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Good article guaranteed to rile the conservatives.

by Ziks511 / September 6, 2013 6:43 AM PDT
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/the-bush-burden/?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fopinion%2Findex.jsonp

"He's there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he's the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria.

"His legacy is paralysis, hypocrisy and uncertainty practiced in varying degrees by those who want to learn from history and those who deny it. Let's grant some validity to the waffling, though none of it is coming from the architects of the worst global fiasco in a generation."

"But for all of these neocons stuck on the wrong side of history — **** Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, say the names loud and clear — it's not a change in conscience at work; it's a change in presidents. Later this month, dozens of Republicans in Congress will make the same decision, simply because they hate Obama, and would oppose him if he declared Grandmother Appreciation Day.

"The voice that stands out most by his silence, the one that grates with its public coyness, is Bush himself. He has refused to take a side in the Syrian conflict. The president, he said, "has a tough choice to make." Beyond that, "I refuse to be roped in."

"This is cowardice on a grand scale. Having set in motion a doctrine that touches all corners of the earth and influences every leader with a say in how to approach tyrants who slaughter innocents, Bush retreats to his bathtub to paint."

As noted elsewhere, Obama is at least waiting for Congress to declare war as he is obliged to do in the absence of a deliberate attack by a sovereign nation. That's where Bush went wrong. He didn't wait for Congressional authorization, he declared war on an idea and sent troops to Afghanistan (which I agreed with) and then, before the mission was accomplished, split his forces in order to attack Iraq for no discernible reason thereby dooming the effort in Afghanistan.

Any general will tell you, you do not split your forces reducing the strength of both so that they can be defeated or at least stalemated in detail. The stalemate which arose in Afghanistan prevented the isolation and capture of OBL, The civil war which erupted in Iraq of Shiites on Sunni's doomed the success of the Iraq effort and ensured that Muslims everywhere would have reason to distrust the United States. Again.

The hatred of the United States is irrational, but it has been fuelled by clumsy interventions through the 20th Century first by Britain, and then by the US. And failure to recognize the particularly non-Western attitudes and manners of though of Muslim people has merely throws gasoline on the fire.

We lost in Viet Nam because we failed to understand the people we were fighting against who saw the US as a new colonialist power. Muslims tend to think the same way. They're tired of being pushed around, and treated with little respect, both by their own leaders, and by the outsiders who are doing business with those leaders. You have to create a perimeter around Israel, and then stand back and say, "Okay, that's your sandbox, and we're not going to interfere, sort yourselves out." Eventually some sense may sink in to the participants in a civil war.

Rob
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Not riled up, Rob
by TONI H / September 6, 2013 8:24 AM PDT

just wondering how you can justify agreeing with nonsense. Your second last paragraph is bogus because we didn't interfere with anything......WE were randomly attacked in various parts of the world without retaliation or response for a long number of years, and you can only conclude that they hated us from the gitgo and were 'testing' us.

Your last paragraph doesn't give 'credit' to the fact that we lost in VietNam because of politicians who were dictating war strategies rather than let the military do what they were trained to do and allow them the ability to make adjustments to the area that would have had far fewer casualties and deaths. I blame both parties for this.

Politicians have been dictating war strategies ever since and we have 'lost' every battle we've been in because of them. When we were in other wars in history, the generals, et al were the ones calling the shots and we won. We need to get back to that mentality and policy.

As for Bush....he said the day he left office that he would not comment about future presidents because he didn't feel that Monday night quarterbacking helped anything, and he has kept his word to not criticize or comment. That isn't cowardly in the least....it's called 'class'...something that Democrats and liberals don't comprehend or understand.

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Interference, well there's the Philippines in the 1900s
by Ziks511 / September 7, 2013 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Not riled up, Rob

Nicaragua in the late 20's, Iran and the insertion of the Shah in 1953, Guatemala in the 50's at the behest of the United Fruit company, LBJ's invasion of the Dominican Republic while leaving Papa Doc Duvalier alone in Haiti to pursue his murderous ways, Viet Nam which was a very ill chosen intervention by LBJ, Nixon and Chile inserting a murderous dictator in order to replace a legally, democratically elected government with General Augusto Pinochet. And of course the ongoing training of the Secret Police of nearly any dictator who will say a nice word about the US. And let's not forget Ronnie Raygun's adventure in Granada after the mildly leftist leader was killed, in order to shut down an airport being built by Cubans. I have to say that was the most ridiculous act of them all. And Reagan's poorly managed intervention in the Lebanon.

I have no quarrel with George H.W. Bush's intervention in Iraq when they invaded Kuwait. He got Congress on side and he got the UN on side and it was nominally a multi-national UN mission. I have no problem with that. Nor do I have any quarrel about removing Manuel Noriega of Panama.

