George W. Bush: The Biggest Blunder In U.S. History

by Ben Hoffman

Some have called the invasion and occupation of Iraq the biggest blunder in U.S. history. But that seems to be winding down now, even though violence is still prevalent.

Today marks the 104th month of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan, which makes it America’s longest war in history. Vietnam lasted 103 months. Our primary purpose for going into Afghanistan in the first place was to get Osama bin Laden. Because of Bush’s blunder in Tora Bora, bin Laden got away and remains at large.

Bush’s strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan showed a complete lack of intellectual curiosity. They believed that if we killed enough people and bombed enough facilities, we’d win. Well, it doesn’t work that way when you’re occupying a country that doesn’t want to be occupied.

We passed the trillion dollar mark last month for the cost of the wars. Over 1000 troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan and well over 4,000 in Iraq. Estimates of civilian deaths are estimated at over 100,000.

The Bush administration crippled the MMS’s oversight of oil rigs and now we have the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history. Right-wingers are blaming it on Obama, since the permits were granted after Bush left office, and Obama is at fault for not reforming the MMS, but government is generally reactive — not proactive, and it took the disaster to make apparent the corruption in the MMS.

We’ll be paying for the biggest blunder in U.S. history for a long time to come. That blunder is George W. Bush.

31 Comments to “George W. Bush: The Biggest Blunder In U.S. History”

  1. The real blunder was Reagan. He paved the way for all the crap the Republicans and the Conservatives have brought down on the country, and on Afghanistan and Iraq. No Reagan, no Boy Bush. But yeah, Bush deserves all the current, active credit, with Cheney, for the wars and the oil disaster, and let’s not forget the financial meltdown. Didja ever wonder how much he and his friends made off of Wall Street’s crimes against humanity?

    • True. It could be said that Reagan started the war on the middle class. We were lucky to some extent that we had a Democratic Congress to limit his damage. Imagine what he would have done to our country if he had a rubber stamp Congress like Bush had!

  2. Mr. Hoffman,

    All good cometh from Obama, all evil cometh from Reagan, Bush, and Cheney.

    ” The Bush administration crippled the MMS’s oversight of oil rigs ”

    Could you list specific things the Bush Administration did to cripple the MMS? You know Chris Oynes, the fall guy who resigned. He was appointed by Bush in 2007, but he was a career Bureaucrat who served in the MMS for years before Bush took office. He even received a meritorious service award during the Clinton Administration.

    So Bush promoting preexisting MMS employees is what crippled the MMS ?

    How about a few facts on the side to go with that Baloney you are serving up ?

    • News report

      Oynes was promoted to associate director despite his role in a “foul-up” at the MMS’ regional office in New Orleans, reports The Times-Picayune:

      During his tenure at the Gulf regional office in Louisiana for the MMS, Chris Oynes played a central role in an offshore leasing foul-up that cost taxpayers an estimated $10 billion in lost revenue. The Interior Department’s inspector general called the matter “a jaw-dropping example of bureaucratic bungling.” Despite that, the agency’s then-director promoted Mr. Oynes in 2007 to associate director for the offshore program.

    • NY Times

      Hmmm, Cheney meets secretly with oil and coal executives for a couple of months, refuses to reveal the content of the discussions, and thereafter Big Oil and Big Coal run roughshod over regulation and regulators. Nah, no connection there.

  3. Ric,

    So how come Obama did not replace him? Obama was in office well over a year when the well blew. This guy is a scapegoat. He only carries out the policies of the higher ups. If he was incompetent or corrupt, it was your Clown’s job to replace him.

    I’m sure your hero has not revealed every conversation he ever had.

    • And where do I say that Obama is my hero? Is all your thinking and research just as accurate? Or do you bother to either think or research? On what you’ve demonstrated so far, you apparently are capable of neither, but are content to rely on name-calling and obfuscation to demonstrate your mental abilities.

      Oynes was a small piece of Republican crap floating in the sea of Republican crap that Bush/Cheney dumped on the people of this country. Given the magnitude of the crises Bush left for Obama to clean up, Oynes and I’m sure hundreds of others just as incompetent and/or corrupt are still in place. It may take a generation to repair the damage done to the nation’s institutions and governance by Bush and his cohorts and people like Oynes.

