Michael Gerson: As years pass, Bush's dedication to principle comes into focus

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    April 30, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    Manipulation of the Masses?

    Wow in five days the Deseret News has carried five pro Bush articles. That is after five years of him painting his toes or silence,

    Are we wittinessing an orchestrated campaign by some lobbying or PR firm to rehibilate the Bush name.

    Is it a coincidence or is it political preparations for Jeb Bush entering the Presidential race.

    To me it sounds familiar to the campaign on why we should attack Iraq ten years ago.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 28, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    The only way people will "see Bush dedicated to principle" is to ignore the facts of his presidency and to ignore the harm he brought to this country through eight disastrous years in office. He didn't keep us safe -- his policies created huge numbers of terrorists to answer his actions. His response to the warning about 9/11 was "okay -- you've covered your "backside" and 9/11 happened. His policies put the economy down the toilet -- he did everything on credit, and we're still trying to clean up the mess GWBush created. He invaded and occupied a country without true cause, and thousands of US military personnel and civilians were killed and maimed as a result (and don't forget the thousands of Iraqi citizens he killed and maimed while he took their country back to the dark ages).

    I know revisionists are trying to re-write GWBush and his legacy. Hopefuly enough people who see him clearly will be around to stop their efforts, and leave the truth about GWBush in plain view now and later. He was and is the worst president the US has ever had -- even worse than Jimmy Carter, and that is saying a lot.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2013 5:09 a.m.

    RE There you go again

    As one who has lived in Utah most of his life I find it a total embarassement that we returned him back to office with the highest approval rating in the nation.

    What factors contributed to him having the highest approval rating in the nation here in Utah?

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    April 27, 2013 8:30 p.m.

    Re: Iron Rod re: Ronnie from Sandy

    Rest assured the usual suspects are busy searching for an answer to your challenge...

    The Bush's have enough money to hire someone...anyone...to re-write the history of BUSH 2.

    There must be someone out there who has scrubbed 2001-2008 in order to validate Gerson's premise.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    April 27, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    Re Ronnie from Sandy

    I find it interesting no one has answered your challenge. Their silence is telling. I for one agree with your comment.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 27, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    @m.g. scott 10:01 a.m. April 26, 2013

    Has anyone considered that possibly the Sarin nerve gas that Syria has apparently used might have come from Iraq before the invasion? Just a thought.


    Not me. Why? Because sarin gas has a shelf life measured in weeks, 1-2 months at most. There is no way any Iraqi sarin gas, if there was any in the first place in 2003 which I doubt, would have remained stable, and not degraded and expired, long before now.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 27, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    I think Bush was sincere... but he did an awful job of being president leaving a trainwreck in his wake.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    April 26, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    He failed on 9/11 and then failed again by doubling the national debt during good times and starting 2 unnecessary wars for oil.

    He also said nothing as the banks set up the worst recession in our history.

  • Mickey Kovars Tampa, FL
    April 26, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    "Dedication to principle" is not necessarily a good thing. It can mean dedication to all the wrong things. Some of history's worst actors -- Lenin, Stalin and Hitler always come to mind -- were devoted to principles. Just disastrously wrong and harmful ones. Bush's idea that he would bring democracy to the Middle East by invading Iraq was one principle we could have done without.

  • George New York, NY
    April 26, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    @HS Fan

    look what they did with "RR" you would think that guy was a saint but those of us old enough to remember now it was no bed of roses during his two terms. Poor Bush senior really took the hit for "RR" in the end.

