Not long after some praised George W. Bush for his Saturday call for unity amid the coronavirus pandemic, progressive journalists pushed back and pointed to his record in office, as reported by Common Dreams.
“Good morning. George W Bush belongs in The Hague,” wrote author Benjamin Dixon.
“George W. Bush is one of the most evil war criminals of the last 100 years,” wrote AJ+ host Sana Saeed.
“He and his administration are responsible for more bloodshed than the current administration — but go off liberals & praise him, tell us how you’re crying & wishing he was president.”
“The nice little painter man who passed mints to Michelle Obama at a funeral is actually a mass murderer who belongs in front of a war crimes tribunal, not being praised for releasing web videos,” wrote Jeremy Scahill, a journalist and co-founder of The Intercept.
Another user went through Bush’s questionable time in office when he “lied” the U.S. into the Iraq War, “totally botched” the Hurricane Katrina response, led America into the Great Recession, cut taxes for the wealthy, and fought to privatize Social Security.
Bush also faced criticism from President Donald Trump, who noted that the former president failed to speak out in support of him during the impeachment trial, which Trump said is the greatest hoax in the history of the country.
Bush’s legacy has come under heavy criticism since he left office. In a piece for Vox, Dylan Matthews noted that Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction he claimed were held in Iraq to justify invading the country. The best estimates, Matthews says, claim that 250,000 people have died due to Bush and Tony Blair’s decision to invade the Middle Eastern country.
In addition, Matthews notes an investigative report from the U.K. in 2016 that claimed intelligence officials were aware that such an invasion would cause “massive instability and societal collapse.”
In public statements, the Bush administration reportedly “exaggerated” or “outright fabricated” intelligence community conclusions. For example, in 2002, Dick Cheney claimed that Saddam Hussein undeniably had weapons of mass destruction.
According to David Corn of Mother Jones, when Cheney said this, there was no confirmed intelligence that proved that Saddam was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. Regardless, some, including journalist Bob Woodward, deny that Bush lied about Iraq’s alleged weapons stockpiles.
Despite these issues, investigative journalist Andy Worthington said in 2018 that he believes people in the political center and left have a “bizarre propensity” to attempt to rehabilitate Bush’s image.