      Cheney did not have little conversations over tea. He held extensive discussions with the leaders of the industry from which he came, conversations concerning the energy policy of the country – no minor matter – and given the disastrous direction and execution of not only energy policy but virtually every other policy of the Bush/Cheney administration, there is no reason to believe that those discussions had the best interests of the people of this country at heart. And if they did, then there is little reason to be so secretive about them. Bush and Cheney dealt in deceit, in lies, and in deceitful manipulation of information and media to accomplish goals that benefited only them and their friends.

      I leave it to you to do your own research, preferably in areas more factual and thoughtful than the media circuses of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, where an intelligent guess would suggest that you spend much of your time.

      • [Given the magnitude of the crises Bush left for Obama to clean up, Oynes and I’m sure hundreds of others just as incompetent and/or corrupt are still in place.]

        Obama has yet to replace the U.S. Attorneys Bush appointed for political purposes. No doubt the Republicans would block every nomination, but Obama needs to put forth a little effort.

      • No argument there, Ben. And not just the Attorneys, but all the other civil service positions where the religiopolitical hacks burrowed in.

  4. Guys,

    What always amazed me was that Obama left Bush’s military people in power. I mean considering how much Obama criticized Bush’s military strategy. Or could it be that Obama was just as incompetent as a military commander in chief and just got lucky that the military did not screw up like the MMS. If they had, you guys would say the same things about the defense Dept. as you now say about the MMS. Everything that goes right is Obama’s brilliance, what goes wrong is still Bush’s fault!!!

    • Nobody claimed that the recent successes we’re having in Afghanistan is due to Obama’s “brilliance.” Once again, you lied.

      Once Bush got rid of Rumsfeld and put Gates in his place, our military started having a little more success, but it’s the commander-in-chief who decides the strategy. We had flawed strategies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which is why we’re still occupying those countries, and that is and always will be Bush’s fault.

    • The competence of the military, in large, was not at issue under Bush/Cheney or Obama. In fact, one could note that the military that B/C abused was the military developed under Clinton. That military was given a task by Bush/Cheney, and they carried it out admirably, in a military sense. The military’s conquest of a fourth-rate military power in Iraq was well-done. There were screw-ups, of course. There always are. And most of them resulted from political decisions made about Iraq by Bush/Cheney, decisions made in arrogance and ignorance and downright stupidity.

      The issue was, and is, the political use of the military. Bush/Cheney, in invading Iraq, and in failing to allow the initial military pursuit of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to proceed, used the military to advance the Bush/Cheney political, personal, and economic agenda in the United States.

      Iraq was an unnecessary war promoted and executed under color of lies and falsehoods. Afghanistan was, and is, an unnecessary war in which an American administration attacked a pathetically weak country in order to punish a small group of terrorists. In simple, Bush/Cheney stole a sledge hammer from the American people and used it to, in one instance, destroy the wrong house, and in the other, to hammer in a thumbtack (which they missed).

      Obama is a brilliant man, and Bush is a stupid s.o.b. who abused his office and committed crimes while in office. Neither Obama’s intellectual brilliance nor Bush’s stupidity qualifies either as an effective military commander.

      The U.S. Military on the ground performs very well. Not perfectly, but certainly with overall competence. But they are performing the wrong mission in the wrong places against the wrong people. I suspect that the military knew it was being abused for political purposes by Bush, but the military’s mission is to do what the civilian authority orders it to do.

      I believe Obama is wrong to continue the war in Afghanistan and wrong to continue to keep troops in Iraq. But Obama is not a progressive, not even a liberal. He’s a centrist, and operates under severe political pressure from the right wing crazies who want war and more war because they can’t conceive of any other way to handle problems than to misuse sledgehammers.

  5. Mr. Hoffman,

    This is still within topic. Have you noticed that since President Obama has been directing our foreign policy, two of our former allies have been stabbing us in the back. I am talking about Turkey and Brazil.

    • Apparently you’ve forgotten that Turkey refused to let the U.S. use its airbase in Turkey for Iraq war missions. That was under Bush. I suppose that wasn’t a case of backstabbing in your twisty little logic of world events? Actually it wasn’t, since they did it openly in a vote in a democratically elected parliament.

      And apparently you’ve not kept up with the news from South America over the past decade as most countries there have been removing themselves from U.S. influence.

      As for ‘stabbing us in the back, is that what you call it when independent nations decide to pursue their own best interests and not kowtow to the United States? Perhaps you think we should be colonizing all these nations and running them? Or is it that you favor the U.S. becoming a worldwide tyranny, dictating to other nations?

