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Charles Krauthammer: Future generations will revere the Bush legacy

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  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2013 12:26 a.m.

    "He kept us safe."

    Like when the Bush administration ignored explicit warnings that Al Quada was planning to fly airplanes into buildings? 9/11 happened on Bush's watch, remember?

    "He kept us safe."

    By inventing stories of Iraqi WMDs and going to war with a nation that never attacked us, couldn't attack us, and was already hostile to Osama Bin Laden?

    "He kept us safe."

    Thousands of American dead, tens of thousands of Americans grievously wounded, a hundred thousand dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, and two-plus trillion dollars spent to make America even _more_ hated by Islamic radicals around the world?

    I have to ask, does reality EVER intrude into the contemporary conservative thought process? It seems like it does not.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2013 5:02 a.m.

    I seem to remember George W. Bush telling the American People that he wanted Congress to give him the authority to take military action in Iraq as a negociation tool to force Saddam Husseim to acquess to his demands. Was he being truthful on this? Or was he wanting to attack Iraq as punishment and was looking for reasons to justify it?

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    April 28, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    Sorry Charlie....GWB's legacy is already written, despite the eternal Bush Optimists hopes that they can change it. Bush will always be known as the Herbert Hoover of the 21st Century - The man who drove this great country to the brink of economic and moral bankruptcy.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 28, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Sorry, Charlie. It's not gonna happen. Even if the guy could walk on water on other issues, he gave us Iraq. Or should I say he moved his lips while Cheney led us into Iraq? Either way, that one is inexcusable. Revere? What a joke.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 28, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Another brilliant, insightful and truthful article from Dr. Krauthammer. Brilliant if for no other reason than that it exposes the hypocrisy of the left's criticism of a great leader.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    April 28, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    My goodness. High praise for one of the most disastrous presidencies in US history. We can thank the Bush administration for amplifying the already hot "blowback" effect from previous poor foreign policy decisions by other administrations. We can also thank him for the intensified police-state atmosphere in which we live today. This is without mentioning Bush's total cluelessness regarding the economy. Please don't take this to mean that I consider Obama to be any better, becaus he's continuing those same policies. Krauthammer once again establishes his credentials as one of our premier neoconservatives by this article.

  • ronnie sandy, utah
    April 28, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    The only ones of our future generations that will revere Bush's legacy are the ones who choose not to read very much on the subject. Everyone who rationally investigates the subject will conclude otherwise.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 28, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    It is easy to say that Bush kept us safe but is their any real evidence of that? We invaded Afghanistan but no one knows what would of happened if we didn't. Iraq was a pointless war that probably created more hate towards us. Also lets not forget we invaded a sovereign nation that did not attack us.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    April 28, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    "Future generations will revere. . . Bush."
    What, as a painter?

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 28, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    How anyone can claim that President Bush kept us safe, given the fact that the largest number of civilian American deaths in history (I'm guessing-haven't looked it up) occurred on his watch is beyond me.

    And yes, I'm very disappointed in Obama's continuation of many/most of Bush's policies. I'm especially disappointed in Obama's prosecution of whistleblowers. People who have exposed crimes by government actors should be applauded, not prosecuted.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 28, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    Huh?

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 28, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    Eugene Robinson correctly points out:

    "Hiding behind the euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques,” Bush made torture official U.S. policy. Just about every objective observer has agreed with this stark conclusion. The most recent assessment came earlier this month in a 576-page report from a task force of the bipartisan Constitution Project, which states that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture.”

    We knew about the torture before Bush left office — at least, we knew about the waterboarding of three “high-value” detainees involved in planning the 9/11 attacks. But the Constitution Project task force — which included such respected eminences as Asa Hutchinson, who served in high-ranking posts in the Bush administration, and William Sessions, who was FBI director under three presidents — concluded that other forms of torture were used “in many instances” in a manner that was “directly counter to values of the Constitution and our nation.”

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 28, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Shouldn't we be hearing about how much it cost to fly the Obama's to the opening of the Bush presidential library?

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 28, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    If the education system continues it downward spiral (courtesy No Child Left Behind (note the irony)) then W will be revered... as a genius.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    April 28, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    re: The Skeptical Chymist

    "I'm very disappointed in Obama's continuation of many/most of Bush's policies.

    Forrest Gump said it best, "Stupid is as stupid does."

    But, Go ahead America keep voting for Ivy Leaguers.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 28, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Huh?

    He kept us safe?

    Was Clinton president on September 11, 2001?

    How many Americans died that day?

    How many Americans have died in Iraq? Why are we even there in the first place?

    Who was president in the fall of 2008 when the stock market crashes and our credit lines froze?

