George W. Bush, who Mirrored & Inflamed Public passions, attacks Trump for It

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

George W. Bush came out of political exile on Monday to be his brother JEB!’s surrogate in attacking Donald Trump.

W. allowed as how “These are tough times and I understand Americans are angry and frustrated, but we do not need someone in the Oval Office who mirrors and inflames our frustration. . .”

He also quoted his father that “labels are for soup cans,” suggesting that name-calling of one’s opponent is not useful political discourse. This from the man who had his swift-boaters wage a campaign of vilification against John Kerry in 2004. Is he annoyed that Trump zings his opponents directly rather than having capos do it for him?

Anyone who lived through the Bush years can only fall down laughing at the hypocrisy and impudence of this kind of talk coming from that man.

When al-Qaeda attacked the US on September 11, 2001, Bush’s response was to mirror and inflame public passions rather than to lead responsibly.

He declared a “war” on “terror” (he probably meant the tactic of terrorism rather than the emotion, but who knows? He isn’t an articulate man). French President Jacques Chirac pleaded with him not to use that diction, and to treat the attack as a criminal matter. Metaphysical wars like those announced on drugs and terrorism are unending and have a way of destroying our democratic freedoms. Now Gandhi-style civil disobedience is being treated as terrorism and government spied on everyone without so much as a warrant.

He so inflamed people’s frustration that he even created a set of color codes to tell us how afraid we should be on any particular day.

Then instead of going after al-Qaeda, the perpetrator, Bush wanted to invade Iraq. Al-Qaeda, as a little terrorist organization, wasn’t a big enough, a satisfying enough adversary. Bush mirrored this public frustration and inflamed the public with a constant barrage of fearmongering about Iraq. You’d have thought the ramshackle, wrecked little country of 25 million with no effective air force, driven into deep poverty by severe US/ UN sanctions, was just about to land at Galveston and march to Washington.

Bill Clinton’s terrorism czar, Richard Clarke, was kept on by Bush but demoted from his cabinet position. He remembers in September, 2001, how Bush demanded that he hang the attacks on Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein. Clarke was shocked. He realized that Bush was going to use the pretext of 9/11 finally to get the war on Iraq he had long dreamed of. (He told a biographer in the 1990s that if he ever became president he was going to “take out” Saddam Hussein).

According to the then British ambassador in Washington, even arch-hawk and Islamophobe, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was alarmed that Bush might run off to Baghdad and leave London exposed to a still-vigorous al-Qaeda. He is said to have promised Bush his support on an Iraq War if only W. would please go after al-Qaeda in Afghanistan first.

Then Bush basically pulled the US military out of Afghanistan with the job half-done and ordered all the resources to be prepositioned in Kuwait for an invasion of Iraq.

Bush warned, and had his officials warn, that Iraq was close to completing a nuclear weapon. He said so in a speech in Dayton, OH, just before Congress was to vote on giving him war powers. We skeptics were dismissed. We don’t want the smoking gun, they said, to be a mushroom cloud. What does that even mean?

Bush’s CIA refused to sign off on some of his manipulative whoppers, like the false allegation that the African country of Niger had sold Iraq yellowcake uranium. Bush, determined to scare the people into a war, sourced the falsehood to British intelligence instead. Who knows if MI6 even thought the fraudulent documents were authentic. Bush and his people knew no decency in their constant falsehoods.

Iraq didn’t even have a nuclear program. It humiliated Bush by having destroying its chemical weapons in the 1990s, as the UN inspectors had demanded. Bush knew Iraq might not have nuclear capabilities, so he used the weasel phrase, “weapons of mass destruction” as a pretext for his splendid little war. He figured if the US occupation forces didn’t find a nuclear program, at least the US would find the old chemical weapons stores, and could declare them the WMD he had been warning about. Even after Bush brutally attacked a country that had not attacked the US, and militarily occupied it, and it became immediately obvious that there were no unconventional weapons there, Bush kept insisting that he was searching for the “WMD.” Finally in August, 2003, Zbig Brzezinski broke the spell and declared on national television that the ‘searching for WMD’ cover story was “increasingly ludicrous.”

And now this man who violated US treaty obligations as signatory to the UN Charter and launched a vicious, unprovoked war of aggression on a defenseless, wretched little country, some 500,000 of whose children had been killed by US sanctions– now this man who assiduously inflamed the passions of the American public and took dastardly advantage of their frustrations and fears after 9/11, has come back out to castigate others for committing the sins he himself perfected.

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AP: “George W. Bush Stumps For Brother Jeb Bush”

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19 Responses

  1. In his excellent book The Prosecution of GW Bush, Vincent Bugliosi, best known for convicting Charles Manson and friends, tells of how immune Bush was to the death and destruction he was responsible for. He recounts a reporter asking Bush how he was feeling, in that the “Cakewalk” war was not going well. Bush responded by saying…”Oh I’m feeling good. I ride my bike everyday. I’m working out in the gym. I’m spending time on my ranch” (Actually he spent two of his eight years as president in Crawford, TX.)

