Posts Tagged ‘George W Bush’

George W. Bush’s finest hours: his embrace of Islam and of American Muslims. We need that now from Republicans

August 28, 2011

Six days after the 9/11 attack on the United States, President George W. Bush went to the Islamic Center of Washington to publicly embrace Islam and, especially, American Muslims. He led Americans away from any idea of blaming Islam for the horror of 9/11.  He repeated that theme over and over, making it a part of his second inaugural address, and returning to the Islamic Center for its rededication in 2007.

Bush’s healing message stands sadly in contrast to the ugly anti-Muslim rhetoric we hear lately from so many prominent Republicans, notably Newt Gingrich, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Peter King, and Frank Gaffney. To their credit Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have not joined in, but neither have they been very vocal in rejection of Islamophobia.

Ethics Bob never thought he’d be missing George Bush’s leadership, but on this issue he surely does. Bush’s statements are worth reading:

September 17, 2001, at the Islamic Center of Washington (complete remarks):

“Thank you all very much for your hospitality. We’ve just had a—wide-ranging discussions on the matter at hand. Like the good folks standing with me, the American people were appalled and outraged at last Tuesday’s attacks. And so were Muslims all across the world. Both Americans, our Muslim friends and citizens, taxpaying citizens, and Muslims in nations were just appalled and could not believe what we saw on our TV screens.

“These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith. And it’s important for my fellow Americans to understand that. (more…)

Did Obama betray Israel? Or is the Republican outrage manufactured hypocrisy?

May 20, 2011

Has the President “thrown Israel under the bus,” as Mitt Romney said yesterday? Has he “once again betrayed our friend and ally, Israel,” as Michele Bachmann raged? Made a “mistaken and very dangerous demand,” as Tim Pawlenty accused? Or has he “given the Palestinians a huge break,” per Newt Gingrich?

Here’s what the President said:

“I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous.”

Oops. That wasn’t this President, it was President George W. Bush, speaking in Jerusalem on January 11, 2008.

Here’s what President Obama said yesterday:

“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.  The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

Get the difference? No? That’s because there isn’t any. The 1949 and 1967 lines are the same. The only difference is that Republican politicians will scream in opposition to anything that President Obama says, even if George W. Bush said the same thing without any complaint.

Politics doesn’t stop at the water’s edge any more.

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Thanks to Michael Smerconish and Hardball for the quotes used here.

 

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow matches Fox News’ distortions about Obama with her distortion about George W. Bush

November 9, 2010

 

Tonight’s Rachel Maddow show ran a clip from Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush, telecast tonight to coincide with the roll-out of Bush’s book. Maddow had an early “teaser” to hook viewers into staying around until the Bush interview ran, near the end of the show. The teaser urged viewers to stay to see Bush’s “whopper.”


Sure enough, here came a whopper. Lauer asked, “Did you ever ask yourself, ‘What more could I have done to prevent this [9/11] from happening?’ “ Bush responded, “We just didn’t have any solid intelligence that gave us some warning on this.”

Maddow followed this clip with video of Condoleezza Rice admitting to the 9/11 Commission that the President’s Daily Briefing for August 6, 2001, was entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.” Maddow punctuated the segment this way: “George W. Bush is trying to sell the same kind of spin he tried to sell when he was President.” That is, in her words, “a whopper.” For extra emphasis she repeated the clip of Bush saying no intelligence and Rice reading the title of the PDB.


But the whopper was Maddow’s, not Bush’s. For she had carefully truncated Bush’s answer. Here’s his full, undoctored answer to Lauer’s question: (more…)

When in doubt about what’s ethical, ask your daughter or son. Hillary asked Chelsea

March 23, 2010

Hillary Clinton promised the voters of New York state in 2000 that if elected she would serve a full term. But by 2003, with George W. Bush’s popularity falling he appeared beatable, if the Democrats nominated the right person. Most of the Democratic political heavyweights thought the right person was Hillary.

Should she or shouldn’t she? She summoned all her inner circle—husband Bill, daughter Chelsea and her boyfriend, and four veterans of the Clinton White House—to one final meeting at the Clinton home in Westchester County. Game Change, the dishy story about the 2008 election by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, tells what happened.

“One by one, Hillary polled the group, listening carefully to what each of them had to say. [All told her she should run, but] there was one dissenter in the room. Chelsea believed that her mother had to finish her term, that she’d made a promise (more…)

A Niebuhr award to George W. Bush for his silence

March 7, 2010

George W. Bush said a year ago, in his first speech after leaving the Presidency, “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him [President Obama]. There are plenty of critics in the arena. He deserves my silence…I love my country a lot more than I love politics. I think it is essential that he be helped in office.”

For this major contribution to civility in our public discourse, President Bush earns a (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award.*

With all the criticism—much of it unfair and quite ugly–of Bush and his administration coming from the left, and with all the criticism—much of it unfair and quite ugly–of Obama and his administration coming from the right, Bush could have made things quite worse. And he would have been forgiven, even justified, because he was only defending his record. But in spite of the provocation, Bush stuck to his conviction and gave President Obama the great gift of his silence. All Americans owe George W. Bush a debt of gratitude.

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*Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”


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