    Bush drove up deficits and lied about WMDs. He did a lot of things, bailouts, trillions in deficits, ruined the economy, doubled the gas prices, destroyed regulation, etc but he never kept us safe!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 28, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    The only way people will "revere the Bush legacy" is to ignore the facts of his presidency and to ignore the harm he brought to this country through eight disastrous years in office. He didn't keep us safe -- his policies created huge numbers of terrorists to answer his actions. His response to the warning about 9/11 was "okay -- you've covered your "backside" and 9/11 happened. His policies put the economy down the toilet -- he did everything on credit, and we're still trying to clean up the mess GWBush created. He invaded and occupied a country without true cause, and thousands of US military personnel and civilians were killed and maimed as a result (and don't forget the thousands of Iraqi citizens he killed and maimed while he took their country back to the dark ages).

    I know revisionists are trying to re-write GWBush and his legacy. Hopefuly enough people who see him clearly will be around to stop their efforts, and leave the truth about GWBush in plain view now and later. He was and is the worst president the US has ever had -- even worse than Jimmy Carter, and that is saying a lot.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 28, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    He'll be revered about as much as we rever Richard Nixon or Herbert Hoover...

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 28, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    Yes, and the Brits threw Winston Churchill out of office. While Bush did alot that I do not agree with, the most comical part of this is reading comments of people bashing Bush is that most commentators would rush to the defense of his replacement. Bush got handed the .dot bubble which burst shortly before his term and keep the economy going. He then had 9/11 and kept the economy going.

    His biggest mistake was not reining in the Fed. who kept interest rates too low and helped create the housing bubble. (Ironically, Republicans unsuccessfully tried to address the out of control actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and were rebuffed by Barney Frank and friends).

    After 4 years, Bush is looking a lot better. Our current President has the highest number on Welfare and the highest number on disability of all time. We have a national debt approaching 17 trillion, with Obama adding more to it in 4 than Bush did in 8. Our grandchildren will view Bush move favorably than Obama's looting of the treasury to pay off his the unions and "alternative energy" companies. Bush looks pretty good once Obama's available for comparison.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 28, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    I noticed chuck cleverly omitted mentioning 9/11.

    I guess even Hitler could look good if we "forgot" WWII and the Holocaust.

    There's a reason why repubs love to forget about Bush's presidency. There's a reason why they blame everything on Clinton and Obama but never mention Bush. There's a reason why bush isn't a part of politics. His party wants to distance themselves as much as they can from him

    Not exactly a person who will soon be revered. Another swing and a miss by chuckie

  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    April 28, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    The families and friends of the nearly 3000 killed on September 11, 2001 would disagree that Bush kept us safe.

  • ronnie sandy, utah
    April 28, 2013 5:41 p.m.

    @RBB at least Obama's legacy will be tied to trying to help 30 plus million americans with healthcare. At best Bush legacy may be an attempt to help 30 plus million Iraqis who, at this point, did not want. In fact a majority of Iraqis feel the war was not worth it and by a greater margin they feel they are economically far worse off.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 28, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    i'm far from a liberal and see myself as an objective historian. Bush did some good things but overall not a good President. I would give him a C to a C- grade. Now perhaps we have reached a time when we revere a C, but hopefully not. He's average to below average, nothing more. His highlight was throwing out the first pitch in the Yankee game. I don't see either war as a good thing and far from necessary. While the President hasn't done much to fix the economy (in my view), he was handed off the worst situation since the Great Depression by the former President. We stayed safe (from terrorists) generally during his Presidency, I guess credit given. But at what cost? Krauthammer seems to think warrantless wiretapping is a good thing, I don't. I see it as a loss of our rights.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    April 28, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    @Iron Rod:
    "I seem to remember George W. Bush telling the American People that he wanted Congress to give him the authority to take military action in Iraq as a negotiation tool...?"

    Doesn't matter what Bush used as excuses. It is the responsibility of Congress to declare war... and they did by authorizing the President to take military action. And he (Bush) did. If the Congress didn't want war they should-a said so. And they've funded the war effort ever since.

    @SEY:
    "High praise for one of the most disastrous presidencies in US history."

    You ain't seen nuttin yet... Wait'll Obama joins the ranks of former presidents... which won't happen soon enough.

    @Wastintime:
    "... which states that 'it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture.'"

    Obama doesn't torture. He abhors torture. He just zaps them with drone missiles. Very effective and much more humane.

    @The Real Maverick:
    "There's a reason why they blame everything on Clinton and Obama..."

    Ain't it nice that Obama has Bush to blame everything on?

  • Alfred Pheonix, AZ
    April 28, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    @Howard Beal:
    "Krauthammer seems to think warrantless wiretapping is a good thing, I don't. I see it as a loss of our rights."

