successor could be seen as having as much in common than not.

    Source: George W Bush: was he really that bad? - Telegraph
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    He was doing a great job strategically from the US point of view, even though he did not think things through.

    He also was responsible for the US economic chaos!
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    His bloopers notwithstanding I think he was a good president. I shudder to think what the response would have been if say Obama was the president when 9/11 happened.
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Democrats at the time lamented that Gore was not in office to have the opportunity... I can't imagine what that imbecile would have done.
     
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  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Al Gore, yeah that idiot. Didn't he claim he invented the Internet? Didn't he have some "plan" for addressing the climate situation ?

    Al Gore would not have gone to war in Astan. At best sent a few Tomahawks into Astan. That's it. Iraq war would have not happened which would have been a good thing though.
     
  7. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    I strongly don't think that invading Iraq based on a manufactured excuse was a wise strategic decision for America...
     
  8. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Many attribute the war to the thirst for oil. But the US now imports far less from Iraq than before the war.

    George W. Bush: I'm 'Comfortable' With My Legacy On Iraq Warhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/george-w-bush-iraq_n_3084187.html
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Yes, it was a manufactured excuse that could not stand the acid test.

    But having a base in Iraq, the US has cut down logistics and time to react in the Middle East, which is a hot spot and will continue to be a hot spot for some time to come.

    Note that Iraq is connected to all Middle East Countries and is in the centre.

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    It also allows the US to react to the underbelly of Russia and the security to the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline. The pipeline goes thus - It connects Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and Ceyhan, a port on the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, via Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  10. noob101

    noob101 Regular Member

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    Bush was an idiot and I honestly believe that he was not as evil as many people think.... but I don't that that being stupid is better than being evil nor is it a good excuse in my opinion.... The human cost alone is staggering... around 4000-5000 american soldiers dead and the most tragic number is the number of Iraqi civilians that died.. no one knows and most conservative estimates say at least 100,000

    Bush was to the Iraq war as OBL was to 9/11... just the figure head. Chaney was the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the real master mind of the whole thing.... In my honest opinion Chaney is a war criminal, that became apparent in the recent years and I wish the democrats would have the balls to stand up and at least label him that.... I also wish that the rest of the world would have balls to stand up and do something about it..... Even though Bush was and idiot and i really hate him for that I don't think that he is a war criminal .....

    Of all the things that happened after the Bush presidency the one thing that I did appreciate was the fact that Bush retired and shut his mouth, that was at least graceful and I think he understood what happened.... Unlike the war criminals Chaney and the torturer Rumsfeld, who kept on running their mouths saying that they were right in invading Iraq.
     
  11. nrupatunga

    nrupatunga Senior Member Senior Member

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    If am not wrong bush jr was not a sinophile and un-did some of the things clinton did wrt china in geo-political terms.
     
  12. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    For all

    If No Presence of US and NATO forces in Middle east and Afghan .we can face Bomb Blasts and Terrorists attacks everyday

    Remember 26/11 many of them shouted India govt to go war aganist Pakistan ..then why we discussing about Afghan and Iraqi War



    Don't Blame Bush...He is a Best President .and I love him

    And Remember he is a Ex CIA ...he know more than us
     
  13. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Even if Bush wasn't a sinophile, he isn't a bona fide sinophobe like Obama
     
  14. nrupatunga

    nrupatunga Senior Member Senior Member

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    @SajeevJino Bush jr was not in cia iirc. It was his father who was in cia.

    And wrt to bomb blasts, terror/insurgencies inside india, it does not have to do with US in west asia. Radical islam with or without US would have done it.
     
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  15. nrupatunga

    nrupatunga Senior Member Senior Member

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    @t_co Why do you say obama is sinophobe. Because he said he will position 2000 marines in australia and also re affirmed US policy of protecting asean countries esp philipines?? Also stood by SoKo against NoKo??? But those are long standing US policies to which he maintained status-quo.
     
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  16. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sinophobia or Sinophile is just over simplistic. Bush Jr. acted in what he believed to be the US's interest.

    Inconvenient truth >>>> China in Iraq: winning without a war - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page
    China and US are always inter dependent Yin-Yang!
     
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  17. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Obama told us all US troops are out of Iraq some time ago. They went to Kuwait, IIRC.
     
  18. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    And Obama repeated that his entire first term, if not longer, avoiding responsibility for his own failures.
     
  19. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    The USA does not have bases in Iraq, try again.

    Kuwait - Approximately 15,000[4]
    Bahrain – 2,902[1]
    Qatar – 800[1]
    Diego Garcia - 516[1]
    Egypt – 292[1] See Multinational Force and Observers
    Saudi Arabia - 278[1]
    United Arab Emirates - 193[1]
    Djibouti – 139[1]

    Mainly they do jobs like this.....http://shock.military.com/misc/installations/Base_Content.jsp?id=2780

    Office of the Program Manager of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM SANG) Modernization Program; the Logistics Support Group (LSG) of Air Force Materiel Command; the Peace Shield Site Activation Task Force (SATAF); and the Deputy Commander, Navy International Programs Office/Saudi Naval Office (NAVYIPO S). The Chief of USMTM works under the supervision of the American Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who has overall responsibility for all US Government activities in country.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  20. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Looks like the last guy in Iraq is the webmaster. :)

    The Official Website | United States Forces – Iraq
     
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  21. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Yes these are wise considerations but taken against the wider strategic implications of the toppling of Saddam: the collapse of the biggest Iranian counterbalance (call it the liberation of Iran), the huge hit to American image abroad (both to lying about non-existent Iraqi nukes and taking unilateral invasions of a sovereign country), and the huge financial cost to America of the operation and the ensuing attempt to stabilize Iraq, I think the issue is more nuanced than just a matter of securing military positions. After all the US already have military footholds in the ME. Personally I think it's still too early to form a definitive conclusion on the strategic implications of the Iraqi invasion, although as early as now I seriously doubt it was really worth it for the Americans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013

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