Improving George Bush's Legacy


The G-8 summit is Bush's last hurrah as a world leader. What's one thing he can do to strengthen his legacy?

Posted by Lauren Keane on July 7, 2008 8:59 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (60)

Tom Wonacott :

Daniel

The US in twenty five years?

Democracies tend to become more socialistic as they age. I think that this is an obvious statement if you observe Europe, Canada and the US. Of course, the Eurowelfare state represents the greatest progress toward socialism - a secular, humanistic, multicultural society. The US is certainly more religious (scoffed at by the European elites), and the cultural war is a rebellion by US conservatives to slow down or halt the inevitable trend toward secularism and socialism. I think we can see this happening regardless of whether there is a democratic President or Republican President - although it tends to progress faster with a Democrat in office. Simply put, the government welfare system will grow.

The Europeans are burdened by welfare and relatively little is spent on their military which is relatively weak and US dependent. That is a choice that the Europeans make and, in fact, why should they spend much on their military industrial complex if the US is always there to provide the same services through NATO? A good example of this would seem to be the expansion of the EU and NATO eastward to Russia’s doorstep incorporating former Soviet Union countries anxious to find protection with NATO and economic prosperity in the EU.

Where will our foreign policy be in twenty-five years? Despite the world criticism today, US foreign policy will not change much in twenty-five years (and it shouldn‘t). Our foreign policy has been aggressive since WWII - Republican or Democratic President. The world will remain very dangerous as natural resources dwindle and economic competition heats up. Anti-globalizationist and Islamic fundamentalist will thrive as globalization marches on. The US will continue to protect economic and political interest - militarily when necessary. However, its fairly clear that we can no longer expand the welfare and warfare states indefinitely so there will be military cuts which may include some bases around the world. Our military will not be as large or as spread out in 25 years. The US role in the world will subtly change.

The major change that I see in the world will be that other countries will begin to step up to the plate in regional diplomacy. Turkey is currently mediating the peace talks between Israel and Syria as an example of regional leadership. Other countries may also assume regional leadership roles such as China although they have been a major disappointment to date. The EU has taken an active role in conflict resolution and that will continue to grow in my opinion. Arab countries? I’m clueless……

Summary:

1. The Ameriwelfare state will expand. We will move toward a more secular humanistic, multicultural, socialist society like Europe - just not as extreme because as a nation, we are relatively religious and conservative.

2. Our military must necessarily decrease in size, but our foreign policy will be similar - same philosophy - but a somewhat diminishing role.

3. More countries will assume regional and world leadership such as Turkey and the EU.

Tom Wonacott :

Zoltan

I said

"[re-Iran] The EU has only two options - carrots and sanctions - because they have no military option"

You said

"No, we also have the option: "we don't care so much". Why ? because "The EU is Iran’s largest trading partner." Your words."

It sure seems like (to me) you meant military option. I said, the EU has "no military option". You said "we have the option..." Misquote? Hardly.

"...Mr Moderator, is it in your moderating principles to let someone missquote another poster ? How can you let Mr Tom Wonacott get away with adding [military] to a phrase where I specifically exclude that option ? If I were to write a phrase pretending it's a quote from Mr Tom Wonacott, would you also let it stay ?..."

You are asking me how old I am? Quit wining to the moderator.

BobL-VA :

Tom,

Bush had 6 full years of an unimpeded agenda. For the last year and a half he has only had moderate oversight and all you can do is blame the EU, Clinton and the Democrats for Bush's failures? Do you ever get tired of making excuses for this moron? It's one thing to be a republican, but it's quite another thing to attempt to justify a horrible presidency. Whining about the typical Republican talking points (Democrats, Clinton prsidency and EU) won't change the pattern of Bush failures. He has earned the label of failure all by himself.

How are we safer Tom? I don't feel safer. In fact you are about the only person I know who feels safer. We've gone on a killing and torture spree and the last I knew violence begets violence. There are long term consequences to our rampages. It's basic human behavior 101. You can't be responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths without millions of people HATING you with a passion.

As I have previously posted my beef was always with Afghanistan and BinLaden. It was never against Iraq. Was Saddam a good man? Of course not. Did he and/or Iraq deserve what we did to them? Of course not. Afghanistan is a very different story. The country was responsible for aiding and abetting Bin Laden and committed an act of war against the US. We have the right and the responsibility to defend ourselves from external attacks and we should have taken Afghanistan apart and killed or captured BinLaden. We failed to do this. We never put the troops and/or resources into assuring any realistic chance for success in Afghanistan so Bush could invade Iraq. It was and it will remain a monumental failure on the part of the Bush administration and the EU, Clinton and the Democrats aren't to blame for Bush's ineptness.

The torture issue really eptiomizes this adminstration. The mistreatment of prisioners we're holding has been criminal and I really don't care what that legal hack Yoo wrote trying to justify it. One of the hypotheticals goes: If we had reason to be a person or persons had information about exploding a nuclear device in the US and killing millions of people and torture stood a chance at stopping that event would it be acceptable? The answer is obviously yes to the vast majority of people. The Bush adminstration then took this single type of extraordinary circumstance and said if it's acceptable under this scenario then it should be acceptable under any circumstance we feel has anything to do with national security. Since we, the administration, determines what's in our national security interest we, the adminstration, created a system where torture just became an acceptable part of interrogation of anyone they wanted. Since not one single person we know of rose to the level of their extraordinary scenario the justification for this type of inhumane activity was absurd at best. Did you see the pictures from Abu Gharbi? If that isn't mistreating prisioners I'm not sure what is. The end result is we are no longer a nation that is looked at by the world as a country that will only torture under extraordinary circumstances. We will now torture low level detainees and even completely innocent people whenever we want. That's the legacy Tom. Bush over this single issue alone turned this country into a barbaric nation and he should pay the price for this. I sincerely hope a group of tortured Iraqis file charges against Bush with the World Court. He deserves to be brought up on charges. Remember now, the Bush administration hasn't had the greatest record defending it's actions in courts. Every time it loses he whines about the courts. Sound familiar?

The two issues that define the Bush presidency are terrible policies and it's everyone elses fault when they don't work. Not a legacy I'd want to have.

Zoltan :

Mr Moderator, is it in your moderating principles to let someone missquote another poster ? How can you let Mr Tom Wonacott get away with adding [military] to a phrase where I specifically exclude that option ? If I were to write a phrase pretending it's a quote from Mr Tom Wonacott, would you also let it stay ?

Zoltan (a Hungarian living in France)
“No, we also have the [military] option:”

Apart from that intellectual fallacy, you are also completely wrong:

"Europeans must be suffering from tremendous guilt (white man’s burden) because today you really have no military."

I don't even understand what you try to say. I'm in now way guilty for the 2 World Wars and/or the millions of - European - dead, so I feel absolutely no burden, white man's or otherwise. Nor do 99% of Europeans I know. You try to push on us collective guilt, but that principle doesn't exist here (even if I know where it comes from). But I DO feel something about people going out of their way to lie (like you) and kill and destroy, be it for oil, money or prestige.

As for not having a military ... how old are you ? You're still in the kindergarten court comparing whether yours is bigger than mine ? Do you take pride in living in a country having a bigger military spending than the rest of the world combined ? Are you happy that this huge industrialo-military complex has taken over your country and is spending money on cluster-bombs, depleted uranium bullets, torture camps, laser-guided missiles, while 50000000 of your compatriots have no social security ?