      Former allies? No, they’re still our allies, but they aren’t our lackeys. You seem to have confused the two conditions. But that’s not really surprising, given the inability to separate fact from fiction and paranoid fantasy is a condition of pretty much everyone on the Republican/Conservative/Tea Party wing of American politics.

  6. Ric,

    ” Apparently you’ve forgotten that Turkey refused to let the U.S. use its airbase in Turkey for Iraq war missions ”

    I’m surprised that you remembered. Liberals are not generally good on details. Still you make a valid point. I will only say that it is quite a jump from disallowing war from being carried forth from your territory to sending boats to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, to voting against sanctions on Iran. .

    ” And apparently you’ve not kept up with the news from South America over the past decade as most countries there have been removing themselves from U.S. influence. ”

    Your lack of knowledge on this subject is appalling. Apparently you prefer the tyranny of Hugo Chavez and the Castro Brothers to the Freedom your own Country tries to project in South America. You actually have a Cold War going on down there. You are aware of the repression in Venezuela,,,,,,are you not?

    It would seem that President B. Hussein Obama’s policy of apology and appeasement has convinced Brazil and Turkey that we are weak allies and even weaker adversaries. Iran and Hugo the clown, seem to be on the up sweep while we under Obama are pitiful.

    • [You are aware of the repression in Venezuela,,,,,,are you not?]

      Why is it that Venezuelan socialism is bad but China’s socialism/communism is good? The Chinese government is far more oppressive than Chavez’s or Castro’s.

      Oh, yeah… you weren’t told to be outraged over China! 🙂

  7. Mr. Hoffman,

    Were you guys offline for a few hours? I could not get to any site.

    “Oh, yeah… you weren’t told to be outraged over China! ”

    So you think China is a problem. Where were you when your boy Clinton was transferring rocket technology to China?

    But you do have to say one thing for China. They only use Socialism to enslave their people. They figured out that it don’t work economically. That puts them years ahead of the Democratic Party.

    ” The Chinese government is far more oppressive than Chavez’s or Castro’s. ”

    How insightful you are. Why don’t you say that pig manure is far more oppressive than cow manure ? Chavez and Castro have taken countries with great human potential and run them into the ground. Even worse than the People’s Republic of Caleefornia or the Socialist Union of New York State.

    By the way, how IS the Obama war on the Rich coming along? Has stealing from the rich, taking your cut, and then giving to the poor, put anyone back to work ?

    How bout them Green Jobs? I bet there must be millions by now .

  8. Steve,

    I remember that cartoon from when I was a kid. It’s pretty appropriate considering that our fearless leader is talking about kicking someone’s ass .

    If I were BP, I would just talk like a Middle Eastern Israeli hating, oppressed moron, and you know that nobody will do a thing to you .

  9. I know the British had alot to do with the dividing of the land. But honestly, I don’t know a great deal about the history. I just think, and this is just me, that in the Israeli mind, they have to do what ever it takes to survive. Showing any sign of giving in would only promote more aggression from their enemies. I mean look, such a tiny, divided nation literally surround by people that think only of your demise. That my friend wouldn’t be a good feeling. Have a great weekend Ben!

  10. Mr. Hoffman,

    To get back to your original commentary.

    ” Our primary purpose for going into Afghanistan in the first place was to get Osama bin Laden. ”

    As usual you are wrong. Getting Osama would have been a great symbolic victory for the US, but it was not ” Our primary purpose “. Our primary purpose was to so degrade Al queda and the Taliban so as to them no longer having the ability to strike directly in the US. Certainly not on the scale of 911. Guess what? Mission 100% accomplished .

    Another goal was to send a message to the Radical Islamic World that there are deadly consequences to attacking the United States of America. Mission 100% accomplished . If you had any background at all in history you would recognize this fact .

    Weakness gets attacked,Period. It really is that simple. Your hero’s apology tour made us a laughing stock in the Middle East.

  11. Mr. Hoffman,

    I suppose that Osama Bin Laden hooked up to his kidney machine in Pakistan was laughing at George W. Bush, after his followers were killed. I suppose that Saddam Hussein was laughing at George W. Bush when he took that long drop at the end of a rope .

    These two guys would be laughing like hell right now if Obama had been President nine years ago . Well maybe not. They may have died of boredom, while President Obama talked them to death .

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