Trust, But Verify ….. Thank You President George W. Bush

January 20, 2009

"An American President Needs To Be Tough" - Tony Blair speaking at SMU, Spring 2008

While the pop-culture popularity of bashing-Bush remains, and due credit for keeping the country safe, et al, did not make it in PBHO’s inaugural speech, Trust, But Verify thanks President George W. Bush for his consistent leadership and providing the framework and foundation for the national security of the United States that will protect America for decades to come.  While it is popular to bash and boo G.W. Bush today, conservatives will not, in their now transposed role v. the Left, succumb to the bitterness and divisiveness of the Left over the past eight years; but, rather remain the informed, mature, and constructive loyal opposition while never forgetting our uniform consistent endeavor of working to form a more perfect union.  Fellow conservatives, our better example of a responsible minority party will nurture credibility and later consensus that our view of a small fiscally conservative government empowers citizens, while a large big spending federal bureaucracy creates a culture of dependency.  Below, enjoy Charles Krauthammar’s thoughts on the Bush legacy .. one that will transcend the pop-culture diss of today and cement America’s choice in ’00 and ’04, our 43rd President, as the right leader  to lead us into the new millenium …. and who reminded the world that the United States will never need to “grow a pair”.

– AP, Trust, But Verify


Exit Bush, Shoes Flying

By: Charles Krauthammer

Vindication is being expressed not in words but in deeds — the tacit endorsement conveyed by the Obama continuity-we-can-believe-in transition. It’s not just the retention of such key figures as Defense Secretary Bob Gates or Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner, who, as president of the New York Fed, has been instrumental in guiding the Bush financial rescue over the past year. It’s the continuity of policy.

It is the repeated pledge to conduct a withdrawal from Iraq that does not destabilize its new democracy and that, as Vice President-elect Joe Biden said just this week in Baghdad, adheres to the Bush-negotiated status-of-forces agreement that envisions a U.S. withdrawal over three years, not the 16-month timetable on which Obama campaigned.

It is the great care Obama is taking in not preemptively abandoning the anti-terror infrastructure that the Bush administration leaves behind. While still a candidate, Obama voted for the expanded presidential wiretapping (FISA) powers that Bush had fervently pursued. And while Obama opposes waterboarding (already banned, by the way, by Bush’s CIA in 2006), he declined George Stephanopoulos’s invitation (on ABC’s “This Week”) to outlaw all interrogation not permitted by the Army Field Manual. Explained Obama: “Dick Cheney’s advice was good, which is let’s make sure we know everything that’s being done,” i.e., before throwing out methods simply because Obama campaigned against them.

Obama still disagrees with Cheney’s view of the acceptability of some of these techniques. But citing as sage the advice offered by “the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history” (according to Joe Biden) — advice paraphrased by Obama as “we shouldn’t be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric” — is a startlingly early sign of a newly respectful consideration of the Bush-Cheney legacy.

Not from any change of heart. But from simple reality. The beauty of democratic rotations of power is that when the opposition takes office, cheap criticism and calumny will no longer do. The Democrats now own Iraq. They own the war on al-Qaeda. And they own the panoply of anti-terror measures with which the Bush administration kept us safe these past seven years.

Which is why Obama is consciously creating a gulf between what he now dismissively calls “campaign rhetoric” and the policy choices he must make as president. Accordingly, Newsweek — Obama acolyte and scourge of everything Bush/Cheney — has on the eve of the Democratic restoration miraculously discovered the arguments for warrantless wiretaps, enhanced interrogation and detention without trial. Indeed, Newsweek’s neck-snapping cover declares, “Why Obama May Soon Find Virtue in Cheney’s Vision of Power.”

Obama will be loath to throw away the tools that have kept the homeland safe. Just as he will be loath to jeopardize the remarkable turnaround in American fortunes in Iraq.

Obama opposed the war. But the war is all but over. What remains is an Iraq turned from aggressive, hostile power in the heart of the Middle East to an emerging democracy openly allied with the United States. No president would want to be responsible for undoing that success.

In Iraq, Bush rightly took criticism for all that went wrong — the WMD fiasco, Abu Ghraib, the descent into bloody chaos in 2005-06. Then Bush goes to Baghdad to ratify the ultimate post-surge success of that troubled campaign — the signing of a strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq — and ends up dodging two size 10 shoes for his pains.

Absorbing that insult was Bush’s final service on Iraq. Whatever venom the war generated is concentrated on Bush himself. By having personalized the responsibility for the awfulness of the war, Bush has done his successor a favor. Obama enters office with a strategic success on his hands — while Bush leaves the scene taking a shoe for his country.

Which I suspect is why Bush showed such equanimity during a private farewell interview at the White House a few weeks ago. He leaves behind the sinews of war, for the creation of which he has been so vilified but which will serve his successor — and his country — well over the coming years. The very continuation by Democrats of Bush’s policies will be grudging, if silent, acknowledgment of how much he got right.



