Dishonorable

The new website, “Honor Freedom,” is an example of conservatism at its most witless. It is an attempt to organize Americans to rehabilitate the reputation of George W. Bush.

The site’s author makes much of this “war president” and his alleged contributions towards our “freedom,” but what I remember about Bush is this: Prior to 9/11/01, Bush hardly uttered the word “freedom.”

His campaign chant may have been “A new freedom,” but it was just as duplicitous as Woodrow Wilson’s so-called “New Freedom.” That is, it had little to do with freedom. Wilson defended “free enterprise” when running for office, but defined this mainly by being a trust-buster. (Dubious honor in that.) Bush was for “free enterprise” mainly by pushing for decreased tax rates, but once in office he increased regulations, subsidies and encouraged the spendthrifts in Congress. (His veto power lied dormant, for the most part; federal spending ballooned.)

It’s mere pretense to suppose that increasing foreign military involvement abroad increases our “freedom.” But Bush wrapped himself up in the word, after 9/11, pretending that terrorists could take away our freedoms easier than could the government that he himself headed. The 9/11 attack, remember, took away lives, not freedoms as such. It was the government response — his response — that managed to take away freedoms.

And thus Bush played into Osama bin Laden’s game plan. Osama had extrapolated from his work in undermining the Soviet Union that, by organizing attacks upon America, the U.S. federal government would so overreact as to jeopardize its own position, transforming imperial America into imperious America, making it truly loathsome and thus easier to raise recruits among opponents, converting them to terrorism.

George W. Bush thus served as Osama bin Laden’s Useful Idiot. His reputation deserves not rehabilitation but a more thorough and generally acknowledged destruction.

Death to tyrants. Ignominy to fools.

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