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 The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush

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MessageSujet: The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush   The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush EmptyJeu 15 Jan 2009 - 12:39

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The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush

Published 01.13.09
By John Grooms


It's an American tradition: Whenever a president leaves office, people start debating how he stacks up against his predecessors. (Note: The use here of "he" and "his" isn't sexist exclusion, but a reflection of U.S. history) This time, though, there's a big difference.

As President George W. Bush gets ready to leave the White House, it says a lot that the most frequently asked question about his place in history is whether he's the worst president ever, or just in the top five or six.

America has had more than its share of mediocrities in the White House, so how do you determine which was the worst? One way is to systematically compare the mistakes, weaknesses and failures of the presidents historians agree should have stayed home.

Historians generally cite four characteristics that can land a president on the "one of the worst" tally: 1. Sins of omission and/or incompetence; 2. Abuse of power; 3. Warmongering; and 4. Corruption. Some historians also consider poor personal character an indicator, but frankly, considering Bush's spoiled-fratboy-cum-county-sheriff persona and lifelong pattern of serial screw-ups, well, I've only got so much room for this article. So, let's look at how Dubya stacks up in the four other categories, compared to his fellow bad presidents.

Sins of omission and/or incompetence
Some presidents wind up on the Worst Presidents list because, figuratively speaking, they fiddled while Rome burned. Others were just inept. Some managed to do both. During the 12 years before the Civil War (1849-61), four awful, do-nothing presidents in a row -- Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan -- let the nation drift toward Civil War. Taylor and Fillmore were merely incompetent; Pierce stayed drunk; and Buchanan may have been the worst of all, not even bothering to act when Southern states started declaring their secession from the United States.

In the 20th century, Herbert Hoover (1929-33) was the poster boy for presidential sins of omission. When the Depression set in, he lowered taxes and began a few measly public works projects, but otherwise simply sat on his hands, acted cranky and refused to provide any actual relief to suffering citizens.

Among incompetent presidents, Warren G. Harding (1921-23) was the last century's archetype: a dimwitted, poker-playing skirt chaser who let himself be manipulated by his cronies and appointees while they raided the federal treasury. At least Harding, who died in office, knew he was incompetent, as he later revealed in a diary admission: "I am not fit for this office and should never have been here."
Jimmy Carter (1977-81) came to Washington as a reform-minded maverick with new ideas. Carter had a major, unforeseen problem, though: He had little idea of how to pull strings in D.C., and Congress wasn't about to show him. Carter floundered around for a couple of years, and his presidency was dead in the water by '79.

Last month, the Pew Research Center surveyed U.S. adults to name one word that best described their impression of Bush. The most common response? "Incompetent." How can any honest observer disagree? Bush's appointment of incompetent cronies to important positions (paging "Brownie" and Alberto!) and then failing to oversee their performance, led directly to two critical mistakes: FEMA's ruinous post-Katrina performance and the rampant politicization of the Justice Department. Add Bush's blithe dismissal of pre-9/11 warnings of impending attacks, plus his stubborn refusal to admit how badly the Iraq war was going until it was almost too late, and you're looking at a major-league incompetent.

Abuses of power
At various times, usually during a crisis, some presidents have abused the office -- as well as the Constitution and freedom itself -- in various ways. Ironically, two presidents usually rated among the greatest were guilty of serious abuses of power during wartime. During World War II, Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) had Japanese-Americans moved into relocation camps for the duration of the war. Abraham Lincoln (1861-65), in the Civil War, suspended habeas corpus (a basic common law of Western governments since the 13th century, which protects people from being imprisoned indefinitely without being charged with a specific crime).

In 1798, the second president, John Adams (1797-1801), convinced Congress to pass the Alien and Sedition Acts, which heavily restricted the rights of government critics; Adams paid the price for his thin skin when Thomas Jefferson defeated him in the next election. In similar fashion, Woodrow Wilson (1913-21) presided over the enforcement of the shameful Sedition Act of 1918, which criminalized radical criticism of the government, and resulted in the arrest and attempted illegal deportation of more than 10,000 people. Wilson's affronts to democracy make America's modern political boogeyman, Richard Nixon (1969-74), look good by comparison. But not too good. Tricky Dick, after all, tried to stop publication of the Pentagon Papers, which detailed how the United States had become involved in Vietnam; ordered burglaries and wiretapping of his political adversaries; and directed coverups whenever his minions were caught.