Salamon :

daniel:

Please WAKE UP, the USA is broke, can not afford wars, armaments, infrastaructure, oil rare metals or anything else from foreign lands without going begging to the world to the tune of over $2 000 000 000.00 dollars a day.
While Congress and the President might whine: you foreign wealth funds can not buy this or that, if these wealth fund owners say stop spending, the USA has no Choice except STOP SPENDING or to PRINT MONEY - a revisit of the WEIMAR Republics' sad end.

daniel :

Salamon unlike citizen of post american world has the balls to answer the question of what the U.S. should do over the next 25 years, unfortunately Salamon says decrease military spending in a world which is increasingly multipolar, increasingly made up of a multitude of nations as arrogant as the U.S. The truth is it matters little whether one votes republican or democratic--the U.S. has essentially been republican abroad and democratic at home for all its history. Typical growth of plant. Should the U.S. be less republican abroad the question is whether it can be democratic even at home. How can a nation grow if it is not republican abroad? How can it increase democracy at home if it is not expanding? But I very well could be wrong....

Flukie Luke :

Leaving office early is exactly what I was going to say!
Can he impeach himself? LOL !!!

Can the worst president in American history redeem himself at the 11th hour? Of course not.

How can this country turn a blind eye to a TRAITOR to our country (by protecting those other traitors working for him who exposed our deepest CIA operatives... for nothing more than a pathetic personal vendetta) continuing in the White House? This TRUTH is beyond all comprehension! What are we SUPPOSED to (and SHOULD) do to traitors? This is what should happen to the president, vice president and those who were involved with this traitorous act.

This truth overshadows the the other, pathetic truths of having a compulsive liar, control freak, obsessive/compulsive disorder who disowned the American people after 9/11 by NOT fighting the REAL war in Afghanistan (now look at the results there), and lying through his teeth, forcing the CIA to lie, driving the top military generals out... all to for yet another personal agenda of finishing (in his little mind) daddy's unfinished business in Iraq !!!

There is NOTHING that this man could do to undo the TRUTH.. no cover up, no foreign policy ploy, no rebate, no way to rebalance the budget (what the Democrats gave him going into office) after the worst debt in American History!

Even the Republicans know that he's ruined the GOP, the government, the budget, trust in the Presidency and more. Now they are running for their lives. (McCain's worst mistake was to support his insane war policy and not distance himself from him.)

He will go down in history as THE WORST president in American History!

Salamon :

Tom:

you do not have to be an economist to see the damage to USA in the last few years:

Inflation in necessities[food/energy/education] is around 13% - killing the middle/lower classes ability to progress.

Read the report of Mr. Walker, just resigned Comptroller General of the USA, to see that the unfunded liabilities of the USA government are approx 3.5 tijes the current GDP -

The housing bubble has destroyed over 2 Trillion worth of assets [14 % of current GDP] with more to come.

Treasury and Feds had to "nationalize" Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's financial short coming, not to defend USA investors, but to defend the USA $, for without such measure China, Japan, etc would have sold off their holdiung, thus destroying the value of the[fiat] USA currency [Bretton Woods].

Major banks are insolkvent [The Fed and Treasury will permit them to hide liabilities off balance sheets] this includes Citigroup, and many others.

The Fed is printing money like there is no tomorrow, which will create inflation higher than that Mr. Volkner [?? spelling] had to fight in 1980-s, csuaing major defaulkts of bonds, and corporations having falling income [Ford, GM. etc]

Foreign entitites are buying up your industries and real estat, wherein you facew ever larger net baloance of payment deficit - for the NET income gooes offshore.

There is more, but this is enough to point you in the right direction of inquiry.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

Good to hear from you.

“…Bush and his cohort have achieved to a large extent [and will come to fruition, unfortunately in next 6-9 months] the collapse of USA economy…”

I really believe that this is more wishful thinking than reality, but I grant you, I am no economist.

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

How do you distinguish between Europe bashing and the truth? You also need to read a little more about Europe as the violence - rape, theft and murder - in many of their cities is on the rise.

Even you would admit that their military spending is pathetic, however they do a thriving business selling weapons to third world countries - like Libya, for example.

“…That cave dwelling pond scum Bin Laden certainly wanted to disrupt the US and he has succeeded…”

Yes he did to the tune of 3000 lives and I believe Shiveh mentioned a figure of one trillion dollars to our economy - equivalent to four years in Iraq. Correct me if Shiveh is wrong.

“…Bush used the "terrorist behind every bush and under every rock approach" to become a war time president when there was never a war to fight. In becoming a war time president he grabbed as much power as he could get his hands on and made a mockery of the office…”

Was the invasion of Afghanistan a police action?

Mockery of the office? You really need to re-read my first post. He has been supported by the Democrats every step of the way - including the invasion of Iraq. How about a mockery of Congress.

As far as torture goes, “Rendering of Prisoners” was instigated by Clinton after an attack on the World Trade Center. Should Clinton be charged with a war crime? I doubt there is a US President since we were born that didn’t know that the CIA probably was involved in various forms of torture. Get serious Bob.

I grant you that torture is a very controversial subject, but do you really believe that torture should never be used?

From The Lede, February 12, 2008, “Starbucks and Scalia Add More Buzz to the Torture Debate”, Mike Nizza:

“…Standing firm on the other side are senior Bush administration officials and John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. operative who supervised one instance of waterboarding in 2002. The technique wasn’t used until all other options were exhausted, he said, and it “probably saved lives.”
As if the debate wasn’t boiling fast enough, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court added to the debate today, emphasizing that torture may be constitutional in a ticking time bomb scenario…”

The New York Times also supported torture in a ticking time bomb scenario (I cannot find the column, however}.

Who doesn’t? Wasn’t that the idea behind “Dirty Harry”?

“…We let him [Bin Laden] off the hook so we could invade Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11. Don't you think that's an important point?…”

Bob, would you have supported invading a nuclear power to get Bin Laden in 2002? No doubt, Bush believed that because of our alliance with Musharraf, we would get Bin Laden at a later date. He was wrong, but the alternative - an invasion of Pakistan - might have resulted in more severe consequences than Iraq, besides, Pakistan is an ally.

He instead decided to focus on Iraq which had a history of state-supported terrorism including funding of al-Qaeda related organizations, a desire to develop WMD’s, the USE of WMD’s on Iran and the Kurds, several years without any weapons inspections (Clinton‘s fault), two invasions of adjacent countries, he brutally oppressing the Kurds and Shiites, and he took a defiant stand against weapons inspections (contrary to the treaty he signed) requiring 17 resolutions of condemnation in the UN . In addition the oil for food scandal gave Saddam the impression of a weakening resolve by the West. Heard any of this before? To remove Saddam from power was a logical result of 911 regardless of the missing link between al-Qaeda and Saddam - at least in my opinion. Most Americans now believe it was a mistake to have invaded Iraq. Hindsight is always 20-20.

No matter if history condemns Bush or not (a multiculturalist President someday will probably apologize to Iraq for destroying an indigenous and equal culture…), the Kurds and Shiites were deservedly liberated.

In addition, there is no doubt that the defiance exhibited by Iran in their rush to develop a nuclear program (while threatening to annihilate Israel) and Iraq’s desire to develop WMD‘s, that a war or severe bombings was in the future for both countries if we hadn’t invaded Iraq in 2002. Ironically, the invasion of Iraq may have saved Iran from a US bombing of their nuclear facilities today.

