Bush's stairway to paradise


Hoping that history will somehow vindicate him, the president has entered a phase of decadent perversity.

By Sidney Blumenthal

Sept. 20, 2007 | There has never been a moment when we were not winning in Iraq. Victory has followed victory, from "Mission Accomplished" to the purple fingers of the Iraqi election to, most recently, President Bush's meeting at Camp Cupcake in Anbar province with Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the Sunni leader of the group Anbar Awakening (who was assassinated a week later). . .

In his quasi-farewell address to the nation on Sept. 13, Bush assigned any possible shortcomings to Gen. David Petraeus and bequeathed his policy "beyond my presidency" to his successor.

After Bush pretended to deliberate over whether he would agree to his own policy as presented by his general in well-rehearsed performances before Congress -- "President Bush Accepts Recommendations" read a headline on the White House Web site -- he established an ideal division of responsibility. Bush could claim credit for the "Return on Success," whenever that might be, while Petraeus would be charged with whatever might go wrong. . .

As these events played out, Petraeus was detailed as Bush's Willy Loman to preside over the cooling of the special relationship with America's most important ally in the coalition of the willing. The general traveled to London to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the policy from which he is rapidly disengaging, already having withdrawn British forces in Basra to its airport before final evacuation. Such is the face of victory 10 days after Petraeus' march through Capitol Hill.

In his semiretirement, Bush engaged in appeals to history, which he now says on nearly every occasion will absolve him. Early on and riding high, he expressed contempt for history. "History, we'll all be dead," he sneered to Bob Woodward in an interview for "Bush at War," a panegyric to Bush the triumphant after the Afghanistan invasion and before Iraq. Now Bush cites history as justification for everything he does. "You can't possibly figure out the history of the Bush presidency -- until I'm dead," he told Robert Draper, his authorized biographer, in an interview for "Dead Certain." The use of the words "history" and "dead" between the Woodward and Draper interviews makes for a world of difference -- the difference between a president who couldn't care less and one who cares desperately but can't admit it. . .

Those around him have learned how to manipulate him through the art of flattery. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld played Bush like a Stradivarius, exploiting his grandiosity. "Rumsfeld would later tell his lieutenants that if you wanted the president's support for an initiative, it was always best to frame it as a 'Big New Thing.'" Other aides played on Bush's self-conception as "the Decider." "To sell him on an idea," writes Draper, "aides were now learning, the best approach was to tell the president, This is going to be a really tough decision." But flattery always requires deference. Every morning, Josh Bolten, the chief of staff, greets Bush with the same words: "Thank you for the privilege of serving today..."


Read the entire article here.


His legacy? How will history view him?

I don't really wish good or ill for Mr Bush any more. My personal dislike aside, here I'm merely commenting on what I think he's brought onto himself with arrogance covering fear, greed, craven behavior and disregard for human life or decency.

My guess: It doesn't matter how much he sneers and swaggers, how often the people who serve him kiss his ass, post-mortem history will see people line up to spit on his grave, even pay an admission fee to do it (how about "6 Lungers Over Texas Amusement Park")

... starting with the brothers and sisters and orphaned children and grandchildren of those men and women he caused to be killed because he was so terrified of ever admitting he made a mistake.

Then the Texans, whose trust and affection he just used and abused.

Then the Muslims -- special visas will be given to Iraqi's so that they can fly to Texas and line up to spit (or piss) on his grave, led by the descendants of the Guantanamo prisoners.

The lines will stretch for miles.

His legacy?

People will compare him adversely to Benedict Arnold as a man who betrayed our country and caused immeasurable damage for greed and craven servility.

(General Arnold actually acted from principle, rose by his own talents, not by purchase of position by friends and family. And who's to say he may not have been right? That the future of the United States might have been brighter and more civilized had we stayed within the empire, as, for example, Canada. Of course it's possible that Canada wouldn't be as democratic a country and as independent of England as it became without the threat of revolution present. I'd like to think it would have been be less likely that G W Bush would have become Prime Minister, even though fucking over Ireland to pay off cronies the way Elizabeth I did is the kind of thing he'd have done. Still, Elizabeth, hot to crush the Irish and give the land to her pals, would never have chosen an incompetent pissant like Bush to do the job.)

We're already comparing him adversely to Richard Nixon and Warren G Harding.

Back to Bush:

He's healthy and rich and should be able to live a long, long life, despite all the coke and booze, and I hope he does, and meets his ghosts every night.

I'm older than he is and probably won't live to see it happen -- but I have no doubt it will.

Lincoln -- the first Republican -- said: "You can't fool all the people all of the time."

Roger Price, in his masterpiece of political satire I'm For Me First (Ballantine Books, 1956) amended it to say: "But if you do it once, it lasts for four years."

Well, he didn't even fool all of the people once, but now we're in the 6th year, and his four-year "fool-the-people" game clock ran out two years ago.


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