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Building a Bush Memorial

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A letter to the editor in my local newspaper, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, has persuaded me to rethink the truly remarkable accomplishments of President George W. Bush and inspired me to join the movement to erect a Bush Memorial on the National Mall.

The letter, published on February 9th, was from David H. Edmunds of Albemarle County and listed just nine of Bush's good deeds, beginning with this one:

"He kept the country safe from terrorist attack for seven years following 9/11."

I think this understates Bush's achievement.  Remember that he also kept the country safe from faulty levees, neglect and incompetence in emergency services, and the absence of the National Guard for three years after Hurricane Katrina.  In addition, Bush protected us from new fraudulent wars of aggression that would kill many times the victims of 9/11 for five years after Shock and Awe.

"He deposed of one of the most brutal dictators the world has ever seen (Saddam Hussein)."  

You said it, Mr. Edmunds!  In fact, Bush deposed of over a million other people too who had all served as brutalized subjects of that dictator, and deposed of the homes of five million more, and in fact turned Iraq into such a living hell that a majority of the Iraqis who had not been deposed of were forced to recognize that Hussein had been a two-bit chump and express their eventual regret over the deposing of him.

"He established a foothold for democracy in the Middle East and gave 50 million people their first taste of real freedom."

And this task was more difficult than it sounds.  Just as a child may not learn from his first taste of broccoli how good it will be for him, Middle Easterners appear not to appreciate their first taste of real freedom, and the majority of them support all forms of resistance to occupation by the footholders, while making a global hero of a guy who throws his footwear.  Imposing democracy on people is a thankless task, but we could build a powerful monument of thanks for 0.00004 percent of Exxon-Mobil's profits this year, or the cost of constructing the Lincoln Memorial.

"He waged an aggressive offensive against the al-Qaida terrorist network by killing or capturing many of their known leaders and severely disrupting their worldwide funding resources."

And he did it fairly and in a spirit of good sportsmanship, taking a moribund disorganized gang of thugs and - through the deposing of a well-known dictator -- creating the most powerful recruiting tool and training ground any anti-American terrorist organization could dream of.  Bush built al-Qaida and then waged an aggressive war against it.  That's the decent American way.  And Bush did not discriminate, readily imprisoning innocent bypassers, slaughtering civilians, and torturing people who did not even appear superficially to have anything whatsoever to do with al-Qaida.  Bush played fair and stood by his principles even as terrorist incidents skyrocketed over the course of his presidency, obliging him to cease publication of those statistics lest he give the impression of trying to smear his opponents.

And let's not forget that, even while waging this aggressive war, Bush simultaneously waged an aggressive war on our Bill of Rights, our environment, and the integrity of the U.S. Justice Department.  Even so, he still had time to wage an aggressive war on scientists, whistleblowers, and defenders of the archaic right to habeas corpus.  Bush valiantly waged an as yet unsuccessful aggressive war on Social Security too, and his foothold there should be remembered.

"He revived a sagging economy and reduced the tax burden on all Americans with across-the-board tax cuts in 2001 and 2003."

The brilliance of this move has been underestimated even by the millions who were forced to spend their entire tax cuts on envelopes, stamps, and resumes.  With unemployment, foreclosures, unpayable medical bills, and financially driven suicides all climbing dramatically, in stark contrast to wages and benefits, just think what shape we would be in if Bush had not revived the sagging economy and reduced our tax burdens and those of our overclass and our corporations?  His timing, as always, was exquisite.

"He restored judicial balance to the Supreme Court with the appointment of Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito."

The need for this can hardly be overstated, the court having previously reached the point where some observers feared it would abuse its power to the extent of appointing unelected presidents.

"He provided prescription drug coverage for millions of senior citizens through Medicare Part D."

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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