Muslims aren't happy with the cosy relationship of the Royal families with the US, and the rather crass and arrogant behaviour of American Oil companies in their countries.

Bush had reason to go into Afghanistan, and I support him on that issue, though I think Congress should have ratified a declaration of war and given the clear and, frankly, the obvious (at least to me) reasons. Please note that I have no quarrel with George Bush on that adventure except that it was done without Congress despite his Party being in the majority and a clear provocation being made by Al Qaeda backed by the Taliban.

Iraq is a whole different matter. Saddam Insane was vile, and despicable and a murderous megalomaniac, but that wasn't why we went in. We went in because it was falsely and knowingly falsely asserted that Iraq was backing the Taliban, when they weren't. It was falsely and knowingly falsely asserted that they had Chemical and Biological weapons which were never found. It was falsely and knowingly falsely asserted that they had a viable nuclear program which was never discovered despite the army's best efforts.

Libya, again a multi-national effort, I have no quarrel with. So long as the US has democratic partners in the field too, I don't have a problem with it.

But as this demonstrates there have been many unilateral US interventions in the affairs of sovereign nations for the last 100+ years. No wonder the Middle East is nervous.

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LOL, that Bush was really powerful
by James Denison / September 6, 2013 10:46 AM PDT

Liberals still wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night to blame him for something, even years later. Bush was so big, that Obama the lesser can't step out of his shadow, so the Liberals are claiming. How miserable it seems to be a Liberal, lol. Oh, and remember the mantra, "Always blame Bush!"

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Just like Nixon gets blamed for Vietnam
by Steven Haninger / September 6, 2013 9:42 PM PDT

even though 100s of thousands of troops were sent by his predecessor, LBJ, (who also imposed a 10% surtax on taxpayers to finance it). It was clearly Johnson and McNamara who brought the conflict to a point where there was no choice but to hand the mess he made over to someone else. Johnson stepped away and Nixon, like a suicidal idiot, took the job and gets remembered for as the owner of the carnage created to Americans and the economy by that conflict....and Johnson gets credit for civil rights advances even though R. Kennedy went after MLK. Re-writers of history have done a wonderful job of transposing blame and/or credit onto those they wish to be either heroes or chumps. Wink

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Re LBK and civil rights advances
by Roger NC / September 6, 2013 9:57 PM PDT

I've read material in the past that says basically everything LBJ got passed through Congress regarding civil rights and "the great society" measures was passed "in memory of JFK". The debate was that many if not all of LBJ's noted accomplishments had already been raised by JFK and weren't going to pass Congress.

Basically their claim was all of that legislation was passed at that time as a memorial to a martyr by enacting what he would have pushed. The conclusion seemed to be that if not for the assassination, much of the civil rights act and things like

One question is how much the assassination affected the 1964 election, since the Democrats gained hugely in Congress that election, making it easier for LBJ.

That was a long time ago, and I remember little more about the claims and support for them.

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Might be true but I don't think LBJ
by Steven Haninger / September 6, 2013 10:02 PM PDT

worshiped at the feet of JFK. The two, as best I can recall, were not on the same page about many things. Tax policies and the Vietnam war were two of them.

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oh there's plenty that said they weren't a match
by Roger NC / September 7, 2013 12:14 AM PDT

Supposedly there were even heated instances between the two in the White House starting almost immediately after the election.

But I'm not really a history buff, just remember things that made a fuss at some time or the other.

The claim was basically that LBJ, at least at first after the assassination, used the death for political power and gain.

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There was enough in contention between them
by Steven Haninger / September 7, 2013 12:44 AM PDT

that the conspiracy theorists had a field day. The two men were essentially from different cultures and both already powerful. JFK, being the younger, didn't help him either. Can you imagine a team consisting of a "Yooper" and Jerseyan?...in a comedy act maybe. Wink

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They hated each other.....
by Josh K / September 7, 2013 1:05 AM PDT

.....but both recognized the political advantages of teaming up. LBJ was very fond of Jackie, though, and was very good to her in the wake of the assassination.

I never bought the notion that LBJ was involved in the assassination. In fact he spent the rest of his life in fear that those behind it were still out there and that he would be next. He was, however, involved in the subsequent coverup that led to the Warren Commission's findings. That is documented in correspondence between him and Hoover, both of whom wanted the investigation to begin and end with Oswald. LBJ was afraid it involved the Soviets and he knew that if that was the case, he'd have no choice but to push the button and he didn't want to do it.

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Nixon didn't get "blamed" for Vietnam
by Josh K / September 7, 2013 1:01 AM PDT

He was rightfully blamed for things like the Christmas bombings and the invasion of Cambodia, but not for the war itself, other than the way it was wound down. The escalation of that war falls into LBJ's lap. Had JFK lived, we might have been out of there by 1965.

