Thank You, President George W. Bush

Thank you, President George W. Bush.  Wait, did I just say that? Yes, I did.  Thank you, President George W. Bush because, thanks to you, Muammar Gaddafi does not have weapons of mass destruction.

If Bush hadn’t stood up to that psychopath 7 years ago, we’d be looking at a major threat not only to our national interests, but to the entire world.  Anyone who thinks for a second that Qaddafi would hesitate to use weapons of mass destruction needs a reality check.  The second that guy gets close to being overthrown, he’s pressing the big red button and blowing the place off the map.  Or, maybe, he’s pressing a different button, unleashing a massive biological genocide on the Libyan people.  Either way, that’s no world I want to live in.

Of course, there’s a chance he’d decide against that devastation.  Maybe he’d just let someone else do it.  Maybe, he’d just sell his WMDs to make up for his billions of dollars in frozen assets.  He might just sell them to Iran, North Korea, or Pakistan.  He might even sell them to Al-Qaeda.  If that mad man had WMDs they wouldn’t just sit and rot in a warehouse while his country systematically stripped away his power. He’s a delusional, evil man if there ever was one, and the only reason we aren’t facing the imminent destruction of North Africa right now is because a man named George W. Bush decided to put an end to it.

And, yet, he’s still supposedly the worst President ever.

He’s also the same guy who opened up an enormously important strategic partnership with India, reversing decades of South Asia foreign policy.  The credit for that accomplishment typically falls to Obama who decided on a whim he might as well follow up on that strategy.

He also established the largest AIDS relief fund in world history when he created PEPFAR.  Wasn’t Jimmy Carter the guy who was supposedly so interested improving the African quality of life?  And, wasn’t it Obama who committed to strengthening ties with Africa after visiting Ghana in 2009?  What happened to all that? For a guy who didn’t much care about the international community, Bush gives a mighty fine gift…

And what about the Bush Doctrine?  You know, supporting Democracy and human rights and all that?  Apparently, that’s a bad policy nowadays.  So, when the Middle East comes crashing down on the heads of its tyrants, we’re going to be left holding hands with the old regime of dictators, and Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are going to point the finger at us and blame America for their days of oppression.  They won’t be completely wrong either.

There’s a good bit of research indicating that democracies are more peaceful towards each other than any other regime type, but if we don’t bring back the Bush Doctrine pretty soon, we might be throwing that idea out the window.  You don’t have to be consistent.  I’m fine with being hypocritical.  I’m fine with supporting friendly dictators like Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.  Show me a person who isn’t a hypocrite, and I’ll show you a liar.

To be clear, invading Iraq was the wrong decision, and the consequences of that choice have been devastating.  I’m not a fan of George W. Bush.  I don’t think he was a great President, but I also think we could have done much worse.  One singular mistake of his Administration is responsible for such an intense degree of vilification that we no longer care to acknowledge the good he has done.  I’ll never be a big fan, but I’ll give credit where credit is due.  We’d all do well to do the same.

People like to say that if Al Gore had won the 2000 election we never would have gone to war.  I can buy that.  But here’s the hypothetical you don’t hear everyday:

If Al Gore had won that election, Muammar Gaddafi would still have nuclear weapons.

Thank you, George W. Bush.

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