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The First Catastrophic President In American History Says: "Not Satisfied With The Pace Of Progress In Iraq"

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It was genuinely sad to see George Herbert Walker Bush cry, not out of pride for Jeb Bush, but out of horror for what has become of the George W. Bush Presidency.

It is even more sad to see American Gold Star mothers, with sons and daughters who pay the price for his extremism, ignorance and vanity.

Today, with Messrs. Baker and Hamilton before the Congress almost desperately looking for a way out of a war they believe is catastrophic, dire and deteriorating President Bush told the Nation: he is not satisifed with the pace of progress in Iraq.

Not satisfied with the pace of progress?

With the sun setting on his unfortunate Prime Ministership, with the frozen smile of his sad sycophancy locked on his face, the man who received the Downing Street Memo warnings stood nodding by his side.

Together they repeated the same old tales of the same old songs. The same old rhetoric. The same old excuses. The same old rationale with the same old refusal to tell the people the truth.

The historians miss the point. They debate whether George W. Bush is the worst President in American history. With six years done, I believe he is, but that does not fully address the magnitude of what is happening.

I would put before the house this proposition: that George W. Bush is the first catastrophic President in American history. Even Richard Nixon at his worst, was a capable foreign policy President who opened the door to China, made negotiating progress with the Soviet Union, and with his many crimes and failures did not endanger world security.

America today stands on the brink of an arc of chaos, crisis, bloodshed and religious war that not only engulfs Iraq but could engulf the entire Middle East. For the first time in history our President cannot credibly be called the leader of the free world; in fact he has angered and alienated the overwhelming majority of people throughout the free world.

Not satisfied with the pace of progress in Iraq?

The truth about official Washington is this: the one area of bipartisan consensus is that people across the aisles ask whether this President is dangerously close to crossing a Captain Queeg line as a leader who sails further and further away from a rational and sane understanding of the damage he does.

This is not new. There is no more bipartisan advocate than me, and I promise you: this question has been privately asked by senior Republicans for several years, but to their eternal shame and discredit, they let it happen.

Someday historians will look back on the era of one party Republican rule with astonishment at the depth that official Washington sunk to, the corruptions that permeated our capital, the core attacks on our Constitution and Bill of Rights by President asserting the unilateral power to violate them, by the demeaning character assassination of this President's politics, when war heroes were called traitors, and great newspapers were charged with treason.

Someday historians will look back on this era with academic rage that a war was started by a President who knew nothing and cared nothing about the world on the day he assumed the Presidency. Who was enraptured by the extremism of ignorant ideologues, who used war for partisan gain through slanders that were orchestrated by spinmeisters and hacks.

Someday historians will look back with disgust at a president who publicly humiliated generals who warned him, while he pinned medals of freedom on the chests of the architects of this catastrophe. Who let the pertetrator of 9-11 get away to start an unecessary and disastrous war with a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, then sent out his minions with tall tales about mushroom clouds and smoking guns.

Someday historians will look back with horror at the Stone Age ethics of an Administration that became a clearing house for torture, and a whore house for war profiteering in which fat men with fat wallets let young men and women die in the sands of Arabia, while they stuffed their pockets and larded their greed.

Not satisfied with the state of progress in Iraq?

The Baker and Hamilton Commission was a good and noble undertaking, that will make a difference and hopefully set the stage for a major change. But Baker and Hamilton, while the best that the Establishment has to offer, are fundamentally offering an improved version of a catastrophic status quo.

People must understand this: the issue is not merely whether President Bush is the worst President in history, it is whether he is the first truly catastrophic President in history.

I truly, deeply, sincerely, hope that he can be pulled back from the brink because the stakes are too high for our country and our world. The stakes are too high for the men and women who die, the Gold Star Mothers who cry, and the carnage, bloodshed and religious war that is spreading throughout the Middle East and will not be stopped by well-intentioned versions of a catastrophic policy, pursuing a disastrous war, with a President surrounded by carnage who says: he is not satisfied by its progress.

One of the smug, supercilious courtiers on the President's staff said today that Jim Baker should return to his day job. The truth is the exact opposite: Jim Baker and others like him should be sent on a historic mission to the Middle East, and Americans hunger and thirst for the day when our catastrophic President takes his leave from office.

I repeat my call: the President and Democratic Leaders should return to active duty the living former Presidents of the United States, most especially George Herbert Walker Bush and William Jefferson Clinton, to work with leaders throughout the free world for a new policy that can lead where there is now catastrophe, that can bring light where there is now darkness, that can bring hope where there is now death and despair that is dire and deteriorating.

Our current President should name them, the Democratic Leaders should demand them, the American people and the world can not afford to endure two more years of dire, deadly and deteriorating disaster.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have entered some very dangerous waters, and something that is profoundly different is urgently needed.
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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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