Wednesday, March 22, 2017

William Rivers Pitt:
With Washington, DC, now transformed into a perpetual nonsense machine, it was easy to miss the George W. Bush Revisionist History Tour as it slid through the shallow plastic media trench last week on rails lubricated with old tears, but there he was.
After eight years of almost complete radio silence, the former president was all over the place, yukking it up with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Kimmel to peddle his new book and flash that folksy smirk we came to know so well. So what? Every celebrity does a book, especially former presidents, and it is noteworthy that Bush had the common decency to put some rigging tape over his mouth while President Obama was in office.
It didn't take long, though, for things to get weird. A lot of people who really should know better -- in the print, network and online news media, on social media and other forums, and in "real life" -- got all goo-goo-eyed over him. People I've known for years exclaimed over how funny and cute he was on Ellen! And how he's friends with Michelle Obama! And isn't he just so much better than Trump?
Full stop. We have just lost cabin pressure.
Let's start with the book. It is a collection of some 66 Bush-painted portraits of the faces of men and women who got blown apart one way or another in Iraq and Afghanistan. The portraits of those maimed in Iraq specifically depict soldiers in muted agony delivered to their current damaged estate by the artist formerly known as George, who threw them into that meat grinder for money on a raft of obvious lies.
If one had a soul, the act of painting the faces of your victims would seem like a fate worse than death, a sorrowful tour of self-loathing and regret as your brush rounded out the features of those laid low by your faithless greed.
But no, there was Bush on the television, smiling and smiling with the book in his lap, utterly oblivious to the ghastly irony of his endeavor.
It should come as no surprise, really. Here is the man who responded to the attacks of September 11 by demanding tax cuts, whose idea of humor was to make a satire video of himself searching for the missing weapons of mass destruction in the Oval Office. The soldiers Bush painted could very well have been getting blasted legless and eyeless out of their armored vehicles at the exact same time he was stooping to look under his desk, then under a table -- nope, not here either.
That is the George W. Bush I remember, the Bush I will never, ever forget, the feckless, lethal liar, the thief, the mass murderer, the fool, the fraud, the bumbler, the man with no shame.
How appallingly easy it is, apparently, for people to forget. Our national knack for forgetting is not solely relegated to this polished reimagining of Bush.
We are currently engaged in a great national debate over the fate of tens of thousands of Middle Eastern and African refugees seeking safety here in the United States. If politicians like Donald Trump have their way, those refugees would be told in no uncertain terms that, sorry, there's no room at the inn. We just can't have you here because you might be "terrorists," even though we vigorously screen you.
See, there's this thing called the "GOP base," and they hate you because they've been well-trained to do so, and they vote. The country's current leadership needs to keep them happy, and so you are barred at the door.
In this development lies one of the greatest moral calamities the United States has ever committed, another example of highly convenient national memory loss.
To a very large degree, we created those refugees. We've been bombing Iraq with dreary regularity for 26 years and counting, bombing people's homes, their markets, their electrical grids, their mosques, their water and sewage treatment plants, their roads and bridges, and when we ran out of things to bomb, we bombed the rubble because it looks good on TV.
Sooner or later, after everything you've ever known or called home has been laid waste, you're going to grab what's left of your family and run for your lives. And run people did, millions of them, away from the American war and over the border into Syria, which was subsumed by the mass migration of these desperate victims.
Syria trembled under the burden and then collapsed into the chaos we are currently witnessing after a vicious civil war broke out, and once again, millions of people were on the run. Many ran all the way to Europe, where they await the adjudication of their fate, and many now seek asylum in the United States, where they have family and a chance at a new life.
Because we forget, they are now forgotten, and the suffering we have already visited upon them is once more compounded. It takes a special kind of monster to do such a thing to innocent people. We do it every day, and then forget it ever happened. This hellish footrace has been taking place all across the Middle East for a long while now, predominately in nations where the US has intervened militarily, most recently and vividly in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia, a staunch US ally, has been using US-made weapons to terrible effect in that nation, which is approaching Aleppo levels of carnage and devastation at speed. Perhaps the cruelest twist to all this is the insinuation, pushed by Trump whenever possible, that the ranks of these refugees will be riddled with terrorists. When all you know is annihilated, you have two simple choices: Take up arms against your aggressors, or run. These people chose to run, and even that most elemental act of ultimate surrender is not enough to evoke the slightest hint of mercy from us, the ones who put them to their heels in the first place.
This refugee crisis is an American creation, a parting gift from George W. Bush. We forget what he was, we forget the aftermath of what he did, but how? Whence comes this shallow grave of memory? The corporate "news" media, for their part, are all too happy to help us forget, because in that forgetting they are absolved of any culpability for their harrowing judgment and insatiable desire for ratings. The politicians are thrilled we forget because they want to do it all over again, because that's where the money is. In the end, however, we forget because we choose to, because horror is hard to hold in the heart for so long, because all this is our shame, too, and that is a grueling fact to face.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Bush Counting Down Days Until He Is No Longer Worst President in History"

