This is the last full week of George W. Bush’s presidency and many Americans are grateful, myself included. Was he a good president? Absolutely not. In fact it is widely assumed that he may have been the worst of all time. While this might be a stretch, it does illustrate the point that he is widely disliked. He is extremely stubborn & seemingly unabashed in his “War on Terror” that has cost us 4,224. 4,085 since the now infamous Mission Accomplished speech. He, in all fairness, has also given over 15 billion dollars to African nations to fight the A.I.D.S. virus which has helped immensely in a country ravaged by the disease.
George Bush’s failed policies have ravaged the economy to the point where we are the nearest we’ve been to a Depression since the “Great Depression”. His war in Iraq is partly to blame for that as the cost approaches 600 billion dollars. On September 11, 2001, as we watched the twin towers fall, we were steadfastly behind our president as we put the fate of our nation in his hands to decide what course of action we should take. He decided to perpetrate a lie to get us into a war we had no business getting into while ignoring everyone else in his so called “Axis of Evil”.
He has his convictions, though, and for that he does not apologize, nor should he. He believes what he believes and he’ll be damned if you’re gonna sway him. He is loyal to a fault. He stuck with Rumsfeld & Cheney longer than anyone would or should have & he helped those that helped him cheat his way into office. In some way, you have to admire that. However, the everlasting legacy of the Bush administration will be that of torture. Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is
“any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions.”
The Bush administration has admittedly waterboarded suspected terrorists in hopes of gaining some information out of them, which, if you know anything about torture, is rarely accurate. A person being tortured will tell you anything you want to hear so long as you stop torturing them, even if what you want to hear is something they have no knowledge of. They have imprisoned hundreds of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay for years without so much as being charged for a crime, let alone a fair trial. Bush has allowed Dick Cheney, a man that I truly consider evil, to commandeer this war and use the puppet Bush to advance his own ideals.
For some reason, I have never considered George Bush a truly evil man. Ineffective, stubborn, ignorant…yes. Evil…no. It has always been my belief that it was Dick Cheney who allowed, condoned and sanctioned the torturing of hundreds if not thousands of people in this war. At the end of the day, though, it is George Bush’s name on the office of The Presidency & he is the one who must answer to the lingering questions that history will present to him. It is he that must look in the mirror everyday and ask if he truly made the most of his time in office. It is he that will one day meet his maker, whatever form that may be, & when asked if he did all he could to promote happiness and well being throughout society, he must answer I did not, because I allowed countless people to be tortured on my watch. That is his legacy & that is how George Bush will be remembered.
Randy Newman – Lonely at the Top