Dubya's abuses of power are so far-reaching, they doubtless will one day be the stuff of legend. It's hard to compile a list of Bush's abuses of power and keep it short, but here's an attempt: Bush used the Department of Justice to punish political enemies and pervert the selection of judges and prosecutors; defied lawfully issued subpoenas; and ratcheted up the level of fear-mongering (even color-coded it!) in order to radically expand his own power by exploiting the fear of international terrorism. He knowingly lied about intelligence reports in order to take the country into an unnecessary war that killed or wounded more than 34,000 U.S. soldiers; oversaw an unprecedented, broad program of computer-snooping and warrantless wiretapping of American citizens; ordered, and defended, the arrest and indefinite detention of anyone he deemed an "enemy combatant," and set up a detention center in Guantanamo Bay to hold most of them; OK'd the use of prisoner interrogation techniques that are universally recognized as torture; approved the "rendition" of prisoners to countries where they were tortured; spied on peaceful groups such as the Quakers and the American Civil Liberties Union; and last but certainly nowhere near least, Bush made a habit of issuing "signing statements" that laid out which provisions in new laws he would abide by -- a view of presidential power that is breathtakingly unconstitutional.

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MessageSujet: Re: The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush   The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush EmptyJeu 15 Jan 2009 - 12:40

Warmongering
In addition to having successfully fought the War of 1812, the Civil War and two world wars, the United States has also enjoyed an abundance of presidents eager to send military forces to kick the hell out of people who hadn't attacked us. The list is long, beginning with the Mexican War -- a blatantly illegal move by James K. Polk (1845-49) -- and continuing until today*. Bush's contribution to the list is probably what he'll be most remembered for. As noted above, Bush launched an invasion of Iraq, under false pretenses, although the country had never attacked us (which is the Number One definition of a war crime, by the way). In the process, he catastrophically mismanaged the war, turned millions of Iraqis into refugees (and around 100,000 of them into corpses), and dragged America's name and image through the mud. Add to that Bush's constant saber-rattling against Iran, a country that is nowhere close to developing nuclear weapons, and his plans for installing missiles on Russia's doorstep, and you've got a president who, to be generous, is seriously deficient in the ways of normal diplomacy.

Corruption
Until Bush came along, the icons of presidential corruption were Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77) and Harding. Both men ran corrupt administrations in which their cronies gave their friends sweetheart deals and engaged in blatant graft. Neither man is believed to have personally profited from his cronies' crimes, although both of them, to some degree, knew that something rotten was going on. We don't yet know whether Dubya profited from the sweetheart deals enjoyed by members and friends of his administration, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Nonetheless, there are so many documented examples of Bush-friendly companies and CEOs getting favorable treatment -- including Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous 2001 meeting with oil execs to allow them to write the administration's energy policy -- and of Bush officials profiting from industries they were supposed to be regulating; we don't have space to detail them here. A quick look at Cheney's former company, Halliburton, alone, however, is revelatory: Halliburton has been cited by at least 10 different official reports for massive, multi-billion dollar cost overruns; overcharging for services rendered; illegal kickbacks; and sloppy, incomplete work for which it was paid richly.

You may have noticed something about the four categories above: Bush is the only president who shows up in all four. In fact, you can almost say that Dubya combines many of the characteristics of the bad presidents who came before him into one big, nasty package. Incompetent and corrupt? Dubya makes Harding look like George Washington. Abuse of power? Move over, Nixon. Warmongering? Polk and McKinley have nothing on our boy.

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz says that great presidents are those who, when confronted with terrible circumstances, "rally the nation, govern brilliantly, and leave the republic more secure than when they entered." Calamitous presidents, he continues, "have divided the nation, governed erratically and left the nation worse off." Three guesses into which category Wilentz places Bush.