  1. What a failure – one of the 5 worst Presidents of the great USA.
    Obama has two jobs – moving this country forward and picking up the pieces of what G Bush has left of this country and what a mess Bush has made.
    Be gone G Bush, back to Texas you go and hopefully never in politics again – or if he does go back into polictics let Texas have him.

    • Bush Bashing till the end. Too bad for the left they will have to win an election on their OWN ideas next time. Classy liberals, but of course.

  2. Mr. President, George w. Bush, words cannot express how grateful my family and I are for your outstanding service to our country. You have inspired me to always DO WHAT IS RIGHT, NOT WHAT IS POPULAR. I have lived by this principle and it has always paid off in the long run. As to you living by this principal, history will forever thank you for the great things you have done for the United States of America. It is unfortunate that others in this country can be so evil and disrespectful to our commander in chief. This has only strengthened me, as I am sure it has strengthened you (G.W), to always fight for what you believe in, to do what is right for the people, and to never let your guard down no matter how bad the criticism is from our foes. When you were first inaugurated into the office of the presidency of the United States, my wife and I were engaged and eventually newlyweds early on during your term. 8 years later my wife and I have accomplished so much together, including both of us graduating with an M.B.A. thanks to the freedoms this great nation offers. We now have a 2-year-old daughter, as I am sure you can relate, and I realize now that nothing is more powerful then family. Mr. President, none of this could have been possible without the freedoms from tyranny and protection that you brought to my family during those 8 years. Yes, you were a great president, but you are also a great father and husband that has inspired many with your integrity and humbleness. May God bless you and your family and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you President George Walker Bush for all you have done.

  3. Thank you President Bush for your 8 years of service to our country!

  4. Speaking of George W. Bush:

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

    • We appreciate all comments, even ill-informed opinions, which is what you have articulated.

      Since you graduated summa cum laude, you must understand that the constitution provides for the presumption of innocence. However, your comments point to a complete lack of understanding of that core constitutional principle by concluding that hate crimes “were” committed. A hate crime is taking Mr. Berg and cutting is head off, taping it, and using this slaughter to motivate others to join a perverse cause by fighting or sacrificing their own life for it – even if it involves tricking children and mentally disabled individuals to do so. I doubt you would speak out against those employing means to instill terror at any cost, and more likely, you probably would not even call them terrorists.

      You seem way out on the left fringe, lucky for you, our founding fathers made it possible for the left fringe to still fall within the borders of the United States of America and enjoy constitutional protections, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms and protect yourself (even if you feel otherwise – when the sh*t hits the fan, you’ll be glad one of us has one to save your behind); and while you may argue against tactics used to safeguard these United States, those fighting the fight across the world will protect your ass all the same, regardless if what should come out of it ….. is instead spewing from your mouth.

      One thing I don’t hear anymore from the fringe left is how Iraq is Bush’s Vietnam. Maybe it is because those tens of thousands of shiite muslims murdered and later found buried deep in the desert sands by a murdering dictator have been vindicated, their families now getting to live in a country where individual liberty is being embraced, the right to vote exercised, the dictator gone, and after the most recent provisional election, the political process has now kicked religious-fundamentalist parties out of power while embracing the secular forces who campaigned for truly representative government, one based on Iraq’s constitution of limited powers, and driven to serve the people of Iraq.

      Thing about this … where for decades those who wanted an education in the Middle East beyond high school would have to be those were financially well off, lucky to have wealthy parents so they could fly away to Europe to be educated and never come back. Iraq, as it was during the Ottoman Empire, will return to the bastion of education it once was, where mathematics and so much else was born, and those young men and women around the Middle East will be able to buy a simple bus fare to Bagdhad, put a bit of money in their pocket, and simply bring with them the will to work and study for themselves … and for the good of the country they live in. This was not possible and is now developing into a reality that should be embraced, because it is that generation that will change the broader middle east and grow the forces of liberty and democracy we have brought to their land.

      God Bless America for bringing real change to the Middle East – George W. Bush will be remembered for liberating a country and bringing democracy into the heart of a volatile Middle East. While your arguments are focused on reaching back with your reliance on retrospect, we look forward at what we can build on, not what we can criticize to satisfy our urge for moral adequacy. You can complain all you want – but the alternative would have been more of the same in Iraq and I thought you folks out Left didn’t like “more of the same.” Read up my friend, for the facts escape you and aren’t found on some blog – they are found and shared by men and women who are living a different life with freedoms unavailable to them less then a decade ago, and in a part of the world almost no one else in the world wanted to sacrifice their blood for “oil” or whatever reason blinded them to the broader good and opportunity to bring “hope and change” .. .the real kind (freedom, voting rights, democracy, economic and individual liberties).

      We are Americans … man up and grow a pair .. the rest of world needs us to have the courage necessary to fight through adversity, not run from it for the sake of political convenience and the lack of moral conviction to take the not always popular stand … and most of all .. they need us to have the will to give a damn.

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