  • ronnie sandy, utah
    April 26, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    m.g. Scott it is time for a real history lesson. What Colin Powell presented at the UN was untrue. All his conclusions were wrong and all the pictures provided were totally misinterpreted to lead to a wrongful conclusion. The United States has never before embarrassed itself in front of the UN Security Council as it did 10 years. Our image across the world is still tarnished because of that. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    His two terms defy summary...you got that right, my friend. The best way to sum it up is it's good that it's behind us.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    The spin of the GOP trying to rewrite history is quite amusing.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 26, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    And Colin Powell used a lot of photographic evidence and other stuff to assure us and the world that these weapons were there. Maybe there were some there at the time. However, by the time the coalition forces got there months later, Saddam might have moved them to either Iran (as he did his fighter planes during Gulf War One) or maybe Syria, which could account for possible chemical attacks being made by Syria today. In any case, we did accomplish our "mission" namely securing Iraq from the threat of WMD. That's when we should have declared "mission accomplished" and gotten out. We may have broke it, but I didn't want to own it.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    So will it say Cheney/Bush or Bush/Cheney on the front of the building?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 26, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    Colin Powell initially opposed going in to Iraq. "You break, you own it," he was quoted as telling the White House. Eventually, he came around to agreeing to it and even argued the U.S. position to the UN. But he understood from the very beginning what a mess it could turn into if all didn't go according to plan.

  • George New York, NY
    April 26, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    I was not a big fan of Bush's polices or the two wars but I also think he really did try to do the best he could and tried to do what he thought was right, sadly I think he gave to much of his trust to certain people that are less then principled

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 26, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    Craig Clark

    And I too supported Bush going into Iraq on the premise of WMD. However, what I did not support was after we took down Iraq and Saddam Bush then saying we were going to stick around and try to rebuild Iraq in our image. That was part of the program that Bush did not tell the American people about when he made the case to invade. And those years there were the most costly for both lives and money. And what have we accomplished? Like I said before, I think that in the end, Iraq will be dominated by Islam in what ever form it decides to take in the coming years. And an Islamic dicatator might be what the people really want in the end. Sometimes I think we do not realize just how powerful the influence of Islam is in the lives of Muslims. Much more so I believe than other religions. I doubt you could get many Christians to believe that Jesus wants you to commit suicide and kill people in his name.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 26, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    m.g. scott,

    "....I think Iraq is going to go back to where it would have been if we had never invaded in the first place...."

    Bush senior may have been hoping that Saddam had been taught a lesson in Kuwait that would restrain him in the future. Sadly, that was not the case for one so incorrigible who thumbed his nose at the UN encouraging the suspicion that he was stockpiling WMDs in a bluff that Bush junior decided to call.

    Saddam did keep the lid on with Iraq's warring factions but he did so using methods that have persisted in his bad boy behavior causing ongoing problems for the region at a time when the U.S. was turning its attention to dealing with al Queda. I'm sure that factored in to why Bush initially got strong public support for going in. Saddam's presumed cache of WMDs provided what seemed like the perfect premise on which Bush felt he couldn't miss.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    Re: Craig Clark. To further your point about Iraq, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the same kind of tribalization came out in Yugoslavia, which led to the genocidal policies there. Maybe Bush senior was right to leave Saddam in power, knowing that some countries are under better control with dictatorships, in spite of it being against our prinicples to accept such. I think Iraq is going to go back to where it would have been if we had never invaded in the first place. The biggest danger might be if Iran gets control of Iraq. That would mean a bigger oil revenue source with which to help promote more terriorism worldwide. And I doubt the U.S. would be interested in going to war to kick out Iran like it did with Iraqs invasion of Kuwait.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 26, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    To say Bush lacked Clinton’s communication gifts is an understatement. There were times he couldn’t seem to complete a full sentence without tripping over his own tongue. So I was astonished when in his address to Congress the week after 911 he gave as fine a speech as I’ve heard a President give.

    After 911, Bush was not a galvanizing force so much as a rallying point for Americans still traumatized by the attacks. Maybe it made him cocky to have his approval ratings sky high. That’s when he made the fateful decision to make Iraq a priority of overall U.S. Middle East policy a year into the war on terror.