The Bush deal with NK is worse than Clintons just as I stated in my last post. Even Clinton wouldn’t have signed a deal with NK given their support of a clandestine nuclear facility in Syria. The Republicans would have come unglued. He was right, however, to call NK a part of the axis of evil. No regime deserves this label anymore than NK. This must be a legacy agreement.

As far as Afghanistan goes, yes, I wish conditions were better, but basically, we have very little help from our NATO allies. Also read Salamon’s post. The job of removing the Taliban and installing a democratic government in Afghanistan was never going to be easy - especially with Pakistan’s capitulation to the Taliban terrorist who now basically have their own state within Pakistan. Fundamentally we need more troops to provide security and we need to employ local Afghan fighters to turn the tide - similar to the surge in Iraq. No doubt that the war in Iraq has made the “good war” in Afghanistan more difficult. It is possible to win on both fronts however - at least to the point where both countries will be more peaceful and regionally more stable. Can we democratize a Muslim country? Not to our standards that’s for certain.

Iraq has turned the corner - knock on wood - including a major defeat of al-Qaeda whether they were there before or not. The US should not pull out in 23 months. No timetable. Period. In my opinion, transferring troops to Afghanistan is risky.

Immigration: Seal the border. Americans want the border secured first. Deal with the illegal immigrants that are here at a later date.

Oil and banking are Bush’s fault? Clinton had an opportunity to drill in Alaska, but vetoed the measure. Can we drill our way out of this problem? Well, a million barrels a day sounds good to me today and we should be drilling for oil on the continental shelf, but alternative energy is the future. Our problem with oil today is the fault of anyone who has opposed drilling in the past - mostly Democrats, but some Republicans as well - like Bush senior.

As far as Bush sending someone to sit in on the Iranian-EU nuclear talks, it suggest to me that there might be some breakthrough or significant idea, but who knows? Based on Bush’s deal with NK, no doubt, we will give in to Iran’s demands. Legacy building again.

"...Tom, again, what's to like about this president? Are we safer? No. Are we better off fiancially? No. Are we more respected around the globe? No..."

Safer? Yes.

Financially? No.

Respected around the Globe? No, but thankfully, most of our Presidents in the past considered that a low priority. The world has disagreed with many US endeavors. They will get over it.

Tom Wonacott :

Zoltan (a Hungarian living in France)

“No, we also have the [military] option:”

Bingo. The European continent instigated two world wars (60 million dead), communism (100 million (+) dead), colonialism on a world scale that wreaked havok on indigenous populations, fascism and the most virulent form of anti-Semitism the world has witnessed. Believe me Zoltan, I am well aware that Europe can create a lot of mayhem. Unfortunately, Europeans must be suffering from tremendous guilt (white man’s burden) because today you really have no military.

“…"we don't care so much". Why ? because "The EU is Iran’s largest trading partner."…”

An honest statement. None the less, Europe is finally realizing the consequences of failed diplomacy (oil for food scandal ring a bell?) so they are beginning to act with significant sanctions. A war that potentially cuts off 60% of the oil supply to the world is probably not the best option in the long run for the European economy - whether you agree with the war or not. Preventing a war is in everyone’s interest. I’ve said that for a long time.

“…And, errrrm ... how long does it take for the most powerful army in the world to win a war against a small country that had been under international embargo for 12 years ?…”

Let me see, just how did Saddam keep the Kurds and Shiites sooooo happy and content? What a mystery.

Allen :

Go India and ask to the Prime minister of there Manmohan singh,because he is also in this same problem,because of atomic agreement,now should make strategy with each other.
____________________________________________________
Allen
Addiction Recovery Massachusetts

Citizen of the post-American world :

daniel writes: "How childishly easy it is to criticize Bush. I want to see Bush criticizers give me a plan for the U.S. for the next 25 years. What exactly is the alternative to what the U.S. has been doing for the last 25 years (for the problems did not begin with Bush)."

No, Daniel, it is not "childishly easy to criticize Bush". If it were, the world would not have seen 58 million plus Americans re-elect that creature, after more than 4 years of lies and deception. If it were childish stuff, those 8 long years should have been sufficient for each and every American to have got around to doing it... so that no American could be found, today, who still believed Iraq had been behind 9-11, had weapons of mass destruction... and that we don't torture.

As for demanding that those who have the intellect, the courage and the determination to criticize the current US president, have "an alternate plan for the US for the next 25 years", it is by no means unheard of in such a democratic debate. Those who favour the status quo will generally react as you do: "If you guys are so clever, why don't you give us your plan for the next 25 years or just shut up?" I dare say that in a democracy, this is not the most elegant way to end a public conversation.

In other words, as in any democracy, the onus is on every American citizen to be critical of public authority and to exercise one's creativity at thinking out what is best for the nation and its people. So don't expect to be fed grandiose plans, Daniel, unless you are prepared to invest a little more yourself, first, in that democratic exercise that concerns us all.

Salamon :

Daniel:

The imperialistic tendencies of various USA governments are clear, war with Mexico, Spain, etc often ending in achieveing annexation of land to the USA outright, or some pseudo relationship [e.g Porto Rico].

The diffenrece between the past and Bush, is technology of assymetric warfare, on one hand; and total lack of historical awareness [be it history, culture, religion, public ethos etc] of the targets which Bush attacked. There never was a succesful invasion of Afganistan, there never was long term positive outcomne of boundless lassie-faire capitalism, there never was a situtationh when a by choice war in 20/21 century did not hurt the attacker more than the attackee.

While Iraq is destroyed, a minor country of some 30 million souls, the destruction of the USA economy affects 300 million at home, and possibly other large groups depending on events in the next 6-9. months - till the nadir is reached.

The essence of difference between what could be done 100-200-500-1000 years ago and today [or tomorrow] is the limiting factor of 6.5 billion souls, trying to live as well as possible on a single globe of some 30 squaremile of land with limited natural resources.

Chaos thery is applicable to human actions today far more than ever before, one due to technology [which includes information transmission -- see Hazzbullah vs Israel], the second is more self awareness of what is good or possible for a man [universally - thus IRaqi/Irani/etc citizens yearn for freedom as applicable to their relligious/cultural mileau - without blindly accepting the edicts of the USA as far as freedoms etc are concerned.

Now what the USA should do in the next 25 years? cut back substantially on DEFENCE [a.k.a offensive
armaments] to EU level, try to create a just society without 30% lacking health care, concentrate on technology which reduces demands on finite resources [oil, rare metals, fish in sea, arable land, water supply, etc]. This could be termed INFRASTRUCTURE for the USA.

I consciously leave out foreign aid in this field, for the USA is financially broke, and her patent laws are not in the interest of USA citizens, nor the world citizens.

that I did not refer to climate change, is not for skepticism on this issue, but a realization that the power to be [K-street] is not convinved of this issue, thus hard to face it. K Street is interested in short termism, which almost killed the USA's BIG THREE car makers, as it almost destroyed many other industries -- outsourcing is profitable, to hell with the USA citizens - seems to be the driving force of the slime in K-street.

If you wish more, I could rattle on for many hours, citing historical, philosophical economic imperatives why the USA has to concentrate in herself till she regains some economic might [better known as SAVING as opposed to BORROWING by both citizens and governments]

daniel :

How childishly easy it is to criticize Bush. I want to see Bush criticizers give me a plan for the U.S. for the next 25 years. What exactly is the alternative to what the U.S. has been doing for the last 25 years (for the problems did not begin with Bush).

