George W. Bush regrets that he was given bad intelligence on Iraq. Oh yeah, and he’s decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to dress up like a real combat pilot, make a staged landing on an aircraft carrier and declare victory in Iraq five tears too early.
It’s the most regret we’ll ever get out of a man who wasn’t able to think of a single mistake he had made when he was asked during the election leading to his second term. That’s all right, he thinks history will prove he was right and almost everyone else in the world was wrong -- except for ideological patsies in and out of his administration.
Here’s what I what I think the history books will say about a strutting, little popinjay with stunted thought processes who listened to those around him who said he was a great man:
The first and most obvious historical fact will be that he crippled the effort to find Osama bin Laden and the leaders of Al Qaida who took down the World Trade Center and struck the Pentagon, killing 3,000 or so people -- by launching a trumped up war in Iraq. And that the invasion of Iraq created a training field for Al Qaida where they had been banned before and tarnished the image of the United States of America around the world.
George Bush handed over the conduct of the war to Donald Rumsfeld, whose military background had been flying U.S. Navy planes during peacetime. Rusted ignored generals and sent in American troops in numbers too small to prevent chaos. Runsfeld will be known for his arrogant statement: “We go to war with the military we have, not the one we want to have.”
Bush then proceeded to endorse a code of conduct that shocked the conscience of the world, as well as the leaders of our military. Torture and atrocities happen during wars, but our president endorsed interrogation methods outlawed by the Geneva Convention and authorized the use of mercenaries as he was pushing our armed forces to their limit.
So far, there have been nearly 100,000 confirmed Iraqi civilians killed. We won’t get into the 4,000 American troops killed to date and the unknown number of those maimed -- brave men and women doing what soldiers do, which is to obey orders. How Bush sleeps at night, I don’t know. Maybe his conscience is as stunted as his intellect.
Books have already been written and there are more to come on the Iraqi invasion and occupation. What I have touched on is just the beginning of the George W. Bush legacy. History won’t vindicate him -- it will convict him.