DALLAS (The Borowitz Report)—Former President George W. Bush is eagerly counting down the days until he is no longer the worst President in U.S. history, Bush confirmed on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at his home, Bush said that he “could hardly wait” until Friday, when he will be officially bounced from the worst-President slot.

“I have to admit, I never thought I’d see this day in my lifetime,” the former President said. “When you leave office with the nation in smoldering ruins, you sort of come to accept that you’re gonna be worst for a long, long time.”

“I guess you could say I set the bar kind of high, worst-wise,” he chuckled.

As the returns came in on Election Night, however, the former President suddenly realized that his days as the worst President in U.S. history might be coming to an abrupt end.

“Holy cow,” Bush remembered saying to himself. “Just holy cow.”

While Bush recognizes that many Americans are dreading Friday’s Inauguration, he said he hoped that they could “sort of understand” why he might see things differently.

“To be honest, Friday can’t come fast enough for me,” he said. “I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas.”

SATIRE, of course, but possibly true!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

"Bush"-- New Biographical Book

For George W. Bush, the summer already looks unbearable. The party he gave his life to will repudiate him by nominating a bombastic serial insulter who makes the famously brash former president look like a museum docent by comparison
And a renowned presidential biographer is weighing in with a judgment that makes Mr. Bush’s gentleman’s Cs at Yale look like the honor roll. If Mr. Bush eventually gets a more sympathetic hearing by history, as he hopes, it will not start with Jean Edward Smith’s “Bush,” a comprehensive and compelling narrative punctuated by searing verdicts of all the places where the author thinks the 43rd president went off track. 
Mr. Smith’s indictment does not track Donald J. Trump’s, but the cumulative effect is to leave Mr. Bush with few defenders in this season of his discontent. Mr. Smith, a longtime academic and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, made a name for himself in part with masterly biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant, offering historical reassessments of underrated presidents who looked better with the passage of time. 
With “Bush” he sticks to the original conventional assessment, presenting a shoot-from-the-hip Texan driven by religiosity and immune to the advice of people who knew what they were talking about. While not a fresh portrait, it is one worth debating at a time when the political class is struggling to understand the meaning of Mr. Trump’s rise. 
Mr. Trump’s name appears nowhere in “Bush,” but it is clear the populist revolt that propelled him to the verge of the Republican nomination had its roots in Mr. Bush’s presidency, so much so that he easily overcame the former president’s brother Jeb. Mr. Trump rejects much of what George W. Bush stood for, from the war in Iraq and more forgiving immigration policies to free trade and the very notion of compassionate conservatism. 
As a biographer, Mr. Smith makes no comparisons with today’s Republican leader, but he sides unmistakably with those who see Mr. Bush’s presidency in the darkest shades, if often for radically different reasons. (Mr. Smith abhors waterboarding terror suspects, for example; Mr. Trump wants it resumed.)
Mr. Smith leaves no mystery where he stands on Mr. Bush’s place in history. The first sentence of his book: “Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush.” The last: “Whether George W. Bush was the worst president in American history will be long debated, but his decision to invade Iraq is easily the worst foreign policy decision ever made by an American president.
In between are more than 650 pages of fast-paced if harsh biography. In this telling, Mr. Bush’s religious piety took on messianic fervor leading him to turn democracy promotion into a mission from God. He didn’t listen to the generals and diplomats. He badly bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina. He presided over the diminution of American values by authorizing torture and bugging. 
“Believing he was the agent of God’s will, and acting with divine guidance, George W. Bush would lead the nation into two disastrous wars of aggression,” Mr. Smith writes. “Bush’s personalization of the war on terror combined with his macho assertiveness as the nation’s commander in chief,” he adds later, “were a recipe for disaster.”

Sunday, September 02, 2012

GOP Convention 2012-- No Appearance or Mention of Bush

New Rules Bill Maher: GOP revisionism has erased George W. Bush, august 31 2012

UPDATE 2016: Trump's 2016 convention was also boycotted by Bush, and he was little mentioned as well.

