Bush: No President Ever Harmed His Country as Much

Bush is the only U.S. commander-in-chief to have initiated one war, only to have lost three. He never managed to catch bin Laden nor destroy al-Qaeda; he failed to defeat terrorism; he wasted the political capital awarded him by September 11th; and public opinion has come to detest him. The nation, once indulgent of his lies – lethal lies for over 3,000 of its own sons and daughters – no longer believes him. No U.S. President has ever harmed his country as much.

It’s difficult to find one of the 43 U.S. Presidents who hasn’t been involved in some war abroad, and, although they haven’t always won, they could always count on the support of the political elite and American people. The most lauded was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was rewarded by his compatriots by being re-elected four times, and the most repudiated is George W. Bush.

The first military conflict fought by the United States has commercial origins – against Great Britain in 1812 . That was the first and only time in which foreign troops occupied United States cities, including even the capital (in 1814). James Madison, the fourth president, led this debut.

Between 1846 and 1848, President James Polk led the nation in the most fruitful of its wars. In two years, with 25,000 men and less than 5,000 casualties, the United States seized over half of Mexican territory [Mexican-American War ]. McKinley emulated him, declaring war on Spain, defeating it in 100 days and seizing the remains of its colonial empire: Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico all fell under U.S. power [Spanish-American War ].

Abraham Lincoln commanded the North and Jefferson Davis the South in the only U.S. Civil War, and Wilson was in charge during the First World War. Although the country was touched by the 350,000 casualties, among them 126,000 dead, the elite concluded that the war was worth the trouble. The United States was ready to exert a worldwide hegemony – a plan that was upset by the Bolsheviks , who in the same year [1917] took power in Russia .

Roosevelt confronted Hitler in Europe and Japanese militarism in the Pacific, joined forces with England and the Soviet Union and led the anti-fascist alliance to victory in World War II. No U.S. President had ever been so highly regarded both in and out of his country.

Truman sacrificed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and led the Korean War – the first that the United States didn’t win – while Johnson and Nixon waged the most unpopular war in Vietnam, and Reagan fought the dirtiest in Central America. George [H.W.] Bush took advantage of Saddam Hussein’s erroneous invasion of Kuwait and his eldest son, more reactionary and conservative – and less intelligent – wasted a great opportunity and squandered the enormous political capital engendered by September 11th.

The irrational brutality of this terrorist act, the fact that they struck New York – the most cosmopolitan of the world’s cities – where, in reasonable harmony, all races, languages, nationalities and cultures of the world coexist; united by a universal repudiation of such violence, there came unspoken waves of solidarity and affection for the people of the United States.

That spirit of goodwill, together with the economic, scientific and technological superiority of the United States, the influence of its culture, the force of its language and its capacity to promote and even impose its point of view, all gave the United States a unique opportunity to lead a genuine international coalition to confront terrorism.

Bush and his team, in an obvious confusion of visions and paradigms, took the wrong path and opportunistically preferred to seek out circumstantial and petty advantage in connection with controlling Middle East oil – rather than embrace strategies that may have been more legitimate and would have garnered greater consensus.

Ignoring experts and allies alike, the U.S. administration even underestimated the scorn of the Iraqi people, disregarded warnings on the nature of solidarity among the people of the region, and attempted to treat the cradle of civilization in the same way it once treated the banana republics [Latin American states].

Without reason or debate, Bush manipulated the facts, lied shamelessly, and with his allies and acolytes got lost in the labyrinth he now finds himself in.

The Congress and the U.S. military command have as good as recognized that the war is lost and are adding their own criticism to that heard across wide segments of the population. The feeling that prolonging the U.S. presence will only make the defeat more costly is beginning to be unanimous. In war there are never ties. In the Iraq War there is already a singular loser: George Bush.

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