    Apparently Obama thinks it's a good thing, too. Since he's still using it... As a matter of fact, he seems to like the Patriot Act, as well.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 28, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    @wrz

    If you're trying to justify the use of torture by someone else using drones, that doesn't do it. Torture is wrong, was wrong, and always will be wrong.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 28, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    To Alfred:

    I disagree with the President on this as well. I disagree with the President in staying engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq as much he has/did. Again, unlike most on these boards, I'm not a liberal or conservative crusader. I'm a Libertarian on many things and middle to the road on many things looking at common sense solutions. I guess I would like both Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul on many issues but still find Jon Stuart and Stephen Colbert as funny as heck. My grade of the current President would be generally as disappointing (to my liberal friends here), but I would give an "I" grade until his term is finished, to be fair. But let's say I've been less than impressed (so far but I will hold out hope and even hope that I'm wrong on some things and the President is right and some of his ideas actually work). He's continued on with some of Bush's lame ideas and thrown in some of his own IMHO...

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 28, 2013 10:45 p.m.

    Wastintime-

    You do realize that enhanced interrogation techniques our military uses, were used on our own military personnel, as training in case they are captured, right? We do those things (you call them torture) to our own soldiers to prepare them. So is is really so bad to do it to al-qaeda detainees to get the info we need to save civilians from future attacks?

    Do you really prefer we allow them to kill and maim the masses of civilians on our own soil?

  • joseywales Park City, UT
    April 29, 2013 12:59 a.m.

    The most hilarious thing here is, because Obama's presidency has been so pathetic, W actually looks pretty darn good, even to dems.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    "You do realize that enhanced interrogation techniques our military uses, were used on our own military personnel, as training in case they are captured, right?"

    You do not know what you're talking about.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    April 29, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    @Badgerbadgerl

    1) "You do realize that enhanced interrogation techniques our military uses, were used on our own military personnel, as training in case they are captured, right?"

    So are you saying that because we prepare our troops to face chemical weapons, chemical weapons are not WMD's? The fact that we attempt to prepare our soldiers in case they are tortured, does not change the essence of torture or make it morally correct.

    2) "Do you really prefer we allow them to kill and maim the masses of civilians on our own soil?"

    Ahh... The good old "false choice" argument to try to justify doing wrong. I reject your false choice and maintain that torture is never the right thing to do, despite any perceived short-term benefits.

    History will not treat the Bush administration kindly for its unnecessary use of torture. As the Constitution Project task force concluded, torture was used “in many instances” in a manner that was “directly counter to values of the Constitution and our nation.”

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 29, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    Badgerbadger
    Murray, UT
    Wastintime-

    You do realize that enhanced interrogation techniques our military uses, were used on our own military personnel, as training in case they are captured, right? We do those things (you call them torture) to our own soldiers to prepare them. So is is really so bad to do it to al-qaeda detainees to get the info we need to save civilians from future attacks?

    Do you really prefer we allow them to kill and maim the masses of civilians on our own soil?

    10:45 p.m. April 28, 2013

    ===============

    Sources please.

    That is a LIE.

    Those tactics are illegal by the Geneva Convention.
    And any country using them is subject to International War Crimes.
    [Yes - America is the BAD guys alot of the times, espicially when it comes to water torture amongst other things - landmines being another, but I digress].

    The Communists wouldn't have even stooped the lowes the Bush Adminstistration took us.

  • Whatever Springville, UT
    April 29, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    This blatant attempt to completely revise history is an absolute joke.

  • George New York, NY
    April 29, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    It seems a little soon to try to rewrite history Mr. Krauthammer. I think Bush is a good man and tried to do the best he could unfortunately it is a pretty major stretch to think the things that were done during his presidency are something to be revered.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 29, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    Mountanman
    Hayden, ID
    Another brilliant, insightful and truthful article from Dr. Krauthammer. Brilliant if for no other reason than that it exposes the hypocrisy of the left's criticism of a great leader.

    8:30 a.m. April 28, 2013

    ============

    Your post received - what - "2" likes?

    Did you ever stop to think that your opinion in the most Conservative newspaper, in the most conservative State and you can't garner more "likes" than liberals -- that maybe just MAYBE telling you how our of the "norm" or "extreme" you might just be?

    Even preaching to the choir and you can't get more "likes".

    Try taking your opinions and arguments to San Fransico, Los Angles, New York, ect.
    Then - Come back and report how popular and well received your opinions are there....

  • Pete234 Sandy, UT
    April 30, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    ...sorry, Krauthammer misspelt revere, it is repute. And, they will ask why, or how could you let this happen, and your answer will be "lack."