Salamon :

TOM:

all funny spin aside, Bush is an Idiot with ample help from escapees from mental instoitutions, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the US/Israel dual citizens in their group.

They forgot the history of ME, No-one has ever invaded Afganistan and came out with whole skin, from Genghis Kan to The English Empire, to USSR. Same applies to Iraq, the Ottomas ruled with gentle hands not with armaments, the English Empire was kicked out,

The above idiots did not learn from the lesson of USSR, unjustified [choice based] wars destroy the wealth of nations, and dispirits its armed forces, includes moral corruption of the elite, which leads to economic/political collapse.

Bush and his cohort have achieved to a large extent [and will come to fruition, unfortunately in next 6-9 months] the collapse of USA economy. How the nation will survive the economic shock is the next question. Whateverever the outcome of the nation historians will recall the economic/moral collapse, and make their judgements accordingly.

It is time for you Tom to face reality [you are intelligent and well educated/read person], the reality which indicates that the age of empires is over, occupations do not work, such attempts create curruption in the elites, where the avarage citizen pays the economic price. This lesson applies to the USA/UK/Canada nonsense in Afganistan, UK/USA in Iraq, and Isreal in Palestine.

BobL-VA :

Zoltan,

There is an old legal saying in the Us. "When the facts are on your side argue the facts. When the law is on your side argue the law. When you don't have either baffle them with bullsh*t."

Bush certainly doesn't have the facts on his side so he can't argue them. The only way he can argue the law is by invoking executive privilege. That pretty much leaves spinning a ton of steer poop.

Your example of how long this conflict with Iraq has gone on is a perfect example. The most well trained and equipped armed forces on this planet are proud of themselves for defeating ElQaeda in Iraq. What they fail to mention is they didn't exist prior to our invasion and when they did exist their numbers only came to around 500-700 at their peak. Hmmmm.....135,000 of the best trained and equipped troops on the planet against 500-700 rag tag recruits. Aren't we proud of ourselves? This conflict could go on another 100 years to ferret out all of those despicable people. Please note the sarcasm.

Zoltan :

@ Tom Wonacott :

"The Europeans have wined" ...

And that from people who have made in their pants because of Saddam Hussein's WMD.

"Bush allowed the EU to take the lead in negotiations with the Iranians to end their nuclear program."

Does that have anything to do, by chance, with the possibility that no sensible person today even considers what Bush&Co are saying ?

"[re-Iran] The EU has only two options - carrots and sanctions - because they have no military option"

No, we also have the option: "we don't care so much". Why ? because "The EU is Iran’s largest trading partner." Your words.

"History could be kind to Bush on this issue depending on the end result for Iraq."

And, errrrm ... how long does it take for the most powerful army in the world to win a war against a small country that had been under international embargo for 12 years ? When should we be expecting "the end" ? It has been longer than any US war, except Vietnam, and THAT war didn't turn out to be a great success, did-it ? Why don't you call Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone in ?

BobL-VA :

Tom,

Europe bashing? I'm not sure why since all Bush wanted to do was use the EU to bolster HIS cause and not necessarily the cause of the EU. While the US is certainly the most prosperous nation on the planet it is a nation of great disparity among it's population. Great parts of the US are crime ridden slums. Have you been through Cleveland, Pittsburg, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York lately? Our social problems dwarf the EU. We murder each other at an unheard of rate compared to the EU countries. Washington DC only has a population of around 450K (everyone else moved to the suburbs) and there are still over 500 homicides a year. Picking on Europe is the pot calling the kettle black.

As far as I have been to discern there is no unified Jihadist movement on this planet. There are groups, some loosely assoicated, that have their own causes to deal with, but in no way is there a unified "enemy." That cave dwelling pond scum Bin Laden certainly wanted to disrupt the US and he has succeeded. Bush used the "terrorist behind every bush and under every rock approach" to become a war time president when there was never a war to fight. In becoming a war time president he grabbed as much power as he could get his hands on and made a mockery of the office. All because there is a terrorist just waiting to blow us up.

Bush and the US had a real beef with Bin Laden and Afghanistan. Well, we really showed Bin Laden didn't we? We let him off the hook so we could invade Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11. Don't you think that's an important point? Before you are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people shouldn't there at least be a compelling reason other then, "I don't like them?"

I can not and will not get off the torture issue. It has been barbaric and hopefully the next president has enough morality to put a quick stop to it and apologize for his predecessor. Torture is and will continue to be contrary to civilized societies goals. It does not even out the playing field as Cheney stated.

Where's the positives Tom? Afghanistan is a mess. Bin Laden is co-habitating with bats. The US economy is suffering. The banking/real estate troubles are a long way from being over. Oil is through the roof. Food prices are soaring. The Justice Department is a joke. The military has been over worked. We still haven't cleaned up from Katrina. Immigration and illegal immigration haven't been worked on in any meaningful way. They are both still a mess. What there is of a wall on our southern border is a joke. Bush broke Clintons deal with NK and then listed them as part of the Axis of Evil (Bush should be first on that list) and then basically went back to Clinton's deal and now magically they aren't evil anymore. Bush and co. have espoused their unwillingness to talk to Iran as they to are part of that evil axis only to name an envoy to talk to Iran just the other day.

Tom, again, what's to like about this president? Are we safer? No. Are we better off fiancially? No. Are we more respected around the globe? No.

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

Gee Bob, on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate the Bush Presidency?

As long as we are Bush bashing, let me tell you on what issues I disagree with the Bush Presidency:

1. After the US ousted the Taliban from power, and sent Bin Laden scurrying to Pakistan, we left prematurely to remove Saddam from power. The Bush mistake? He left Afghanistan to our NATO allies from Europe. The Europeans have wined for the last couple of years about the resurgence of the Taliban, and some will not participate where there is fighting. Wasn’t the whole world behind us after 911? Well, to a point, I guess.

Recent history should have been Bush’s first clue. Not only did the Europeans depend on the US to stop the genocide in Bosnia (their backyard, mind you) and act in Kosovo, they can’t even control the “insurgency” in the Paris suburbs. Sarkozy has threatened to establish an EU intervention force - a quick strike military force - and for what? To intervene in Belgium? The EU didn’t even intervene when British sailors were attacked (acts of war) by Iran - twice. The EU has expanded east to the doorstep of Russia, and again, on the back of the US - adding to the fat Eurowelfare state.

2. Bush delivered a message to NK after they detonated a nuclear bomb:

“The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or nonstate entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action,”

The North Koreans were caught red-handed supplying nuclear technology and equipment to Syria - even while engaged in the six party talks with the US. At that point, especially after the warning issued by Bush, US participation in the six party talks should have terminated. Why deliver a warning without consequences? Instead Bush signed an agreement - blackmail really - to prop up another despotic, murderous regime with a package of economic incentives, and worse, it sends the absolute wrong message to Iran and other potential rogue ("evil") states. This deal may be worse than Clintons.

Bush the neoconservative? Yea, and Obama is a Muslim.

3. Bush allowed the EU to take the lead in negotiations with the Iranians to end their nuclear program. The EU has only two options - carrots and sanctions because they have no military option (hmm, I wonder who the stick is…). The chose carrots for the last five years (and meaningless sanctions) with predictably zero results. A huge diplomatic failure so far. The EU is Iran’s largest trading partner. Recently, the EU threatened significant sanctions when they realized Iran wasn‘t budging and a war was drawing near (that would be Israel - not the US). Better late than never I guess. The biggest negative of the war in Iraq? It has put us in a weak regional position to deal with Iran - effectively.

