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Bush's hoped-for legacy melts down with Iraq

two wise men
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least George W. Bush recognized the failure of his two terms, and has kept his mouth shut. That's more than I can say for his pathetic choice as a VP, Dick Cheney. He's the guy who got five deferments rather than go fight in Vietnam. That cherished "get out of jail" card from one of America's biggest foreign policy disasters didn't keep Dick from putting together the next biggest foreign policy blunder, our misbegotten war in Iraq. This past week, Cheney charged into the Obama administration's handling of the mess left over from the Bush/Cheney error (or era). After five heart attacks, maybe Cheney feels he's got to get out there and try to fight back from what the world knows: Iraq was a big mistake, and Cheney was hugely responsible. Even Senator Rand Paul acknowledges that.

Leaving behind American troops is something we probably should have done, but Iraq was already a disaster. The problem is Bush/Cheney unleashed a civil war by taking out Saddam Hussein. They didn't foresee that, among other events like strengthening Iran. Iraq's (so called) leader Maliki is anything but. His idea of governing is to extricate the Sunni population-which is at the heart of Iraq's troubles. The idea was to create an inclusive government providing access from Shiites, Sunni's and the Kurds as well as Christians. Like everything else they touched, Bush/Cheney, and their "inside man", Paul Bremer, thought it was a good idea to disband the Iraqi army which meant hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men would be out of work. Great logic: what better idea than to unleash all those men into unemployment in a country lurching from crisis to crisis, which itself meant massive unemployment.Not only were these former military troops without a job--they were armed!!

George W. Bush was simply not presidential material-something quite obvious to many of us Americans.Millions of others thought maybe the criteria for electing a president came from the deep question of "would he be fun to have a beer with"? This is the intellect of a substantial part of this country. If you want a deeper idea of how they think-turn on any right-wing radio show, and just listen. I've said it before,and I will again:George W. Bush will go down in history as one of this nation's worst presidents. His one lingering hope was that-somehow-someway, Iraq will rise from the ashes of death and destruction, and become a beacon of hope and democracy in the middle east. The opposite happened, and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bremer all share in the responsibility. Bush knows this, and is the reason for his silence: to that-I say thank-you. At the risk of coming across too mean, I won't say what I truly think and wish for Cheney. His role in history is already written, and he was the painfully incompetent author of much of the death and destruction-which I believe he covers up with this absurd bravado he bellows on any media outlet which lets him blow hot air.

What would McNamara do? Maybe Cheney looked at another failed human being placed in a position of power, and analyzed what he did after the world realized he was at the heart of a huge disaster. Along with LBJ, Robert Strange McNamara escalated the Vietnam War into something they could not control. Although they sought to contain communism, what they didn't realize was that communism was not some world wide monolithic partnership. The fight in Vietnam was actually the North Vietnamese attempt's to have a unified country, and yes, their version of communism would be the ruling ideology. Was it truly a threat to America? No, and McNamara would realize that key fact a little too late. As a result, over 58,000 of our troops paid the ultimate price. We trade with Vietnam today. By the way, McNamara would spend the rest of his life 'explaining" his role in Vietnam. Unlike Cheney, although claiming they had the right idea, he also admitted at the heart of it all--he made mistakes. This, Dick Cheney will never do.

Along with the Great Recession, and huge-record setting debt, Bush had nothing left to hang his hat on. It would all come down to Iraq, and the very faint hope that somehow it would come together as a viable country. As it melts down with sectarian violence, the only hope left is maybe a three way division where the various sects can live in something resembling peace. They would have to divide the oil revenue, and getting rid of Maliki, is something that should happen sooner-not later.

I did believe we should have left troops behind in Iraq, and somehow help the Syrian rebels, and we allegedly have CIA people doing just that. I have to say as an outsider, getting more involved in the Syrian civil war may bring on events we just can't see now: that's what happened in Iraq, and Americans do not want our troops being constantly chewed up in some foreign civil war. We do need to, once again, help Iraq because the terrorism threat continues in a big way. ISIS has too much power, equipment and are making their way towards Baghdad. The Iraqi's though have to find a way to rise up, and protect their own interests. Cheney's thinking is we can't stay back or the threat will come back to haunt us like it did on 9/11. In that respect he' correct. The bottom line on this melting pot of violence is that it was his decision that created this hellish nightmare. How we proceed is Obama's headache, but we witnessed the Bush/Cheney method and we now know-all too well- what total failure looks like.

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