A President of Scorn, or a President with Cajones?
Drinking, AIDS in Africa, failed stimulus programs, torture, terrorism, ESCR, Abu Ghraib, North Korea, al-Qaeda, Hussein, WMD, AGW, Katrina, 9/11, surge, and financial crises are just a very few of the occurrences in this presidency. Even the Great Depression almost paled in comparison this presidency’s trials and tribulations. Not many leaders could survive this onslaught.
Amazingly, George W. Bush had completely cleaned up his drinking problems long before being elected president. He endured, and it sufficiently steeled him for the vicious storm to come.
He incorporated PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) to eliminate AIDS/HIV in Africa. Africans called it the Lazarus Effect. In each of the first five years, 150,000 babies were saved. Bush stated those lives (over 750,000 saved) aided America’s strategic and moral interests. He knew societies mired in poverty and disease foster hopelessness, which leaves people ripe for recruitment by extremists and terrorists. As a result, many more terrorists were not recruited, and more Americans were not killed.
ACLU Wants to Prosecute President Bush for “Torture” – Robert …Knight revealed serious flaws in considering “water boarding” torture. After Bush had asked senior government legal officers to review the interrogation methods, they assured him that they did not constitute ‘torture’.
Unfortunately, so many fail to realize that the CIA interrogation program actually saved American lives. NSA Director Mike Hayden said publicly the program had been “successful in detecting and preventing attacks inside the US.” Interestingly, no subsequent attacks were successful during the rest of Bush’s seven years. The Patriot Act helped the administration break up terror cells in Florida, Virginia, Oregon, and News York; by destroying the wall that originally disallowed law enforcement and intelligence personnel to share info.
ESCR (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) showed no positive results. Most Americans favored research with ESCs in 2001, but months later the New York Times showcased the headline: “Scientists Bypass Need for Embryo to Get Stem Cells”. Charles Krauthammer, a respectful critic of Bush’s decision in 2001 [not to allow federally funded ESCR] wrote, “The verdict is clear: Rarely has a president—so vilified for a moral stance—been so thoroughly vindicated.”
TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program)was an last-ditch governmental intervention to preserve the free market. In what Ben Bernanke (Federal Reserve)and Hank Paulson (Treasury Secretary) deemed as a “financial panic”and “the worst crisis since the Great Depression”, the Dow dropped 777 points–the largest single-day point loss ever. Bush made sure the impact from TARP would not let the American financial system fail. Banks slowly resumed lending, and the 2nd Great Depression that Bernanke warned about never happened.
Katrina, a Category 5 hurricane before hitting New Orleans on 8/28/05, was warned when Bush announced all Gulf Coast citizens put the safety of their family first, and move to safe ground. The major damage was inflicted when several levees were breached. Even though 80-90% of the residents had evacuated, tens of thousands had not.
By the sixth day after landfall, Mayor Nagin nor Governor Blanco had still not given any mandatory evacuation orders. Because of the ensuing violence, Bush sent in troops with no law enforcement powers, restoring order without firing a shot. But, because mostly black residents were killed during the worst of the storm, he was called a racist for it.
2752 died in the Twin Towers’ collapse, even though 50,000 was typical daily population. After 9/11, al-Qaeda threatened a Second Wave of terrorist attacks on the West Coast. Bush halted all commercial flight traffic for several days after 9/11. Through mid-2003, the CIA reported to the president an average of 400 specific threats every month. The CIA also tracked more than 20 separate large-scale attack plots–one of which was the Second Wave.
While Iraq War amounted to only 3.2% of all federal spending, it was less than just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost [Obama's failed stimulus program cost more than the Iraq war ...].
Unfortunately, administrations are rarely judged by the lives they saved during an event. Even conservative pundits such as Bill O’Reilly claimed that 4400 American troop deaths were not worth the effort to remove Hussein. More than 1000x those deaths were likely had not Hussein been stopped. Evidently, O’Reilly does not seem to be a “what-if” thinker.
Amazon.com: Decision Points (9780307590619): George W. Bush: Books reveals the true events of the Bush presidency. If there was even one mistake in the book, one would have heard from his staff, the military, foreign contacts, or any reader who actually checked the facts.
Bush should be remembered as one of our greatest presidents for lives that WEREN’T killed–American deaths from flights that would have stayed in the air longer on 9/11, if Bush had not deployed General Honoree after Katrina insurrection, if the Second Waveon the West Coast had proceeded, if CIA information was not obtained on future attacks, if Africa gained terrorists because of rampant HIV, if Bush had allowed ESCR to proceed, if Hussein had given terrorist WMDs after 9/11 (i.e., botulism toxin, anthrax, VX nerve agent, mustard gas, Hussein’s missile program, Hussein’s unchecked killing of Iraqis, Hussein’s plans to reinstate WMD program, etc…).
But in 2008, our military shipped 3500 barrels (550 metric tons)of uranium, or “yellowcake”, out of Iraq. In the 2003 State of the Union address, Bush uttered the infamous “16 words”: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” He was right, but you never heard it from mainstream media.
Because it would have confirmed the presence of WMD, finding uranium or”yellowcake”, would have given credence to Bush declaring Iraq as a “grave and gathering threat”. Earlier, the Associated Press said that uranium “also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons…”. In a Time July 2003 edition: “no yellowcake equals no WMD equals bogus basis for war”.
Now, with the obvious yellowcake evidence, the mainstream media deem the uranium old, and degraded–not the WMD Bush allegedly lied about. It seems the mainstream media has a phobia about admitting the right might be right.
Kevin Roeten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.