Monday, 12 January 2009

George W Bush: Gone But Not Forgotten

Over the next few days there are going to be countless bloggers posting about the end of George W Bush's term as President of the USA and it would be quite a safe assumption that the majority of them will not be favourable.
In an attempt to beat the crush i thought i would get mine in first and make the stunning statement that he will be missed by the majority of us that spent the last eight years loathing him.
Before hordes of protesters armed with flaming torches descend upon my home and run me out of town, let me explain.
Whether he was warmongering, mangling the English language, showing complete disregard for his countrymen during natural disasters or doing his best to destroy the environment, George Bush has been a constant for the past eight years.
In Britain he gained the honour of being the recipient of not only the largest demonstration ever in the country with over 2 million people marching against his Iraq War, but the largest weekday demonstration also. Who else could have whipped up such hatred for the public to turn out in such large numbers and not just in Britain. His reckless decision making led to countless demonstrations around the globe and he was responsible for helping in the early removal of many of the leaders who sided with him. Blair, Howard, Jose Maria Aznar, all Bush allies and all removed prematurely by the electorate.
His gaffes will continue to be shown for decades and who didn't give a wry smile when he tried to leave via a locked door in Beijing, confusing Slovenia and Slovakia, Austria and Australia or the famous 'Yo Blair' incident at the United Nations.
All of which would be funnier if it wasn't for the darker side of Bush that led to the death of over a million Iraqi's and thousands of Afghans as part of the War on Terror which did so much to act as a recruiting Sergeant for terror groups and will do for years to come. Torture, carte blanche to Israel, European missile defence system, Guantanamo Bay, financial meltdown, environmental vandalism and special rendition were all lowlights of Bush's eight years.
It will be hard to find such a divisive figure as George Bush to bring together so many people and to garner such collective loathing on such a worldwide scale so when Bush rides off to his ranch in Texas next week, while we will all be glad to see him go, we will miss having that bogeyman in the White House to direct all our ill feeling at.
His lasting legacy is despite it being the era of the likes of Bin Laden, Robert Mugabe and Saddam Hussein, none of them had the amount of hatred aimed at them from the four corners of the globe as George W Bush and admit it, you will miss having such an easy target to aim at. I know i will.


Don said...

His lasting legacy is despite it being the era of the likes of Bin Laden, Robert Mugabe and Saddam Hussein, none of them had the amount of hatred aimed at them from the four corners of the globe as George W Bush

Amazing, isn't it. Those others were and are murderers, directly, with the blood of thousands on their hands. George was just another semi-clueless American frat boy. The unfortunate reality, of course, is that a well-meaning buffoon with American aircraft carriers can do a lot more damage than three Hitlers combined.

Cheezy said...

A small part of me might miss the laffs, but for the most part, I've been really missing the world we had on the 19th of January 2001 and before.

Lucy said...

Not sure how well meaning he was Don, not many pluses to point to for 8 years worth of leadership but does show what can happen when someone who shouldn't even be allowed to own a pet keys his hands on power.

Lots of other targets to aim at Cheesy but hard to think of anyone who will get it from quite so many people.

Don said...

There's no going back. I will be interested to see how many of GWB's alleged violations of the Constitution actually get rolled back by Mr Obama. I know how many I expect.

Cheezy said...

Indeed. 'Function creep' is an inherent part of the nature of any bureaucratic institution. Governments are especially loathe to surrender any power ceded to them. That's why we should be so very careful about what we, as individuals, are giving up to them in the first place - particularly in regards to civil liberties. We should also bear in mind that, from the authorities' point of view, there will always be a strong justification for them to have more power over us.

Having said all that, I'm still hopeful - if not totally optimistic - that the Obama administration will be slightly less keen on practices like torture and detaining people without charge. Time will tell.