mathmannix wrote:I'll start off with my opinions, which I am fairly certain nobody else here agrees with, just to get them out of the way. Like I said, you probably disagree, and I really don't need to hear any insults to my intelligence or whatever. I stand by my opinions. Anyway, I believe George W. Bush is a great man, like his father, and was a great President, better than his father. To paraphrase Shakespeare (apparently!), he had greatness thrust upon him. I would vote for him again in a heartbeat.
George W. Bush was a weak president.
He certainly isn't the idiot that a lot of his critics like to paint him as, and he isn't a terrible person. He's actually a very decent person. But he made some horrible decisions, in large part because he allowed people to push him into horrible decisions. The invasion of Iraq is a prime example. Even if there had been weapons of mass destruction, the problem is that there was no clear goal to the entire campaign.
Now, to be fair, the whole "Bush lied people died" theme is a steaming pile of horse mud - the decision to invade was based on intelligence that, while it ultimately turned out to be bad, was accepted as valid by almost everyone in the US government, and in governments around the world. And a lot of the folks (lookin' at you, Hillary) who criticize the decision now, not only supported it at the time but openly advocated for it. But a strong leader would not have gone into a war with no real measurable goal. Even if there had been WMDs in Iraq, the notion of destroying those and defeating Saddam is not a complete strategy. There needs to be an ultimate goal, and unfortunately it seemed to be nothing more than blindly hoping against centuries of history that democracy would take hold.
OK, that being said, I find it bothering that JEB is obviously trying to distance himself from his brother's legacy. Both with the logo and when he said during the debate that going into Iraq was wrong. I mean yeah, George W. Bush was wildly unpopular by the end of his second term. So politically I understand it. But it seems like a bit of a dick move to me.
Sorry, but when you're talking about a war that will cost trillions of dollars, not to mention over a hundred thousand lives, and over a million wounded, misplaced, and otherwise harmed; you don't base your position on whether or not it might hurt your bro's feelings.
Politically speaking, while I don't personally hold George W. Bush in the same contempt as a lot of people do (it's more of a profound disappointment) the reality is that he is political poison. His legacy sucks right now. Maybe, years from now, when the wars and other mistakes are somewhat less fresh in people's minds, opinions might soften.
And if we set politics aside... the war was a fucking disaster. Even if we had found and destroyed vast stockpiles of WMD's in Iraq, we left a complete mess. We left a government that didn't have any real support from it's own people; we left an economy and infrastructure in shambles; and we created a massive power vacuum in the region. The fact that the WMD's turned out to be bullshit isn't even the real problem - it's just insult to injury.