Thursday, November 11, 2010

George W Bush leg-pull still a work in progress

An editorial today in The Australian opines that the “legacy” of George W. Bush’s presidency is “still a work in progress.”

That’s right on the money, if by that expression the Oz means that it will require a herculean effort to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

The Oz kicks off with the weasely admission that Bush “will never be top of any of the lists of best presidents Americans enjoy analysing.” The same was undoubtedly said of Richard M. Nixon, whose interment was respectfully attended by three former or current presidents. Such was the rehabilitation of a man whose criminal conduct brought the very presidency into disrepute, while his country teetered on a constitutional precipice.

According to the Oz, Dubya’s enduring achievements – aside from that Americans will “enjoy analysing” his presidency in only a very qualified sense – are to “have kept his country safe and created a new Muslim democracy.”

If the absence of any successful terrorist attacks on US soil since September 2001 is anything to speak of, then it is that Dubya’s presidency was not a failure of such epic proportions as generally thought.

“A new Muslim democracy”? Time will tell on that one. Prior to the ascendancy of Saddam, the Iraqis had a functioning secular democracy, but somehow managed to blow it. And the strongman Saddam was appeased and supported obscenely by successive US administrations including up to the period after his infamous Al Anfal campaign against the Kurds. But never mind, the bloodbath of the last seven years has put it all to rights.

What is missing, however, from much of the late apologia for Dubya, including the Oz’s little effort here, is any mention of the ‘Af’ word.

Alright, I’ll say it: Afghanistan.

The Dubya Administration’s dereliction of its ‘mission’ in Afghanistan – in order to pursue its Misadventure in Mesopotamia, which even the Oz piece admits was “badly blundered” – was a mistake for which ‘we’ will be paying in blood and angst for the next decade or possibly beyond.

Disgustingly, Dubya has been hitting the chat show circuit expressing his “disgust” over the conduct of some of the troops he sent to do his bidding at Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

Does the moron not remember that, by the time he and Cheney had finished dog-whistling up and down their country for the dogs of war, around 65 per cent of the US population believed Saddam’s Iraq to be responsible for the September 11 attacks?

It was, for Dubya, a cultivated and convenient misapprehension that undoubtedly was mirrored in the hapless service personnel he sent, thus making the Abu Ghraib abuses virtually inevitable.

Still and all, I will confidently predict that Dubya’s interment will be respectfully attended by at least three former or current US presidents.

If by then my mushy-grey succumbs to the scourge of dementia, I’ll at least have the consolation of not having the presence of mind to register such a grotesque spectacle.

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Blogger Father Park said...

I thought I'd patented "Misadventure in Mesopotamia"?

Yes: let the white-washing begin. Whilst the Afghan mission might always have been the "stan" too far, the obscene haste to decamp to Iraq - on any old pretext - was a culpable error both strategically and tactically.

Talk about "enabling" your foes...

12/11/10 11:45 AM  
Blogger Caz said...

"Dubya’s enduring achievements ..."

I can't help but think the task of managing the legacy of Dubya's missteps and mispokes would be made easier for historians and commentators if the focus was on:

"Dubya’s endearing achievements ...".

You know, like the time he tripped over the dog, or wore an Hawaiian shirt, or how he correct the world in the pronunciation of uranium.

13/11/10 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

I support your priority regarding "Misadventure in Mesopotamia", but I plead eminent domain. It belongs to the world now, as such a neat and useful formulation should.

Obviously Dubya has endeared himself to more than a few. His warnings against the dangers of nucular terrrizum certainly struck a chord back in his halcyon days, but we don't hear so much about it these days, I guess, because there's no immediate, um, foreign policy imperative.

14/11/10 8:40 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

No clouding mushrooms anymore indeed. Unless, of course, you check my front yard: the results of the Sydney terrorist monsoon are sprouting everywhere.

Have the "dirty bombs" all been cleaned?

15/11/10 11:39 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15/11/10 11:39 PM  

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