Remember this guy? The Democrats seem to have forgotten him, and the Republicans don't want anything to do with him, and are desperately scrambling to distance themselves. Even the dullards realize Bush screwed them over. Most of them, anyway.
Bush has done so many vicious, stupid things it's hard to remember them all, not to mention list them. We could start with lying about the WMDs, and cooking the intelligence to start a war that has turned into an unwinnable quagmire with no end in sight.
Bush used the tragedy of 9-11 to push his political agenda, and wrapped himself in the flag with a big self-satisfied grin. He blasted those who disagreed for being unpatriotic and un-American, and punished whistleblowers -- or their families, in the case of Valerie Plame. As for "freedom," he tossed out habeas corpus, the Geneva Convention, and countless safeguards protecting our civil liberties. He approved warrant-free wiretapping on citizens, and condoned torture and secret "black" prisons where people could be interrogated and simply "disappear." Let's not forget Abu Ghraib, Osama bin Laden, Medicare, Afghanistan, Haliburton, all the special deals with powerful lobbyists, and all the outright lying to the American public.
Katrina? Blackwater? Global warming? Bush cut billions of dollars from health, education, and housing, while lowering taxes for the rich, and securing no-competition contracts for his cronies in Iraq and New Orleans. He created a privatized war, with an army of mercenaries accountable to no one. I almost forgot the environment, and how he junked regulations on carbon monoxide and other poisons in our air, water, and food, and virtually ignored recommendations from the scientific community. All in all, Bush created a climate of fear, secrecy, spin, and hubris.
Jim Holt, in a provocative piece in the London Review of Books, makes a convincing counter-argument. From the Bush-Cheney perspective, the war might not be a failure at all, if the goal was to take control of Iraq’s oil resources and its infrastructure. As quoted in an article in Vanity Fair, Holt states “The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest—including all yet to be discovered oil—under foreign corporate control for 30 years.”
A great deal for the multi-national corporations -- if not for the thousands of Americans and countless Iraqis who died since "Liberation."
Holt writes, "The occupation may seem horribly botched on the face of it, but the Bush administration’s cavalier attitude towards ‘nation-building’ has all but ensured that Iraq will end up as an American protectorate for the next few decades—a necessary condition for the extraction of its oil wealth. If the US had managed to create a strong, democratic government in an Iraq effectively secured by its own army and police force, and had then departed, what would have stopped that government from taking control of its own oil, like every other regime in the Middle East? On the assumption that the Bush-Cheney strategy is oil-centred, the tactics—dissolving the army, de-Baathification, a final ‘surge’ that has hastened internal migration—could scarcely have been more effective. The costs—a few billion dollars a month plus a few dozen American fatalities (a figure which will probably diminish, and which is in any case comparable to the number of US motorcyclists killed because of repealed helmet laws)—are negligible compared to $30 trillion in oil wealth, assured American geopolitical supremacy and cheap gas for voters. In terms of realpolitik, the invasion of Iraq is not a fiasco; it is a resounding success."