4. Bush should have finished the wall separating the US from Mexico and then granted amnesty to illegal aliens currently in the US.

5. He lifted the offshore drilling ban eight years too late - when it was politically expedient. Maybe he didn’t want to offend “Daddy”.

6. He allowed the Republican controlled Congress to spend, spend, spend and they were rightly thrown out of office. Zero vetoes his first term. I wouldn't be so quick to compare Carter with Bush as the US was not attacked during the Carter administration. Most of government growth today, military, Homeland Security etc. is related to 911.

7. The war in Iraq. Right idea, poor execution and clearly the wrong amount of troops to control the insurgency and subsequent civil war. I will say it again. History could be kind to Bush on this issue depending on the end result for Iraq. Although the US invaded because of Saddam’s potential threat with weapons of mass destruction (very similar to Iran), about 80% of the population was liberated.

You are absolutely wrong that a US pullout will improve conditions in Iraq. That's what liberals were saying before the surge - its a civil war, there are no military solutions, the US is the cause of the insurgency. Wrong. The surge is a military solution which improved security so that political reconciliation could take place.

It should be noted that the US defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq where the terrorist organization put most of its resources i.e., higher priority than Afghanistan. Recently al-Qaeda has made a resurgence in Afghanistan. From the New York Times, July 10, 2008 (“Militant Gains in Pakistan Said to Draw More Fighters”):

“…American intelligence officials say that some jihadist Web sites have been encouraging foreign militants to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is considered a “winning fight,” compared with the insurgency in Iraq, which has suffered sharp setbacks recently. The number of foreign fighters entering Iraq has dropped to fewer than 40 a month from as many as 110 a month a year ago…”

The worst President in US history? Highly unlikely in my opinion.

BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

I couldn't agree with you more. Bush will be remembered by his responses to the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, unless you are one of the handful of neocons left this administrations responses have been devastating to this country.

Bascially, we have wasted hundreds of thousands of human lives, our brave troops and our economic health for what amounted to a power play by Bush/Cheney. This administrations handling of Afghanistan was wrong, the invasion of Iraq was wrong, the subsequent torture of humans was wrong, his refusal to be accountable was wrong, his refusal to let any of his subordinates to be accountable was wrong and Addington's contempt of Congress was just plain disgusting, his handling of the economy is making Jimmy Carter look like a financial genius, his saber rattling with North Korea wrong, his saber rattling with Iran wrong, his building walls along our southern border wrong, his handling of Katrina wrong, etc., etc., etc..

There is no way this administration is going to go down as anything but the worst this country has ever experienced.

I'd give the administration credit for something if I could find it, but I can't. The only thing people are trying to hang their hats on today is the surge and it's still too early to tell if it has had the desired effect or not. I'll give you short term violence is down, but there are numerous factors that have caused this with only some of them being additional troops. The real key to success is our leaving and Iraq self governing themselves in a relative state of peace. Until that day comes we don't have a clue if our surge worked or not.

No, I'm a firm believer GW and Dick should be charged the moment they leave office and sent directly to jail. What they have done is criminal and has been done absent of any morality. Since ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law they don't really have a legal basis to stay out of jail. If the US doesn't charge them then I hope there's campaign for the World Court to charge them. The torture issue alone is enough for them to be incarcerated.

Citizen of the post-American world :

@ Zoltan

You’re not the only one, Zoltan, we’re at least two. To put it in Leonard Cohen’s words: “Democracy … it’s coming from the feel that this ain’t exactly real, or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there.”

My point was that if those we elected have become our rulers, are no longer our representatives, it is because WE have (yet need not have) let them. For in recent years more particularly, we let them rule openly and defiantly against our will… In fact, not only did we let them rule against the will of the vast majority of us… we let them rule against the will of the vast majority of world opinion, i.e. the expression of what is truly the international community. That remains, to this day, our responsibility; for democracy, as Marx once pointed out, has nothing to do with only electing the same type of creatures once every so many years. Democracy is politics in action, on an ongoing basis, of the people, by the people and for the people.

That is why, like so many others, I cannot stand anymore hearing that impotent moaning and groaning: “It’s not our fault, after all… nothing to do with us… it’s all Bush’s fault... it’s all the Bush administration’s fault… it’s the republicans… and the democrats… etc. etc. etc”, ad nauseam. No more than I can stand that tongue in cheek: “I am not against American people, only against the American administration and against its policies.” American policies are implemented and carried through by Americans. It is American people who are responsible for US policies, both at home and abroad. We are responsible for our nation’s policies and role in this world. As true democrats, we claim that responsibility.

Our voters are responsible. Our intellectuals are responsible. Our media people are responsible. Our workers are responsible when they go on producing armament for the largest, most insane military-industrial complex in the history of mankind. Our military are responsible for the way they conduct military operations (mind you, Iraq Vets against the war, just like Vietnam Vets before them have publicly confessed and admitted their faults… and guilt). Our economists are responsible. Our speculators, our lenders, our borrowers, our consumers, all are responsible. We are responsible for the terrible deficiencies in health care and education in this country. We are responsible for the revolting inequalities among us. We are millions upon millions responsible, directly responsible for this nation’s plight.

It is obvious that we, the people, need to stand up against our rulers’ abuse of power. We need reclaim that power that was usurped from us.

Do we have, anymore, what it takes to do so? I very much doubt it. This country is currently going downhill at an accelerated pace because we are decadent; so decadent, in fact, that we have neither the courage nor the energy to reclaim that power that once was and remains essentially ours. Like infants and old people, we have become so vulnerable, apparently, that from now on we are prepared to surrender all power to whomever will take charge of us and give us even a false sense of security, in what has become the most dangerous world ever. I agree with you that in such a socio-political context, a world war is a distinct possibility. The hegemon is adamant: this world must end as some maintain it began, not with a whimper, but with a bang.

In all of this, there is a revolution in the making, though; a revolution most can feel acutely, more acutely than ever as the days go by. With it comes a revelation, a new vision of the world: we, the West, are not the centre, we never were the navel of the universe. That vision is what defines this post-American, post-Western world. That vision is really and truly revolutionary!

Does it bode well for us? Our century was the XXth, I’m afraid! My guess is the XXIst will not be … through nobody’s fault but our own.

I always appreciate reading what you write.

Zoltan :

@ Citizen of the post-American world :

"Living in a democracy, we are fully responsible for having elected our rulers."

"responsible [...] reelected [...] ruler in chief [...] this democracy"

Isn't this an oxymoron ? Aren't you supposed to elect "representatives" and not "rulers" ? I'm afraid the problem actually is simpler: we (I'm in Europe, and it's not very different) don't have a democratic system. All the rest comes from this. How it happened, I don't know, but we must face the inevitable truth: this is "democracy" only in name.

Am I the only one that this strikes as odd ?

I'm beginning to think that if there is no revolution, there will be World War III.

