The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Bush Burden -

He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria.


It was only a matter of time.

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A matter of time or not, he's right that W (and for us Blair) "informs" all such debates, because they misinformed us all so much back then. That's how it is; they polluted the waters that their successors swim in.

Posted by: dearieme | Sep 6, 2013 2:35:07 AM

I think Bush and Blair got the same information that Congress got.. at least in the case of the select committees. We will probably eventually find out how accurate the current information on poison gas is. I don't think anyone then or now doubts that Saddam had stocks of poison gas. Saddam used poison gas to kill large number of Kurds as one example and I am sure not the only one. The Kurds are a more sympathetic population than the Syrian rebels so I would question the "polluted waters" theme by dearieme. If you are making the argument that poison gas accounts are less believable because the Bush WMD warnings were inaccurate then I think that's a pretty thin argument and would seem to be another case of blaming Bush for not only his own mistakes but that of his successor as well.

Posted by: Kieth | Sep 7, 2013 5:41:31 PM

"If you are making the argument that poison gas accounts are less believable because the Bush WMD warnings were inaccurate ...": you bet I am. I know that many Americans can be extremely reluctant to think that their President lies, but we take a more robust attitude to our Prime Ministers. Blair lied to us and arm-twisted a secret service committee into lying to us. So now people are reluctant to believe a word that's said. Add to that the obvious fact that we have no vital interest in Syria, that it's not clear what sort of "intervention" is intended, and that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been expensive defeats, and it's hardly surprising that people are against going to war.

Posted by: dearieme | Sep 8, 2013 5:42:43 PM

I didn't say it was surprising that people were against attacking Syria (hell, I'm against attacking Syria), I said that blaming Bush (and Blair) for this present incompetence is irrational. You chose not to respond; that's OK but spare me the puffery.

Posted by: Kieth | Sep 10, 2013 9:30:31 PM