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The Political Philosophy of George Bush


John Simkin
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Interesting article in the Guardian today about the political philosophy of George Bush:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/st...2161167,00.html

Jimmy Carter has dedicated his life after the White House to conflict resolution around the world. Presidents George Bush the elder and Bill Clinton have campaigned together on behalf of communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So how does President George Bush junior imagine spending his retirement years?

"I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch," he says. He also has big plans for making money. "I'll give some speeches, to replenish the ol' coffers," says Mr Bush, who is already estimated to be worth $20m. "I don't know what my dad gets - it's more than 50-75 [thousand dollars a speech], and "Clinton's making a lot of money".

The insights into Mr Bush's ambitions once he steps down from the most powerful job on Earth in January 2009 are contained in a series of interviews he gave to a journalist from GQ magazine. It may be that the writer, Robert Draper, comes from Texas, like his subject, but whatever the reason, Mr Bush has chosen to be singularly open with the author and provide a rare glimpse into the inner life of a very private president.

During the course of six one-hour interviews, Mr Bush, feet up on his desk, munching on low-fat hotdogs, tells Draper of the loneliness of the US commander-in-chief. "Self-pity is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency. This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity," Mr Bush says.

When it all gets too much for the president, his wife Laura storms to the rescue. "She reminds me that I decided to do this," he tells Draper.

The interviews came after Draper lobbied the president for several years to give him access, arguing that he would write the first draft of history on the Bush presidency.

The book to emerge from their conversations will be published tomorrow, but an early taste was given in yesterday's New York Times.

The book's title, Dead Certain, is ominously ambiguous, given the 3,728 US personnel - and by some estimates more than 70,000 civilians - who have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. For those around the world who are already perplexed by Mr Bush's strategy in Iraq, his comments to Draper will not be reassuring.

The president says to the writer that one of the failings of his prosecution of the war was that Saddam Hussein's army was broken up, in contravention of Washington policy and leading to looting and chaos across Iraq. "The policy was to keep the army intact; [it] didn't happen," Mr Bush says.

But, Draper points out, it was Paul Bremer, the man chosen by the president to administer country after the invasion, who ordered the disbandment of the Iraqi army. What did Mr Bush think when he learnt of that?

"Yeah, I can't remember. I'm sure I said: 'This is the policy - what happened?'"

It gets worse. Mr Bush reveals that whenever he feels depressed about the death toll in Iraq, he turns to God for comfort. "I've got God's shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot," he says. "I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count."

Mr Bush says when his time in office is up, he will be only 62 and "really young". Apart from the joy of getting bored, he is looking forward to setting up a "fantastic freedom institute in Dallas" for young democratic leaders around the world.

There is at least one point on which the president and his detractors will agree. In a moment of breathtaking candour, Mr Bush laments the fact that the media no longer listens to him. "I've been here too long," he says.

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Guest David Guyatt

Ha, ha, ha... very nice anecdote, Peter.

I don't know where you found that Duane, but I want one to add to my collection...

David

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I find the following passage amazing:

The book's title, Dead Certain, is ominously ambiguous, given the 3,728 US personnel - and by some estimates more than 70,000 civilians - who have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. For those around the world who are already perplexed by Mr Bush's strategy in Iraq, his comments to Draper will not be reassuring.

The president says to the writer that one of the failings of his prosecution of the war was that Saddam Hussein's army was broken up, in contravention of Washington policy and leading to looting and chaos across Iraq. "The policy was to keep the army intact; [it] didn't happen," Mr Bush says.

But, Draper points out, it was Paul Bremer, the man chosen by the president to administer country after the invasion, who ordered the disbandment of the Iraqi army. What did Mr Bush think when he learnt of that?

"Yeah, I can't remember. I'm sure I said: 'This is the policy - what happened?'"

He does not seem to be aware of what his foreign policy was in Iraq. Has there ever been a political leader who so openly admits his ignorance about hias own policies?

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Guest David Guyatt

Ronnie Reagan used to sleep during his Cabinet meetings, but even se he had a sort of handle on what went on.

But let's not foeget Dan Quayle, VP -- the dumbest damn Veep in the history of mankind. Gerald Ford wasn't such a sharp knife, either.

The conclusion has to be that the role of Prez and VP is somewhat similar to that of the Queen, it's becoming more of an honorary title than real power -- which lies elsewhere, I shouldn't wonder.

David

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Interesting article in the Guardian today about the political philosophy of George Bush:

Jimmy Carter has dedicated his life after the White House to conflict resolution around the world. Presidents George Bush the elder and Bill Clinton have campaigned together on behalf of communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So how does President George Bush junior imagine spending his retirement years?

"I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch," he says. He also has big plans for making money. "I'll give some speeches, to replenish the ol' coffers," says Mr Bush, who is already estimated to be worth $20m. "I don't know what my dad gets - it's more than 50-75 [thousand dollars a speech], and "Clinton's making a lot of money".

The insights into Mr Bush's ambitions once he steps down from the most powerful job on Earth in January 2009 are contained in a series of interviews he gave to a journalist from GQ magazine. It may be that the writer, Robert Draper, comes from Texas, like his subject, but whatever the reason, Mr Bush has chosen to be singularly open with the author and provide a rare glimpse into the inner life of a very private president.

During the course of six one-hour interviews, Mr Bush, feet up on his desk, munching on low-fat hotdogs, tells Draper of the loneliness of the US commander-in-chief. "Self-pity is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency. This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity," Mr Bush says.

When it all gets too much for the president, his wife Laura storms to the rescue. "She reminds me that I decided to do this," he tells Draper.

The interviews came after Draper lobbied the president for several years to give him access, arguing that he would write the first draft of history on the Bush presidency.

The book to emerge from their conversations will be published tomorrow, but an early taste was given in yesterday's New York Times.

The book's title, Dead Certain, is ominously ambiguous, given the 3,728 US personnel - and by some estimates more than 70,000 civilians - who have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. For those around the world who are already perplexed by Mr Bush's strategy in Iraq, his comments to Draper will not be reassuring.

The president says to the writer that one of the failings of his prosecution of the war was that Saddam Hussein's army was broken up, in contravention of Washington policy and leading to looting and chaos across Iraq. "The policy was to keep the army intact; [it] didn't happen," Mr Bush says.

But, Draper points out, it was Paul Bremer, the man chosen by the president to administer country after the invasion, who ordered the disbandment of the Iraqi army. What did Mr Bush think when he learnt of that?

"Yeah, I can't remember. I'm sure I said: 'This is the policy - what happened?'"

It gets worse. Mr Bush reveals that whenever he feels depressed about the death toll in Iraq, he turns to God for comfort. "I've got God's shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot," he says. "I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count."

Mr Bush says when his time in office is up, he will be only 62 and "really young". Apart from the joy of getting bored, he is looking forward to setting up a "fantastic freedom institute in Dallas" for young democratic leaders around the world.

There is at least one point on which the president and his detractors will agree. In a moment of breathtaking candour, Mr Bush laments the fact that the media no longer listens to him. "I've been here too long," he says.

But can we believe him? That he cries over the death of dead soldiers? He strikes me as one cold sob.

Yes he's been here WAY too long.

Dawn

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