Robinson Osvaldo Maraboli Allende :

The man did not descend from monkeys. The man is a creation of extraterrestrials. The extraterrestrials are descended from the reptiles and humans are hybrids (genetically we are almost equal).

http://www.elfotolog.com/fenotipo_et

Maitreya is an antichrist used by the rebel alliance extraterrestrial.
http://www.maitreyainfo.com/
http://www.maitreya.org/spanish/M-PICTUR.HTM

BE WARNED

Without intention of offending, this information is important

New world order

General Lex luxor (synonymous: Satan, Hades, Lucifer, Qetzalcoatl)
leader of the extraterrestrial rebellious alliance

the extraterrestrial rebellious alliance is a criminal organization responsible for the new world order


The plan of the extraterrestrial rebels consists of 3 steps
1° anarchy
2° socialism
3° Comunism (peoples republics)
And finally world-wide domination

part of the plan is to make believe the men who Jesus is not the king, who does not exist

The extraterrestrial rebels control the great terrorist and criminal organizations at world-wide level (for example: FARC in Colombia, ETA in Spain, Alqaeda)

The truth, Jesus (Kaile) is the king of the extraterrestrial ones, “king of kings” (therefore Jesus this alive one)

The kingdom (imperium) of Jesus is in a moon of the Solar System, approximately as large as Mars, call Titan (Saturn).

sailmaker1943 :

His legacy? HIS LEGACY?? It's already written in buckets of blood, both military and civilian, staggering national debt, loss of national self-identity, loss of national pride, erosion of precious constitutional rights, derision in the rest of the world, a crashing economy, a tottering dollar, and a genuine-and-still-increasing sense of anxiety among Americans with a scintilla of a brain who all wonder if the nation will survive the Go-It-Alone Decider's presidency until January.

Here's a suggestion for a motto for his presidential library, doubtless to be paid for in Crawford by the unrestrained and unregulated commercial fatcats who took America and American taxpayers for a financial bath unparalleed in the nation's history:

"I came, I saw, I piffled away virtually everything precious about Amurkia.

Love, Smirky"

Hank :

MikeB--I wish it were as easy as simply explaining the big picture to most people, but unfortunatly it's not. You are obviously one of us that see the bus wreck comming, and everyone that is supposed to be steering the bus is in the back, helping themselvs to the free buffet. They know they're milking the cow to death, but they just don't care. All they are is white collar looters living by the credo, as long as I get mine, but the ultimate blame lies at the feet of we the people. We the people that are too scared, and disorganized, and too busy sating our gluttony for the crap that corporate america feeds us, to actually take organized action againse the criminals that have taken over our government. Our government has become fascist, and blatantly caters to the wealthy and corporations, while ignoring the needs of we the people. At this point the only solution, is to venture outside the system that is in their control, go en mass to washington, and tell our entire government that they are fired. It's time to start over, and the american sheeple lack the courage. I hope you are wearing your seat belt. Peace

Tom Wonacott :

PG

The Bush legacy will always be centered on his responses to the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Preventing or allowing Iran’s nuclear weapons program to develop could also weigh heavily on Bush’s legacy. What he accomplishes at the G-8 summit (if anything) will be minuscule by comparison.

To date, Bush’s response to the attacks of 911are his most important policies by far and they will dominate his legacy. As Viet Nam dominated the time period of the 60’s and early 70’s in America, the attacks on the Twin Towers and the subsequent responses by the Bush administration will dominate this time period in American History. The controversial preemptive invasion of Iraq is the most important decision that Bush made - and the political consequences will be debated for a long time after Bush is gone. The decision to invade Iraq overshadows every other policy of the Bush administration.

Although critics may view Bush as arrogant and, at times, above the law, most actions that Bush took were meant to protect the American population from further attacks. The invasion of Afghanistan and preemptive war in Iraq, National Surveillance, rendering of prisoners, Guantanamo Bay, torture of terrorist, the Patriot Act and the creation of Homeland Security all were enacted to prevent further attacks against US interest. The Bush legacy will show - knock on wood - that not one single attack on American soil took place after 911 - a much overlooked success of the Bush Administration. The Bush decisions - many heavily criticized - were consistent in the aftermath of 911. Bush did not invade Iraq for oil, for AIPAC or to finish the job for daddy.

Many critics have slammed Bush for bullying Congress and usurping power from the other two branches of the government. Recently the courts ruled against the Bush Administration at Guantanamo Bay, never the less, Bush mostly made the right decisions. When he went legally astray, it was for the safety of Americans. Bush (rightly) viewed himself as a wartime President and made difficult decisions to that end.

Viewing how the Democrats have voted in Congress (most recently, National Surveillance), there is no doubt that many of the same decisions Bush made would have also been made by a Democratic President or, for that matter, most leaders in a position of power. Consider Clinton’s enacting of the controversial “rendering of prisoners“ operations (first proposed in 1993). Suspected Islamic terrorist were caught and shipped to other countries for interrogations - and tortured. The Democrats loudly politicize Bush’s methods to expose terrorism, but, for the most part, they quietly support it.

Bush had a split political personality during his two terms in office - Bush the neoconservative in his first term followed by Bush the negotiator in his second term. His failure to secure Iraq in his first term tempered his neoconservative approach to foreign policy in his second term and forced him to seek dialogue with rogue states such as North Korea (a fall back to Clinton policies). Condi Rice even suggested that Israel confront Syria’s nuclear program at the UN - a far cry from neoconservative philosophy. Of course, Iran is aware of this less than subtle change in Bush’s foreign policy - even as most liberals are clueless.

Darden Cavalcade :

I think Bush sincerely believes history will judge him by the ultimate outcome of the war on terror. And in 100 years, who knows, maybe he'll be right.

He has been a caretaker head of state for the last two excruciating years. He has accomplished nothing. All of us have suffered for it.

And if anyone ever needed a argument in favor of a parliamentary form of government for the United States. The last two years of the Bush Administration are persuasive. Bush would have been forced from office in January 2006 after the extent of the government's failure in Hurricane Katrina became apparent. Instead he served out his term and so did we.

TT :

By water boarding his own vice president, President Bush can show equality and justice for all.....otherwise, being quiet is the next best think he ought to do!

mohammad allam :

Make a history and save your honour by give resignation.

daniel :

I am not concerned with what Bush can do to strengthen his legacy--in fact I am not concerned with his legacy at all. What does interest me is hearing from those people who consider him the worst president ever. Logically if they consider him the worst president ever they must have a quite clear path in mind that we not only should have taken but which still exists to be taken. Such certainty in fact about Bush being the worst president implies a certainty similar to Bush's in the sense of being absolute. So what is this absolute alternative direction to Bush which paints Bush in such a bad light, that paints him as the worst president ever? I believe it was Sean Wilentz who called Bush the worst president ever. I would like to know how Wilentz knows this--knows what path we should have taken. In fact forget about Bush. What is the correct path ahead? Is it really that clear? That perhaps is the true Bush legacy for us. If not Bush, then what?--that Bush's legacy.

notbyintent :

Well. Depends on what you mean by legacy. Perhaps if he comes right out and say that he went into Iraq to grab OIL in order to save our way of life when the rest of the world falls apart because of peak OIL. At least, he will be remembered by Americans as having helped this country when the rest of the world economy went down the tubes Mad Max style. But this persistent nonsense of WMD and bringing democracy strikes people as disingenuous at best.

Citizen of the post-American world :

MikeB wrote: "Shiveh, all - Get over blaming Bush."

Scorpio69er adds : "The vast majority of Americans are, I think, feeling quite helpless as to the actions of our government."

Both have a point.

Living in a democracy, we are fully responsible for having elected our rulers. Each and everyone of those 58 million plus Americans are fully responsible for having reelected our ruler in chief. The millions who subsequently followed him are fully responsible for what they did. We who tolerated being lied to and deceived by one and all, for so many year, bear full responsibility for the nation's plight.

Living under a democracy, we are not helpless.