    Afghanistan suddenly went from front and center to back seat. I was glad to see Saddam Hussein removed from power, then chagrined at how quickly his downfall retribalized Iraq with conflicts among Kurds, Sunnis, and Shia. It complicated the already difficult task of creating a model government for the region. We still don’t know how that’s going to turn out and it raises questions of how much foresight Bush had in taking on such an effort.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 26, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Has anyone considered that possibly the Sarin nerve gas that Syria has apparently used might have come from Iraq before the invasion? Just a thought.

    I think President Bushs' biggest mistake in thinking is believing that our form of democracy can be brought to Middle-East Islamic countries. I don't think any political system will outweigh the influence of the religion in those places. Ultimately Islam will prevail, and it does not fit with a true democratic system.

    Is it moral to spend borrowed money to the tune of 17 trillion dollars, and expect future generations to be responsible for paying it? Bush spent too much borrowed money, but Obama has gone crazy with it.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    April 26, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Who has the highest principles? A President who told us about WMD's in Iraq, and watched a bubble rise in the economy or a President who lies about shovel ready jobs, pet green energy projects, fast and furious, and Benghazi?

  • Mickey Kovars Tampa, FL
    April 26, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    This brings back memories: not of Bush as man of principle, but man of inflexible neoconservative ideology who plunged us into the Iraq war without anything close to adequate concern for the likely consequences. He struck me then -- and now -- as arrogant and ignorant. It goes without saying that we are still paying the price for Iraq.

    Unfortunately, one part of the price of Bush and Iraq was the election of Obama -- another arrogant, ignorant and inflexible president who seems bent on an economic course that will overshadow even Iraq as a disaster for the country.

    Maybe someday we will get a president who doesn't share the qualities of the last two?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 26, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    @ Truthseeker. Your heavily biased views on "morality" is flawed to the extreme.
    Let me see if I can help you.
    #1: Why is it moral to kill enemies with drone attacks including all the collateral damage but its somehow immoral in any other way? The only difference is we don't see it on TV like before.
    #2: Everyone who pays taxes got a tax decrease, not just those at the top, who by the way pay nearly all federal taxes while 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes at all. What is "moral" about that?
    #3: Mistakes? How about Benghazi, Obamacare, White House intelligent leaks, more people on food stamps than at any other time in history, $7 trillion increase in the national debt in less than 5 years! All moral accomplishments or unacknowledged mistakes?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 26, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Bush oversaw a pretty good economy for 6 of the eight years..yea while a near fatal bubble was building. Bubbles look pretty good on paper..not so good in reality. Then he leaves whom ever the next President was going to be a pile of ashes to rummage through inorder to try and find some building materials to start again.

    Bush was a man who people trusted..really? You insinuate with "people" that the trust was universal. In fact his ratings were very low when he left office and almost despised internationally. And how in the world does someone qualify as a "great" President when they oversee a direct attack on Americans in America. Start two wars that extend longer than any previous wars in our history and then oversee an economy that creates a massive bubble and then is left in near total ruin as you walk out the door.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 26, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    What is moral about invading a country under false pretenses and in the process, sacrificing American lives and treasure?

    What is moral about tax cuts which disproportionately enrich those at the top, and decrease long-term revenue?

    Republicans should not be in leadership positions until they can admit to and learn from past mistakes.
    Their continual defense of the Iraq War is stark evidence they are a danger to the well-being of the U.S.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 26, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    George Bush was a great president and leader after 911 - he brought ALL Americas together and that is something our current White House resident has never done. Bush also oversaw a pretty darn good economy for 6 of 8 years with unemployment in 4% range nationally ...again something our current president has never done. I didn't like the Iraq war decision - that was a huge mistake and I didn't agree with his attitude toward out sourcing of jobs. Bush took alot of the heat for the financial melt down of 2007-2008 but in fact the democrat's were equally to blame if not more to blame with Frank and Dodd over seeing Fanny and Fredie and pushing for all the insane home loans that caused the collapse. Bush should have been more vigilant and he wasn't and so he shares the blame. Overall Bush was a good decent man who people trusted ... again totally different from our current White House resident.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 26, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    A great man of principle. He was hated and viciously excoriated by the left which means his principles were almost always right.