You see it's all too cool and de riguer to slam Bush as a bad President. Who do you know who thinks otherwise? After all, he's an evangelical Christian, the aftermath of the war against the Saddam Hussein regime was a disaster, Hurricane Katrina was mishandled, the US started using torture against terrorism suspects and the economy is in freefall.
There is an alternative view, one I don't entirely support. It says history will be kinder to Bush given:
- No terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11;
- The overthrow of the Taliban regime helped liberate Afghanistan from one of the worst theocratic tyrannies in modern history;
- Saddam Hussein was a brutal warmongering genocidal dictator whose removal has given the chance for Iraq to develop as a peaceful, moderate ally of the Western world;
- The recipe for the current economic recession was baked well before Bush.
Andrew Roberts helps dismiss a wide range of Bush myths in today's Daily Telegraph.
While I don't excuse waterboarding, the failure to control the growth in government, the absurd lack of planning after overthrowing Saddam and the willingness of the Federal government to engage on grand scale surveillance of communications in the US, the truth is not as simple as the leftwing Bush bashers make it out to be.
Almost none of them point a finger at Bill Clinton for his years of appeasement of Iraq, the vaccilation between limp wristed passivity and bumbling airstrikes in the Balkans, the disaster that was intervention in Somalia, the laughable appeasement of North Korea that saw it develop nuclear weapons while being paid to not do so, the neglect of Iran, the failure to respond to Islamist terrorist attacks on several sites, the neglect of Russia as it bumbled from near bankruptcy as a free friendly power to a next generation wealthy corrupt authoritarian bully.
Even moreso, what would the world have been like had Al Gore won in 2000? Would the recession not be happening? Would we be happy that Saddam Hussein continued to sabre rattle and defy international sanctions? Would Islamists feel they had a soft touch as President? Would the Taliban still control Kabul? or would it not matter because a lot more people would have hybrid cars?