We ourselves have chosen impotence as our sick mode of living. To rest contented with constantly blaming exclusively those we elected is precisely for us to continue to choose to remain impotent.

The sovereign is to blame; and in this democracy, no matter what, we, the people, remain the sovereign.

WE, the people.

mike hudgins :

Pack up and leave Washington before sundown. Take Dick Cheney with him.

Scorpio69er :

Bush's legacy will be how he almost singelhandedly destroyed America. Honorable mention goes to the Congress -- BOTH parties.

The vast majority of Americans are, I think, feeling quite helpless as to the actions of our government. Whether it be the murderous, illegal wars they've launched; their bankrupting of the Treasury; or the phony "War-on-Terror"-based gutting of the Constitution; the last 7 years have been a virtual trashing of everything that we hold dear as Americans.

We now stand on the precipice of complete economic ruin, a creeping totalitarian dictatorship and the launching of yet another devastating war. God help us all.

MikeB :

Shiveh, all - Get over blaming Bush. To be sure, he played his bit poart in the play that is about to be closed down, but there are plenty of Democrats and plenty more Republican's, that are every bit as much to blame as is George W. Bush. Congress has known for some time that our economy is failing. Everyone from Wall Street to Washington to New York knew full well that the exotic mortgage instruments being pushed by investors put "Fannie" and "Freddie" at risk. Oh, they might not have rwalized that it was 12 trillion dollars of risk, but they knew it was significant. Now, however, the amount is so great it exceeds our GNP. The exprts tell us that they cannot let them fail, but there isn't enough money in our enture economy, in the entire world's economy, to bail these out. Fail they will and there isn't one thing we can do about it. So, slam Bush if it makes you feel good, but McCain, Obama, Pelosi, Feinstein, both Clinton's, Gram, Romney, Gullianai, Biden, Kerry, Kennedy, virtually everyoine in Congress, our pre-revolutionary Fench aristocracy, all have exactly the same blind belief in globalization that has led us into this disaster. This isn't about one petty little man any more. It isn't about some twisted puppet master like Cheney and Rove. It isn't about a hero riding in on a white horse who will save us all in the nick of time. It's about the complete collapse of our economy, about violence in this country on a level never dreamed of, about a genuine honest-to-god revolution. And don't get all starry eyed about that, either, millions of people will DIE at the hands of their fellow citizen idiots and at the hands of our own aristocracy as it desparately clings to the reigns of power. SO stop with ther Bush bashing, already. Start worrying about your own skin. Bush-Cheney-McCain-Obama-Kennedy-Pelosi, all of thise Wall STreet investors, that filthy rich swine of a business owner named citizen of the year by yor local government "leaders", and all of the like, will kill you and your children, HAVE killled millions of your fellow citizens. You may think this is mere oversatement right now, but rest assurred you will be seeing it within the year.

Shiveh :

Robert,

Bush was groomed for presidency by the rich and powerful (and corrupt). Some of us still remember when he was chosen in a beauty contest in 1999 and paid $30 million to start his adventure! A look at the stock market shows that he couldn’t even deliver for them. His belligerent resistance to adequate governmental oversight of the financial markets has proven disastrous for the economy. Just look at the speculation in oil markets that has caused about 50% of the price increase. Hedge funds and pension fund directors are buying future oil contracts at high prices hoping to sell it for a dollar or so higher in a month or two. As the direct result of this artificial bubble, now for every dollar that the speculators pocket, countries like Saudi Arabia pocket about $50 more. This behavior at such a scale and with the devastating results it is causing used to be called treason; under Bush it is capitalism!

7 years after 9/11 still our borders and ports are not secured. The high price we are paying for the Bush’s response to 9/11 has caused far more damage to our long term security and prosperity than any terrorist attack could do. To think that Bush is the best America could produce to lead the country out of these troubled waters is selling your countrymen (and women) way too short!

MikeB :

Becasue of the way this question is possed, I figure the moderators of this column have completely missed the point of recent news. Economic models have shown that we are sliding into a *depression* by the Fall of this year. Once you get past the games the government has been playing with unemployment and jobs growth numbers, real unemployment in this coutry is current at 12% and is expected to climb to more than 20% before the middle of 2009. Real inflation will hit 30% or more by then.

The causes are, in spite of the blatherings by Wall Street insider analysts, can be directly tied to investor-corporate deregulation and an insane damn-the-consequences persuit of short term profits. Couple that with this governments willingness to use Amercian jobs as an outright bribe to buy "friends" and as foreign policy pawns and you have a prescription for diaster. No observer can seriously think that China and India would stand for the sort of nonsensical foreign policy initiatives this White House has foisted off on the world if they weren't being so richly rewarded for keeping silent. Likewise, our "allies" in the war on terror, like Canada and Mexico, have been quite literally bought using millions of American jobs. Once our ramshackle economy collapses latter this summer, thse allies are going to run away so fast....
We have, unfortunately, passed the point of no return. That happened in February. The only question now is whether our leaders will wake up to the fact that our "free trade" practices will result in the collapse of this country, and I mean the complete and total destruction of the United States with violence and something very much like the French Revolution. Pre-revolutionary France was the last country to face something like what we got ourselves into, complete with "free trade", a disasterous foreign war, huge national debt, climate change, a greedy aristocracy, a self serving collection of bankers and investors, all of it echoing what we see today in this country. All we need is a really tight budget conservative like Gramm in charge, playing the roll of Loménie de Brienne, and you will see history repeat itself with a vengence. Our only choice is to pull back from the world, lick our wounds, and begin the slow and dreadfully difficult task of rebuilding. We have offshored not just jobs but production capacity and technology. Worse yet, we have displaced our own engineering and scientific talent with cheap foreign guest workers who are deserting this sinking ship like rats, for the relatively healthy economies of their home countries...and Europe, where this plague is likely to spread next. Our own citizens have been discouraged from majoring in the sciences and engineering and mathematics as they have seen their father's loose their jobs to cheap guest workers or to have them outsourced, so we lack even the short term means to dig our way out of this mess. Even worse, of course, would be to attempt the insane McCain-Obama method of "growing" our way out of this by more "globalization". What these fools need to realize is that it took us all of the Clinton and Bush years to tear down our economic infrastructure and turn Wall Street into a blood sucking parasitical beast and addict consumers to really cheap foreign made goods. It is going to take 10 years of brutually hard effort, hard honest work, a national program and goal of survival, just to have a chance a surviving this. I don't think our leaders have the intelligence or the vision to realize this. I think most American's are stilled wedded to the notion of quick fixes and the delussion of economic miracles. And, I am quite certain that Wall Street and corporate Amercia is far more concerned about making as much money as rapidly as possible and damn the consequnces. Idiots. We're screwed.

NoNo :

Resign.

Hank :

Robert B.-- There has been no "intellegent" response to your comment, because no one is willing to waste one on you. Anyone that still beleives the government fairy tale about 911, is not smart enough to understand an intellegent response. Now you can go back to watching Fox noise, so you can continue to live under the delusion that you know what's going on.

JBE :

What can Bush do to enhance his legacy?

Repudiate his entire administration's reign of environmental destruction, official corruption, treasonous outing of covert CIA agents, pre-emptive war, failure to serve the public in disaster emergencies, undermining the US contitution's requirement of separation of church and State, violating environmental law, flouting the separation of powers and congress oversight, and politicizing the US Department of Justice.

Yeah that would do it. A complete 180 degree turnaround on every single policy action of his eight year reign.

