George W. Bush: The War President

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George W. Bush dubbed himself The War President in January 2002 when he said "I've been to war."

The New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote June 24, 2005, that "America's founders knew all too well how war appeals to the vanity of rulers and their thirst for glory. That's why they took care to deny presidents the kingly privilege of making war at their own discretion.

"But after 9/11 President Bush, with obvious relish, declared himself a 'war president.' And he kept the nation focused on martial matters by morphing the pursuit of Al Qaeda into a war against Saddam Hussein," Krugman said.

Additionally, Krugman wrote, "Leading the nation wrongfully into war strikes at the heart of democracy. It would have been an unprecedented abuse of power even if the war hadn't turned into a military and moral quagmire. And we won't be able to get out of that quagmire until we face up to the reality of how we got in." [1]

"The War President" Justifies War (again): August 2005

Speaking on August 22, 2005, to the national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Salt Lake City, Utah, "Bush again linked the Iraq war with efforts to protect the United States from another September 11-style attack -- a link critics say is an attempt to shift the justification for war." [2]

"Bush again conflated Al Qaeda and Iraq, neglecting to note that Al Qaeda put down roots in Iraq only after the invasion or that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 or Osama bin Laden. His description of Iraq's constitutional negotiations — 'a difficult process that involves debate and compromise' — understates the depth of animosity in Iraq. On Monday, representatives submitted an incomplete draft to the National Assembly because of continued disagreement on basic issues such as the strength of a central government and the role of Islam." [3]

"President Bush's sunny declaration on [August 22nd] that Baghdad's leaders were 'defying the terrorists and pessimists by completing work on a democratic constitution' was unfortunate not only for its timing but for its willfulness. Just hours after Bush's speech, Iraqi leaders announced (again) that they were unable to agree on a draft constitution. Just as disturbing, however, is the continuing disconnect between the president's perspective and Iraq's reality." [4]

Also in his speech, Bush compared the war effort in Iraq with that of Normandy, where there were approximately 10,000 Allied casualties, including 2,500 dead, on a single day, and the Korean War (June 27,1950 to July 27, 1953), with 995,964 Allied casualties and 54,200 dead U.S. soldiers, 33,700 of which were actual battle deaths [5] :

"'Spreading freedom is the work of generations, and no one knows that better than you,' Bush told the veterans. 'Freedom has contended with hateful ideologies before. We defeated fascism. We defeated Communism. And we will defeat the hateful ideology of the terrorists who attacked America.'
"Bush added, 'Each of these struggles for freedom required great sacrifice. From the beaches of Normandy to the snows of Korea, courageous Americans gave their lives so others could live in freedom. Since the morning of September the 11th, we have known that the war on terror would require great sacrifice as well.'"

Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue wrote, however, on August 24, 2005:

"The man who dishonored American veterans by hiding out from the Vietnam War in the Texas Air National Guard added insult to injury this week by shamelessly invoking memories of those who died in war as a pathetic excuse to continue his illegal and failed war in Iraq.
"Bush’s lame attempt so disgusted veterans attending the VFW annual convention in Salt Lake City that many of them wore 'B.S. Protector' ear muffs during his speech to the group on Monday. Note: See link for picture.
"Memo to the dimwit now living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: When the vets who actually fought for their country stop buying your bullshit you’re in a lot of trouble."

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