Trump of course famously criticized GWB during his primary campaign, in part to take down Jeb Bush.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bush's Official Portrait-- from Sears

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A "Blind" Bush Misled by Cheney; Bush Book Shows Lameness and Lies

As several observers have previously noted, Bush in his memoir repeatedly complains of being "blindsided." He was "blindsided" by the pictures of torture at Abu Ghraib, an utterly predictable outcome of his administration's decision to disregard previously inviolable rules respecting the basic human rights of detainees. He was "blindsided" by the controversy within his own Justice Department about warrantless surveillance techniques that were blatantly illegal. He was "blindsided" by the financial crisis, a side effect of an administration ethos that big business could do no wrong and that regulators were the problem.

The common theme is that these three areas were among the many that Bush essentially arrogated to Cheney.


Bush: I was worried Cheney wouldn’t be my friend if I didn’t pardon Scooter Libby

Ouch-- Matthew Norman: How did this wastrel ever find his way to the White House? It takes a certain minimal intelligence for the truly dim to have a notion of their own dimness, but this is denied George Bush. He has the self-awareness of a bison. "There seems even less to him than met the eye, and there was precious little of that. Astounding as it appears, we misoverestimated him."


Former British intelligence chairman all but calls Bush liar, says waterboarding didn’t stop terror plots.

Bush's Book a Montage of Cut-and-Pasted Anecdotes

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bush Crimes and 7 Ways Bush Benefited from 9/11

America's increased practice of torture was sold to the citizenry by intertwining it with a notion that post-911, everyone in the world not with Big Oil Bush, family and friends deserved torture, despite it being illegal and amoral plus it is proven to cause terrorist acts against the US.

Standard criminal investigation protocol includes seeking who benefited. (What kind of American would not want to know who benefited from 911?) A succinct summary of who has and is benefiting from the 911 New York City mass murder is provided in Upswing's October 18 Newsvine article, Did the Bush Crime Family Benefit Most From the Failed 9/11 Attacks?

As have countless others who maintain critical thinking ability, Upswing says the most rediculous of all 911 theories "is the ridiculous official Boxcutter Conspiracy Theory offered to explain the events of 9/11 -- you know, 15, 19 or whatever number of Arabs in a cave outsmarting and debilitating the entire US military and intelligence structure."

At least one-third of American adults no longer believe Bush's fabricated 911 boxcutter theory, again thanks to those dangerous sorts (to criminals) who tell the truth and rallied behind the 911 Truth Movement. Bush's official investigative commission have even rejected their own report as "almost entirely untrue." But this has not been enough for Americans to hold accountable the man in charge at the time, the man that ordered the commission to lie to get the ball rolling for a bonanza at the expense of Americans and indeed, humanity.

7 ways the Bush crime family and friends benefited directly from 9/11 events as per Upswing

1. Saddam Hussein was removed as an obstacle to the oil industry, which the Bush crime family is heavily invested in, getting control of Iraq's "suddenly uprated" oil supplies.

2. The demolition of WTC7, which was executed under cover of the attacks, meant that records supporting the SEC's case against Enron, which Bush's longstanding friendship with Enron CEO Ken Lay left him susceptible to was, in an instant, vaporized.

3. CIA records, which could easily have included the G.H. W. Bush's longstanding covert CIA activities were, similarly, vaporized in an instant.

4. Bush was able to begin what is now known to be an illegal war against Iraq, in which he not only got access to Iraq's oilfields, but that Cheney's KBR and Halliburton scammed billions of dollars by allegedly "rebuilding" it.

5. The illegal invasion of Iraq also allowed Cheney's companies to make billions of dollars by "supporting" the US and allied militaries. (Some of that "support," of course, included poisoning and electrocuting US warriors.)

6. Bush got to implement the PATRIOT Act, which gave him an extraordinary amount of personal control by fiat over the country's society, commerce and economy.

7. Bush's War on Terror scared people into re-electing him for a second term.

Dave Lindorff and constitutional rights specialist Barbara Olshansky, in their book, The Case for Impeachment, explain why G.W. Bush and his inner circle must be held accountable for high crimes and misdemeanors (instead of falling for more of his evil by supporting his book tour). Among most grievous harms they list are:

• Misleading the nation into war
• Authorizing and encouraging the use of torture
• Failing in almost every way to defend the homeland and our borders
• Undermining habeas corpus and other traditional rights
• Illegal NSA wiretapping, mail opening, and other assaults on the Bill of Rights
• The catastrophic federal failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina

Of course, Bush and Co. now extends to Obama and his criminal cronies. Lindorff states in his Counterpunch article the Case for the Impeachment of Barack Obama: