George W. Bush

Donald Trump’s phony claim of prescience about the Iraq war

Featured image Donald Trump rarely misses an opportunity to tout his early opposition to the war in Iraq. But how early did his opposition come? If it predated the invasion (and Trump had ample opportunity publicly to oppose intervention during the long build-up to the war), then he can claim to have been prescient, assuming that the war was a mistake. If not, then Trump was just one of many voices who »

Harry MacDougald: “Truth” and other lies (2)

Featured image The film “Truth” will be released commercially later this month to retell the Rathergate scandal from the perspective of Mary Mapes. The film is based on Mapes’s almost laughable 2005 Rathergate memoir. The left routinely seeks to rewrite even yesterday’s news; events eleven years ago, when Mapes committed her misconduct, have now attained the status of ancient history. John and I therefore sought to reiterate the basic facts of the »

“Truth” and other lies

Featured image The film Truth premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12. Starring Robert Redford as Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mary Mapes, the film retells the Rathergate scandal based on Mary Mapes’s memoir Truth and Duty. I must be one of the few people in the United States actually to have read the book. Mapes is the hero of her memoir and the hero of the film. »

Some call it “Truth” (2)

Featured image The film Truth premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this last night. Based on Mary Mapes’s memoir Truth and Duty, the film retells the Rathergate scandal from the perspective of Rather and Mapes. Rather and Mapes were perpetrators of a fraudulent story, but I take it that the film portrays them as heroes and victims. It is, after all, based on Mapes’s ludicrous book and it stars Robert Robert »

The tenth anniversary of a tragic Israeli mistake

Featured image Jeb Bush’s candidacy has turned his brother’s presidency into a campaign issue. The focus, naturally, is on President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. This month marks the 10th anniversary of another controversial Bush policy preference — Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. The withdrawal was, of course, Israel’s call, not Bush’s. However, Bush strongly urged then-Prime Minister Sharon unilaterally to “disengage” from Gaza and he lauded Sharon’s decision as »

The case of Patrick Fitzgerald

Featured image After the media firestorm over Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame, then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to serve as independent counsel. Fitzgerald was to ascertain who had identified Plame to Robert Novak as a CIA agent and whether a crime had been committed in the process. The chain of events having been initiated by Wilson’s New York Times op-ed column, the Times itself served as the ringmaster of »

Jeb Bush will be “his own man,” he feels compelled to declare

Featured image In a foreign policy address delivered yesterday, Jeb Bush stated: “I recognize that as a result [of the presidencies of my father and brother], my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs, but I am my own man.” Of course he is. But the fact that he needs to say so, and will continue to, demonstrates the weakness of his position. It shows that the former governor »

Fournier’s lie

Featured image When I heard former AP Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier state in passing on a recent Fox News Special Report panel that “Bush lied us into war in Iraq,” I just groaned. Fournier has moved on from the AP to become senior political correspondent and editorial director of National Journal. Fournier presents himself as the moderate voice of reason and common sense, and he is a distinguished journalist, but the »

I Miss W

Featured image It is sad that there is so much bad news so close to Christmas. The best thing we can say for our president is that he has departed for Hawaii on a 17-day vacation, so he can’t do any more damage until after the new year. Meanwhile, we could all use a day brightener. So here is one, via the Facebook account of a mother of twin daughters who were »

Ex-Presidents and Class

Featured image Just about the entire Democratic Party is lining up to dump on Obama at the moment, including former President Jimmy Carter, who is obviously relieved that he’s no longer everyone’s go-to model for the worst president in modern memory.  But he’s taking no chances.  So he said recently about Obama’s Middle East policy: First of all we waited too long.  We let the Islamic State build up money, capability, and »

Obama nixed Bush-era quarantine proposal

Featured image In 2010, the Obama administration withdrew updated quarantine regulations drafted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and proposed by the Bush administration. The new rules would have required air passengers to submit more information to airlines and strengthened the government’s authority to detain travelers suspected of carrying disease. In proposing updated regulations, the CDC called them “critical to protecting Americans from dangerous diseases spread by travelers.” The CDC also »

Return of the Bush Doctrine

Featured image The Obama administration has doggedly refused to call what it proposes to do in Syria and Iraq a “war,” a fact that I found odd but hadn’t thought much about. Why is Obama so determined to avoid the word “war”? AllahPundit answers the question brilliantly: if it were a war, then it would be a pre-emptive war! “Question for the State Department: Isn’t Obama waging preemptive war in Iraq now?” »

The “givens” of Iraq

Featured image George Will directs this question to Republican aspirants for the 2016 presidential nomination: Given the absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and given that we now know how little we know about “nation-building” and about the promotion of democracy in nations that need to be “built,” and given that Saddam Hussein’s horrific tyranny at least controlled Iraq’s sectarian furies, and given that Iraq under him was Iran’s adversary, and »

Is there life after college?

Featured image Of course there is. But our leading politicians all seem to have stepped out of your college dorm. Bill Clinton is the guy who never lost a BS session argument. Ted Cruz is the only guy who never lost an argument to Bill Clinton, but who also set the dorm record for causing eyes to roll. Barack Obama is the guy you could usually defeat in an argument but only »

“Trust but verify” vs. “Trust and concede”

Featured image Michael Rubin persuasively argues that President Obama’s misreading of Vladimir Putin was not idiosyncratic. Rather, it reflects the broad leftist consensus (fantasy, I would say) of how the world (outside of the domestic realm) works. That view, in essence, is that if we’re nice enough to our adversaries there’s a good chance they will stop being adversarial. Rubin identifies some of the government officials and academics who applauded the Obama-Clinton »

Don’t shoot the messenger

Featured image Walter Pincus, the Washington Post’s long-time voice of conventional liberal thinking on national defense issues, is unhappy with Robert Gates’ new book. He complains that, although Gates devotes nearly half of the book to his two years at the Pentagon under President Bush, he provides “no embarrassing anecdotes or acidic comments.” No doubt, there were embarrassing moments at the Pentagon while Gates was serving Bush there. But Gates’ high-profile revelations »

Another reason to miss President Bush

Featured image John Rizzo spent 34 years as a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency. The memoir of his service between 1976 and 2009 — Company Man — has just been published. It was the subject of a harshly negative review by Fred Kaplan in the New York Times Book Review a few weeks back. By contrast, in a review behind the Wall Street Journal’s loosely guarded paywall (you can dig it »