* The following is a summary of military actions by the United States since 1891, excluding the two world wars:
Chile -- 1891 -- Marines sent to Chile and clashed with nationalist rebels.
Haiti -- 1891 -- American troops suppress a revolt by black workers on U.S.--claimed Navassa Island.
Hawaii -- 1893 -- Navy sent to Hawaii to overthrow the independent kingdom -- Hawaii annexed by the United States.
Nicaragua -- 1894 -- Troops occupied Bluefields, a city on the Caribbean Sea, for a month.
China -- 1894--95 -- Navy, Army, and Marines landed during the Sino--Japanese War.
Panama -- 1895 -- Army, Navy, and Marines landed in the port city of Corinto.
China -- 1894--1900 -- Troops occupied China during the Boxer Rebellion.
Philippines -- 1898--1910 -- Navy and Army troops landed after the Philippines fell during the Spanish--American War; 600,000 Filipinos were killed.
Cuba -- 1898--1902 -- Troops seized Cuba in the Spanish--American War.
Puerto Rico -- 1898 -- present -- Troops seized Puerto Rico in the Spanish--American War.
Nicaragua -- 1898 -- Marines landed at the port of San Juan del Sur.
Samoa -- 1899 -- Troops landed as a result over the battle for succession to the throne.
Panama -- 1901--14 -- Navy supported the revolution when Panama claimed independence from Colombia.
Honduras -- 1903 -- Marines landed to intervene during a revolution.
Dominican Rep 1903--04 -- Troops landed to protect American interests during a revolution.
Korea -- 1904--05 -- Marines landed during the Russo--Japanese War.
Cuba -- 1906--09 -- Troops landed during an election.
Nicaragua -- 1907 -- Troops landed and a protectorate was set up.
Honduras -- 1907 -- Marines landed during Honduras' war with Nicaragua.
Panama -- 1908 -- Marines sent in during Panama's election.
Nicaragua -- 1910 -- Marines landed for a second time in Bluefields and Corinto.
Honduras -- 1911 -- Troops sent in to protect American interests during Honduras' civil war.
China -- 1911--41 -- Navy and troops sent to China during continuous flare--ups.
Cuba -- 1912 -- Troops sent in to protect American interests in Havana.
Panama -- 1912 -- Marines landed during Panama's election.
Honduras -- 1912 -- Troops sent in to protect American interests.
Nicaragua -- 1912--33 -- Troops occupied Nicaragua and fought guerrillas during its 20--year civil war.
Mexico -- 1913 -- Navy evacuated Americans during revolution.
Dominican Republic -- 1914 -- Navy fought with rebels over Santo Domingo.
Mexico -- 1914--18 -- Navy and troops sent in to intervene against nationalists.
Haiti -- 1914--34 -- Troops occupied Haiti after a revolution and occupied Haiti for 19 years.
Dominican Rep 1916--24 -- Marines occupied the Dominican Republic for eight years.
Cuba -- 1917--33 -- Troops landed and occupied Cuba for 16 years; Cuba became an economic protectorate.
Russia -- 1918--22 -- Navy and troops sent to eastern Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution; Army made five landings.
Honduras -- 1919 -- Marines sent during Honduras' national elections.
Guatemala -- 1920 -- Troops occupied Guatemala for two weeks during a union strike.
Turkey -- 1922 -- Troops fought nationalists in Smyrna.
China -- 1922--27 -- Navy and Army troops deployed during a nationalist revolt.
Honduras -- 1924--25 -- Troops landed twice during a national election.
Panama -- 1925 -- Troops sent in to put down a general strike.
China -- 1927--34 -- Marines sent in and stationed for seven years throughout China.
El Salvador -- 1932 -- Naval warships deployed during the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, or FMLN, revolt.
Yugoslavia -- 1946 -- Navy deployed off the coast of Yugoslavia in response to the downing of an American plane.
Uruguay -- 1947 -- Bombers deployed as a show of military force.
Greece -- 1947--49 -- U.S. operations insured a victory for the far right in national "elections."
Philippines -- 1948--54 -- The CIA directed a civil war against the Filipino Huk revolt.
Puerto Rico -- 1950 -- Military helped crush an independence rebellion in Ponce.
Korean War -- 1951--53 -- Military sent in during the war.
Iran -- 1953 -- The CIA orchestrated the overthrow of democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and restored the Shah to power.
Vietnam -- 1954 -- The United States offered weapons to the French in the battle against Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh.
Guatemala -- 1954 -- The CIA overthrew the democratically elected president, Col. Jacobo Arbenz, and placed Col. Carlos Castillo Armas in power.