Robert B. :

Oops! I'm sorry I interrupted this sillyness by all you children a little while ago by making a relevant (and accurate) observation about Bush's legacy. I see there has been no intelligent response.

Go ahead on with catcalls to "kill himself", or what ever. Ha, ha, ha.

You are so funny! (the whine of the losers)

(What was I thinking--this is the Washington Post)


G-Money :

Admit to all of his crimes, turn his self over to the authorities and begin his prison sentence. Or, as others have suggested, go to Iraq and fight in the war he thinks is so noble. Since he was too much of a chickensh*t coward to fight in Vietnam, he could backup all of his tough words in Iraq with his own blood.....instead of my children's blood.

Anonymous :

Cop to all wrong-doing and leave 1600 Pennsylvania and wait for his criminal trial to begin. (and take the dark overlord with him.)

Seriously :

What's one thing he can do to strengthen his legacy?

He can owned up to his mistakes like a man. That and apologize.

2CAM96 :

Bush's legacy for me has been to convince me that 28% of Americans are complete morons. How else could his approval rating stay as high as it is?

Robert B. :

Lucy & Chris B, thanks for the intelligent comment. You must be on break from middle school.

Bush's legacy is secure and will be more fully recognized as the years go by. There have been no 9-11's on US soil since 9-11. Who would have believed that the day of the attack almost 7 years ago. We've established a democracy in the Middle East and are taking the war on terror to the enemy (rather than waiting to be hit again).


Oh, I'm sure the libs and Dems (i.e. 95% of all Post readers) will moan how they are "suffering" so under Bush...as they type away on their laptops while drinking Starbucks and listening to their ipods....oh, the agony!

Hank :

He could kill his entire administration, and then jump off the golden gate bridge. At least then he would have a legacy of cleaning up his mess.

Lucy :

Save us pain and just resign.

mohammad allam :

Just he thinks about environment and bring such measure which can minimise the global emision of environmental pollutants.
And last donot talk about the further war.A war on any nation.

Anju Chandel :

Pave way for the next president.

Yousuf Hashmi :

A line of wisdom that when start any work do not think that the life is short.

For Mr. George W Bush he has very short time to act. And in corporate culture once your days are numbered you can not pursuade your team to open a new project.

His bad luck is that he took the mission of fighting for terror. thinking that he can finish the job easily and will be remembered with this contest. Unfortunately he will leave with the problem aggrevated. And giving an opportunity to next president to get the credit.

The world now have a very lengthy punch list but again there is no time to act.

One area where the dialogues are open and the solution is possible is the palestine issue. If for two months US administration sincerely work for a permanant solution then it is achievable and then of course he will have a legacy which is on much higher ground than many US presidents.

Citizen of the post-American world :

George W. Bush's legacy to the world will forever be to have made it perfectly clear that any man:

1. without a vision on anything,

2. who consistently lies to and deceives not only his own nation but the entire world,

3. who counter-performs on practically everything one can think of,

that such a man can and will

1. easily find 58 million plus Americans who will reelect him as their President,

2. be supported wholeheartedly by abjectly submissive media that will consider it their ultimate mission to suggest all possible ways the man might strengthen his legacy, including waging a war that threatens human survival.

With the G-8 summit now over, such a uniquely precious leader must now make every effort to live until 2050, then welcome the opportunity to make us all aware of his outstanding achievements on climate shift.

He may then die a sudden, serene death without being interfered with...

BobL-VA :

OK, now I'm confused. Bush had a hurrah? When and where did this happen? The closest thing I can remember that might have become a hurrah was the landing on the aircraft carrier and the mission accomplished speech. However, since that whole episode was so delusional I haven't seen a hurrah take place yet.

Legacy? Don't worry Bush will have a legacy. Maybe not the one that delusional torturous indivdual thinks he deserves, but he'll have one. My personal favorite that I feel sums up his presidency is "Bush, the contemptuous inept barbarian." That about says it all.

Bush has shown nothing but contempt for Congress and anyone or anything that doesn't agree with him. Bush redefines the word inept. He has screwed up everything he has touched. The economy, the war, the occupation, foreign policy, immigration, social security and the list just goes on. Barbaric is the word that will ne used to describe his presidency above all others. Bush ordered a culture of torture and then lied about it. The infamous, "America doesn't torture," remarks as a major talking point for an administration that was orchestrating torture. Simply barbaric at best and history won't treat him kindly over this issue.

The best Bush can hope for at this point is he's viewed as arguably the worst president in American history. I say this is the best case scenario since all the other scenarios I see end him up in jail over this issue.

Now on the lighter side let's talk about a Bush presidential library. If there ever was an oxymoron this would certainly qualify. What's going to be in this library? The 3 emails they forgot to throw away? Maybe a couple copies of repressive bills he signed? For a man who reads almost nothing and lies about that and is so anti-paper trail to begin with my kitchen could hold all of the remaining Bush papers and I could still hold a dinner party for 15 people. Donations in excess of a couple hundred bucks to build a structure to house presidential papers would be a scam.

OldLefty :

Go to Iraq:
Run for Grand Potentate,and spend his own labor and money to help out as much as he can, and take Cheney and Rove with him.

OldLefty :

Go to Iraq:
Run for Grand Potentate,and spend his own labor and money to help out as much as he can, and take Cheney and Rove with him.

AMviennaVA :

Bush's legacy (in no particular order):
1. He botched a hurricane;
2. Made torture legal in the US;
3. Doubled (almost) the national debt;
4. The DOW stands pretty much where he found it;
5. Failed to capture or kill those who attacked us;
6. Gutted the 4th Amendment.

But Republicans still feel good about him, so perhaps there is some hope for his library.

MikeB :

He could propose legislation to end our disasrterous financial fall - bring back tariffs on goods and services, especially those that result from outsourcing, add punitive taxes on investments and companies that result in jobs or production capacity or technology being moved out of this country, propose legislation to oversee Wall Street, ruthlessly persue investors and bankers who have sold these exotic mortgage vehicles that threaten the finiancial security of the entire world, use the treason laws to punish commodity traitors who have maniuplated the price of energy and food and metals, use those same laws to go after corporate officers who sold critical technologies to foreign countries (like Boeing and the cruise missile guidance system, ITT and night vision technology, Apple and Dell and other computer makers, Halliburton, and on and on), put a stop to foreign purchases of our infrastructure and businesses, enact a universal health care plan to provide truly portable health care for all American's and remove the burden of unpredicatable health care costs from business and remove, outlaw, any private profit motive from the entire health care system. It is too critical to this nations surival and the inflated 19% of GNP we pay now, with 80% of that money going to investors and health care companies, is so outrageous and insane as to defy any explanation. Unfortunately, Bush will do none of those things, but neither will McCain or Obama, and we will fail utterly as a country becasue of it. All of the misery, the human suffering, the broken families and wrecked lives, the lives lost, will smother these emn for that lack of action and this country will go to the ash heap of history becasue of it.

Shiveh :

He has been in the darkest corners of the American power labyrinth. He recognizes all the patterns of the web of deceit that runs this government. He can cut off his bonds of obedience and confess to the American people. He can destroy the evil that is running this country to the ground.

I’m sorry, I was day dreaming again. How about starting some massive infrastructure repair and upgrade project. Country can use a facelift, economy needs the new jobs and there will be a lot of money to disperse among his loyal cronies. He’ll also get to put his name on some highways and bridges. Makes everybody happy!

cmc :

leave office early

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