    By contrast I remember an Israeli official saying how every drop of Israeli blood was precious. To Bush, Limbaugh, Palin and the neocons who are never satisfied with the last war… our soldiers are simply expendable cannon fodder for any hair brain idea that can be sold, by hook or crook, to a unsuspecting American public. I hope the day will come when Bush will stand before a court of law facing charges of crimes against humanity.

    • Well, Israelis actually show up to vote. If Israel didn’t rely on conscription and could rely on its growing inequality and neoliberal economics to keep its army stocked with the desperate poor, who in turn didn’t vote, then every drop of Israeli blood would be a lot less precious. But that would mean having a mostly Palestinian army.
      Meanwhile, the US is large enough, its warmaking automated enough, that a huge gap has opened up between the voting citizen classes and the army-joining class. So yeah, expendable cannon fodder.

  2. Well put Dr. C.,thanks.
    GWB is a soulless entity, that’s why he speaks that way, that’s why he tampered with the sovereignty of our country.

  3. Jeb sure looks happy that w has come to fight his battle.
    You covered it all Juan. We all need to go back there now and torture the fool (w) before we lock him in his Gitmo

  4. Will humanity ever have leaders that reflect the higher consciousness, whose qualities include selflessness, truthfulness, humility, forgiveness, love, justice, not doing unto others what one doesn’t want done unto one, peace, lack of desire for power, control and acquisition, etc.?

  5. “We don’t want the smoking gun, they said, to be a mushroom cloud. What does that even mean?” -J Cole

    I don’t have any special insight into twisted, demented minds, but this appears to mean that the proof that Iraq had WMD would be the mushroom cloud from the detonation of their atomic or nuclear bomb.

  6. Bush mirrored this public frustration and inflamed the public with a constant barrage of fearmongering about Iraq.

    And, what does that say about a large segment of the American people that they were gullible enough or deficient in other ways to fall for Bush’s mendacity?

    • One thing I tell people is to never underestimate the ignorance of the American people. The support for Donald Trump is a wonderful current example. Before 2003 I doubt one tenth of Americans could have found Iraq on a map, much less tell you anything about it. I think it was Mark Twain who said that wars are God’s way of teaching Americans geography.

      • The American people are not “ignorant”; they are slow, patient, in processing and expressing the awareness of treason. Donald Tramp, in all his madness, may be their speaker.

  7. And for those who don’t know an anti-democratic oligarchy controls our once great country – here we have a privileged and spoiled son of a former MIC-employee President who grew up to be a mass-murderer by proxy, who displaced and disadvantaged millions of innocent people and is directly responsible for destabilizing an entire region of our planet – all under a false pretext. This spoiled son is an utter disgrace to the United States of America and is currently walking free, shameless and aloof, showing absolutely no remorse for his monumental maladministration.

    No actual democracy would permit this to occur – much less allow this person to foist more of his ilk into a position of power, trust and authority.

  8. I am a businessman and my company exports our products all over the world. Politically I’m independent and didn’t care much until G. W. Bush started the invasion of Iraq. I was 100% against the idea of invading. Once there he installed his buddy Bremer. What we have today is a destroyed country. One of our customers is a big oil field services company that has operations in the oil fields of southern Iraq. From a business perspective it now takes approximately three months to ship a needed product from us to our customer in Iraq. GWB destroyed the infrastructure in Iraq and the country is in a shambles. Unfortunately the leading democrats are equally evil (I have to assume that they understand what they are doing). I am totally disgusted at our foreign policy and hate to say that the Trump makes more sense than the others.

  9. Well said. I can’t stand to see this war criminal flouncing around acting important and avuncular in the face of all the death and misery he created. His hands and soul are stained with the blood of innocents, hundreds of thousands of them. In a just world, Dubya would be in jail and shoes would be flung at him every day by his victims.

  10. He is one of the few people who can make the Donald look good in comparison. Trump comes out smelling like roses when compared to this treasonous war criminals.

  11. A war criminal and probably the worst US president in history and yet, more than 50% of Republicans now view him favorably.

  12. Headline in total error – not an ounce of passion in the marionette.
    Also not sure of reason for publicizing w’s and jeb’s presence.
    Was looking for IC’s forward leading insights rather than shrub family pathos.

  13. I’m surprised that either Bush or Cheney have the gall to show their faces in public. Destabilizing a whole region has left any intact country there struggling with the burden of refugee thousands while now Europe itself is facing a refugee invasion dwarfing the movement of peoples after WWII.

  14. Bush seems to have functioned like his buddy Ken Lay at Enron. He was an absentee CEO who concentrated on public ideology (Lay was a crusader for deregulation) and let his subordinates steal everything. Like Lay, he’s convinced himself that he saw nothing wrong.

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