Part I of III
On this day, 35 years ago, then President Richard Nixon, uttered the now infamous statement that defined his legacy. Amid the Watergate scandal Nixon told the Associated Press, “I am not a crook”. As it turned out, he actually was and the scandal brought down the presidency as well as stained his legacy.
Fast forward to 2008 and finally, the Bush presidency (and family dynasty) is coming to a much anticipated end. There have been many that have wished he were impeached but fortunately, like a death row inmate who gets his sentence commuted to life without the possibility of parole at a supermax prison, Mr. Bush’s legacy will be his ultimate punishment. There is a sense of poetic justice in this. Leaving office with the lowest approval ratings in the HISTORY of the American presidency, should linger in his psyche like an ill placed, misspelled tattoo for the ret of his life.
I remember distinctively a conversation that I had with a colleague at school during the uncertain time in November 2000, when the nation awaited the courts to decide the Bush v. Gore travesty. I commented to her, “In a way, I hope Bush wins… he is such an idiot that he will give us something to laugh at on a weekly basis”. I stopped laughing less than a year later and have cursed the day I uttered those words for the following seven.
Fittingly, George W. Bush will be remembered for:
Stealing the 2000 Elections
After weeks of waiting, the Supreme Court stepped in and stopped the recount of ballots in several Florida counties, thus handing the presidency to Bush. His margin of victory in Florida: 537 votes.
While America was under attack, Bush was in a Florida classroom reading the book, “My Pet Goat” to second graders. (And who says he does not read?) Failing to pay attention to an August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief titled, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.” We were caught by surprise by the masterfully executed terrorist attack. Hijackers commandeered four commercial jets and wreaked havoc within the US. Confusion reigned in the skies above the nation. In the aftermath, all air traffic was prohibited. Well not all flights were cancelled. An exception was granted to the Bin-Laden family to fly out of the country. There are some that proudly point out that there has not been another attack on American soil since 9/11, painting the absurd picture of Bush as the great protector. That’s like giving credit to the captain of the Titanic for raising awareness of the dangers of icebergs. Let’s face it, the 9/11 disaster occurred during the Bush presidency and he should bear full responsibility for our lack of preparedness.
After lying to the world, Bush got his wish and invaded Iraq. What was an action to rid Iraq of WMD’s, soon turned into a war for regime change, and then it became a fight against Al-Qaeda. Soon thereafter, the war was being conducted to “spread democracy”. There was an absolute belief by the administration with its neoconservative philosophy that the invasion and conflict would be a “cake walk”. It quickly became apparent that the invasion was conducted with too few troops and a fundamental lack of understanding regarding Iraq itself. Other memorable low points: Abu Ghraib prison, $9 billion in cash missing, Jessica Lynch stage managed rescue, rejected new Iraqi flag, Rumsfeld’s “known unknowns and unknown unknowns”, lack of armored vehicles, no-bid contracts, the war will be paid be Iraqi oil revenues, the insurgency is in their last throes, greeted as liberators, looting, Blackwater mercenaries, electrocuted soldiers in showers, Cindy Sheehan, the list is endless.
Number of American Deaths in Iraq to date: 4201.
Number of funerals attended by Bush: 0
Estimated costs: $2,000,000,000,000 (That’s in trillions!)
To be continued.
Feel differently? Leave a comment and let’s discuss it.