Lebanon -- 1958 -- Navy supported an Army occupation of Lebanon during its civil war.
Panama -- 1958 -- Troops landed after Panamanians demonstrations threatened the Canal Zone.
Vietnam -- 1950s--75 -- Vietnam War.
Cuba -- 1961 -- The CIA--directed Bay of Pigs invasions failed to overthrow the Castro government.
Cuba -- 1962 -- The Navy quarantines Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Laos -- 1962 -- Military occupied Laos during its civil war against the Pathet Lao guerrillas.
Panama -- 1964 -- Troops sent in and Panamanians shot while protesting the U.S. presence in the Canal Zone.
Indonesia -- 1965 -- CIA orchestrated a military coup.
Dominican Rep-- 1965--66 -- Troops deployed during a national election.
Guatemala -- 1966--67 -- Green Berets sent in.
Cambodia -- 1969--75 -- Military sent in after Vietnam War expanded into Cambodia.
Laos -- 1971--75 -- Americans carpet--bomb the countryside during Laos' civil war.
Chile -- 1973 -- The CIA orchestrated a coup, killing President Salvador Allende who had been popularly elected. The CIA helped to establish a military regime under Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Cambodia -- 1975 -- Twenty--eight Americans killed in an effort to retrieve the crew of the Mayaquez, which had been seized.
Iran -- 1980 -- Americans aborted a rescue attempt to liberate 52 hostages seized in the Teheran embassy.
Libya -- 1981 -- American fighters shoot down two Libyan fighters.
El Salvador -- 1981--92 -- The CIA, troops, and advisers aid in El Salvador's war against the FMLN.
Nicaragua -- 1981--90 -- The CIA and National Security Council directed the Contra War against the Sandinistas.
Lebanon -- 1982--84 -- Marines occupied Beirut during Lebanon's civil war; 241 were killed in the American barracks and Reagan "redeployed" the troops to the Mediterranean.
Honduras -- 1983--89 -- Troops sent in to build bases near the Honduran border.
Grenada -- 1983--84 -- American invasion overthrew the Maurice Bishop government.
Iran -- 1984 -- American fighters shot down two Iranian planes over the Persian Gulf.
Libya -- 1986 -- American fighters hit targets in and around the capital city of Tripoli.
Bolivia -- 1986 -- The Army assisted government troops on raids of cocaine areas.
Iran -- 1987--88 -- The United States intervened on the side of Iraq during the Iran--Iraq War.
Libya -- 1989 -- Navy shot down two more Libyan jets.
Philippines -- 1989 -- Air Force provided air cover for government during coup.
Panama -- 1989--90 -- 27,000 Americans landed in overthrow of President Manuel Noriega; more than 2,000 Panama civilians were killed.
Liberia -- 1990 -- Troops entered Liberia to evacuate foreigners during civil war.
Kuwait -- 1991 -- Troops sent into Kuwait to turn back President Saddam Hussein.
Somalia -- 1992--94 -- Troops occupied Somalia during civil war.
Bosnia -- 1993--95 -- Air Force jets bombed "no--fly zone" during civil war in Yugoslavia.
Haiti -- 1994--96 -- American troops and Navy provided a blockade against Haiti's military government. The CIA restored Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power.
Zaire -- 1996--97 -- Marines sent into Rwanda Hutus' refugee camps in the area where the Congo revolution began.
Albania -- 1997 -- Troops deployed during evacuation of foreigners.
Sudan -- 1998 -- American missiles destroyed a pharmaceutical complex where alleged nerve gas components were manufactured.
Afghanistan -- 1998 -- Missiles launched towards alleged Afghan terrorist training camps.
Yugoslavia -- 1999 -- Bombings and missile attacks carried out by the United States in conjunction with NATO in the 11-week war against President Slobodan Milosevic.
Source: Evergreen State College, Olympia, Wash
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MessageSujet: Re: The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush   The king of bad presidents: George W. Bush EmptyJeu 15 Jan 2009 - 16:03

Misye pa bay mwatye lan sa BUSH fè;se sa k fè gen yon magazin ki te enteroje 100 istoryen;96 la dan yo di ke misye se pi move prezidan lan tout istwa Etazini.
Se tankou lan Depatman Jistis lan ;mesye yo pyeje ERIC HOLDER.
Yo nonmen yon bann avoka reyaksyonè.
Lan divizyon "civil rights" mesye bush yo nonmen yon bann nèg konsèvatè rasis;de nèg ke Eric Holder pral gen difikilte pou li deloje.

Yo di ke Holder di ke li pare pou yo ,men sa ap difisil pou misye.
Yo fè sa lan anpil lòt depatman tou.

Se kanson OBAMA wi pou li monte pou l netwaye peyi an de nèg Bush sa yo!
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