As for Rob's article, it's no secret how I feel about GWB but he's said all along he would not comment on whether Obama was doing a good or bad job because he considered it poor form. As rare as it may be for me to agree with Toni, I do in this case. Too bad Cheney hasn't shown the same "class."

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Tin soldiers and Nixon coming....
by Steven Haninger / September 7, 2013 1:25 AM PDT

You're right about the facts but you'll find that a great number of young people today don't know that. He didn't begin an immediate pullout but was president during continued escalation of the war for a time. Also escalating during his first term was college campus unrest. One doesn't just get blamed for fights they start but also for those they don't break up quickly enough.

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Just because young people don't know about a war 38+ yrs ago
by Ziks511 / September 7, 2013 7:05 AM PDT

doesn't mean that I don't know.

And Neil Young's song was about Kent State not the Viet Nam War.

Rob

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No, I don't blame Nixon for Viet Nam, i blame Johnson,
by Ziks511 / September 7, 2013 7:00 AM PDT

because evidence says that Kennedy was getting ready to withdraw the advisors and leave it to its own devices.

Rob

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Well, I was referring more to today's youth
by Steven Haninger / September 7, 2013 9:51 AM PDT

who get their information largely from pundits and other unreliable sources.

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Bush was an idiot
by Willy / September 7, 2013 2:18 AM PDT

I saw no clear reason for going to Iraq even when so-called(now known) as misleading reasons. All the WH leaks, plus maneuvering by the VP to get things in and out of step plus the DS proving less than required troops, it turned into a mess. Further, clearly and openly declared a war or terrorism and made it a "world battlefield" to get at all terrorist whether invited or not in any country that harbored them. It got us not only to lose much of world trust but also reduce out Treasury and get us into debt to China of all places. Next, he provided the ways and means to get any info from prisoners and all those black places, gee what a way to defate legal means. Maybe at times some things need to be done but this is no longer for the "NOW" but the actual way things are done as the "norm". As a civilian I have to wonder where is this getting us and where will it lead. They say, history can be rewritten but often enough given long time usually the truth comes out.

Further, we are now involved directly in the on-goings of the Arab world or the middle-east. Take it for what it's worth, but trying to clear out all the tribal, secular-religion fighting, inter-religious fighting, old WWI territories/states issues, oil and plain hate, it going to be a long lived job if the USA wants it has a long ways to go. As I've said to friends, we've become the new Romans, but we don't inter-marry. if we did we could over time settle some issues. But then the Israeli issue will rise it head. You want the job? Apparently, the born-again idiot did and look where it got us.

As for Vietnam, Ike got us involved and JFK got manpower there, but LBJ took it to whole another level. We did there what needed to be done and really kicked butt, but when the long time fighters and the corruption took it's toll. Once we reduced our forces and leadership it all went downhill. NOW, what do you have, trading relationships with Vietnam. Rethink, where you get those sneakers and baseball caps, what a crock. ------Willy Happy

yeah, I keep my eye on the pulse of the country, that's a citizen's job...

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Iagree entirely with your characterization of US involvement
by Ziks511 / September 7, 2013 7:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Bush was an idiot

in the Middle East beginning with Reagan and Lebanon and Bush2 in Iraq.

I also agree entirely with your characterization of the Viet Nam conflict. That's how I see the progression. I would point out that I do think full engagement in Viet Nam was based on a poor understanding of what the Viet Namese were willing to suffer in order to complete the unification. I also think that the Domino theory was proven wrong there, and that the US actions destabilized Sihanook and was therefore the cause of the Khmer Rouge's success.

Rob

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cowardice? Really?
by Glenda. / September 7, 2013 7:17 AM PDT

How about the FACT that Bush told all of you liberals that the WMD had been sent to Syria and none of you "SMART" people believed him? Not riled by the kool aid sippers

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Certainly it smacked of malicious smugness to me, but I
by Ziks511 / September 8, 2013 5:08 AM PDT
In reply to: cowardice? Really?

recognize that my feelings about Bush are uniformly negative (they didn't start that way, he had to work hard to alienate me to the point I despise him more than Nixon). Behind those words I see a man trying desperately to keep a straight face until he can get away and have a good malicious laugh, while saying "Thank heaven it's not all on me." Oh but it is George, it is. And 20 years from now you'll be a Joke, the worst 2 term president ever. Tough. Looks good on you. Bet you hide your head longer than Nixon.

Rob

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cow cookies Rob
by Glenda. / September 8, 2013 5:19 AM PDT

BHO HAS THE TITLE HANDS DOWN OF THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER! THE ONLY REASON HE HASN'T BEEN OFFED IS WE WOULD BE WORSE OFF WITH BIDEN THE CLOWN! sorry for the caps I am on my nook and it is a pita to retype

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