Dear Mr. Rhode—
I am 8 years old. Some of my online friends say that since George W. Bush gave a speech attacking President Trump, he is now a member of the #Resistance. Papa says, “If you see it in Paste Magazine, it’s so.” I thought he invaded Iraq. Please tell me the truth, is George W. Bush still a war criminal?
Your online friends are wrong. They have been affected by the foolishness of a foolish age.
Yes, Virginia, George W. Bush is still a war criminal. I publicly demonized him during his Presidency, and he deserved it, every bit. He is not your friend. He bombed Afghanistan, invaded Iraq, authorized torture, and let a city drown. He protected murderers and sadists with the loyalty of his Administration. He committed monstrous acts. Nothing Trump has done, even at his worst, comes close to the crimes of Bush. George Washington was the Father of Nation, but only George W. Bush could be the Father of Gitmo.
George W. Bush will never stop being a war criminal. Nothing anyone does or says will change that. For his administration, he picked a pack of blood-thirsty boobs and liars, and they were lovely in his sight. On his deathbed, he will be a war criminal. When he is painting, he is a war criminal. When he texts his friends, he is a war criminal. All his family members are the relations of a war criminal. Whenever Bill Clinton hosts George W. Bush on his plane, he’s hosting a war criminal.
Bush should be tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity. After his assets have been removed, he should be shut in solitary confinement for the rest of his life. If there was any justice in the world, he would be shoved in the same spider-hole we found Saddam in, and kept there with biscuits and copies of The Purpose-Driven Life.
This is why I lost faith with the Democrats, and went left. Because centrists will do anything, crawl through any desert, drink molten lead, surrender all dignity, if you strike the right tone.
It is why they applaud Jeff Flake, despite the fact he voted with Trump 91.7% of the time. Flake said the Right Words, and they were ready to forgive him everything. But Flake's quitting the Senate is not the decent act of a principled man. Flake wouldn't know decency if he hit it with his car on the way to a public stoning. Flake's resignation was the craven self-preservation of a carnivore who saw a bigger predator on the way. Flake is from Arizona, and that's the snake-eatingest state there is. But he saw that alt-right Kelli Ward had a fifteen-point lead over him. He knew he couldn't win. Flake was just fine crashing ACA, and letting people die. That was dandy to him. But the moment he criticized Trump, the Resistance was ready to have him. When Tom Perez published a statement condemning Flake, this was the reaction in the comments:
Whatever weakness makes liberals run to embrace Flake, it makes them forgive Bush. He gave an anodyne speech obliquely criticizing the current President, and the reviews were ecstatic:
Did you know that the aerial pounding of our “good war” in Afghanistan resulted in casualties that were several times greater than the lives lost on 9/11?
Even if we leave out Bush’s major-league evil, his road is littered with shame. He passed the Patriot Act and the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. When he wasn’t creating the department of Homeland Security and spying on ordinary Americans, he shoveled money to the rich, cut back on workplace safety, helped militarize the police, passed No Child Left Behind, and hid climate change data. Bush thought about bombing Al-Jazeera, according to the Daily Mirror.
Has Trump dropped white phosphorous on Fallujah? Did Trump make fracking legal? Did Trump give his banker buddies a free pass to crash the world economy in 2008? It took Obama to perfect the drone strike, but it was Bush who opened the door.
Bush is the villain. He was, is, and always will be. He’s not some dignified elder statesmen calling for decency, or whatever the #Resistance thinks he is. He’s a cheap Texas crook who oversaw the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings, at bare minimum. That’s a low estimate:
Credible estimates of Iraq War casualties range from 110,000 to 460,000. Other highly disputed estimates, such as the 2006 Lancet study, and the 2007 Opinion Research Business survey, put the numbers as high as 650,000 and 1.2 million respectively.
Bush is a war criminal. You know what I see, when I look at him? I see a man in a black hood, standing on a box, with electrodes attached to his body. That’s what Bush did, and what, at heart, he is.
Bush is not a member of the Resistance. He is the reason Resistance exists.