"To know President George W. Bush is to like him. . . . He's a good man."
-----President Barack Obama, April 24, 2013
Ah, yes, the return of "the guy you'd like to have a beer with." What is the secret to his "likability"?
It began with selecting the right parents, insuring he would be born rich. With steely discipline he then advanced along the path of effortless achievement, receiving the imprimatur of Ivy League schools, ducking the Vietnam draft, getting bailed out of repeated business failures, enriching himself via a Harken Energy insider-trading deal, receiving the Texas Rangers for being the president's son, grabbing the land to build the team a new stadium by manipulating eminent domain laws, winning the governorship of Texas by trading on the fame of his father and grandfather, amassing a record financial war-chest exploiting Dad's GOP connections, gaining the White House with the assistance of a Florida vote rigged by his brother, and inheriting limitless political capital from the most devastating terrorist attack in U.S. history. Safe to say he's not merely likable, but positively adorable.
After that came the fanatic super-patriotism, the unrestrained blood-letting in Afghanistan and Iraq, the continued demolition and colonization of Palestine, the degenerate rhetoric against an imagined "Axis of Evil," the shredding of the Constitution via the enshrinement of torture as a virtual sacred duty, the gargantuan tax-cuts for the rich and accompanying devastation of social programs, and on and on and on. George W. Bush's public record was so disgraceful that even the GOP didn't mention his name in the 2012 election campaign, but that doesn't mean Obama can't like and even admire him, as he does former president Ronald Reagan as well. Isn't our two-party system delightful?
While his unprovoked invasion of Iraq was killing thousands of civilians, Bush was moved to exclaim in 2003, "We believe in the value and dignity of every human life." And after declaring war on some one-third of the nations in the world on the pretext that "radical Islam" was a perversion of legitimate religious belief, he proclaimed himself an agent of the Divine in 2004: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." That's not a North Korean dictator talking, that's a U.S. president. And Obama shares his religious faith.
During the fierce fire-fights in Fallujah in 2004 and subsequently, much of the city was left in ruins. The BBC informed the public that doctors were reporting a high level of birth defects, some thirteen times higher than in Europe. It was well-known that the U.S. was using depleted uranium weapons in the area. The BBC also reported on children in that city who were suffering paralysis or brain damage. There was a photograph of one baby born with three heads. Officials in Fallujah were warning women that they should not have children. One doctor said that before the U.S. invasion in 2003 she used to see about one birth defect every two months, but by 2010 she was seeing such cases every day. "I've seen footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead," she said. Naturally, George W. had a different focus, to wit: "Years from now when America looks out on a democratic Middle East, growing in freedom and prosperity, Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima."
Reverence and awe for producing record numbers of deformed babies? After having attacked a defenseless nation we first forced to disarm, then demolishing anything that wasn't already wrecked by the first Gulf War (1991), or the devastating U.S. sanctions imposed in its wake?
Suggestion: Let's prosecute this man for war crimes.
Not on your life. Obama likes him.
"Presidents praise George W. Bush at new library," Miami Herald online, April 25, 2013
"Remarks by President Obama at Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library," www.whitehouse.gov
Blum, William, "America's Deadliest Export - Democracy: The Truth About U.S. Foreign Policy and Everything Else," (Zed Books, 2013)