Parts of this report is from the New York Times by Michiko Kakutani publiched on November 3rd, 2010 called 'In Bush Memoir, Policy Interests With Personality' and reflects the views of the author of this blog.
In a serious attempt to criticize the book "Decision Points" in a good light, I have come to the conclusion that it is almost impossible due to the light of history and what is shared in the book by the previous Republican President to be able to give George W. any high marks for the works called his 'memoir'. It is nothing more than a dogged work of reminiscence by an author not naturally given to introspection. The memoir lacks the emotional precision and evocative power of his wife Laura's book, "Spoken From the Heart," that was published in 2007. After reading George Bush's memoirs, there are some touchy private moments with him and his family, but at the end, you will understand that this is not a book about George W's heart. The tone of the book is more casual than any past 'memoir of ANY U.S. President. It starts out with what you might consider an evangelical, 12-step confession, for example "Could I continue to grow closer to the Almighty or was alcohol becoming by god?", not to sidestep away from the off-color jokes. He portrays himself as a regular guy.
Along the way Mr. Bush acknowledges various mistakes. On his administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina he says, “As leader of the federal government, I should have recognized the deficiencies sooner and intervened faster.” On Iraq he says he regrets that “we did not respond more quickly or aggressively when the security situation started to deteriorate after Saddam’s regime fell,” that “cutting troop levels too quickly was the most important failure of execution in the war,” and that he still has “a sickening feeling every time” he thinks about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Still, he insists that “removing Saddam from power was the right decision”: “for all the difficulties that followed, America is safer without a homicidal dictator pursuing WMD and supporting terror at the heart of the Middle East.”
In the course of this book Mr. Bush hops and skips over many serious issues raised by critics, including the cherry-picking of intelligence by administration hawks in the walk up to the invasion of Iraq; the push for aggrandized executive power by the White House in the war on terror; and the ignoring of advice from the military and the State Department on troop levels and postwar planning.
The former president does not address the role that the decision to divert resources to the war in Iraq played in the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, instead arguing that “the multilateral approach to rebuilding, hailed by so many in the international community, was failing.” He tries to play down the problems of Guantánamo Bay, writing that detainees were given “a personal copy of the Koran” and access to a library among whose popular offerings was “an Arabic translation of ‘Harry Potter.’ ” And he asserts that “had I not authorized water-boarding on senior al Qaeda leaders, I would have had to accept a greater risk that the country would be attacked.”
In summation, after reading the book, I was saddened to realize that this man actually was our 43rd President, after knowing what I've learned not by just reading his memoir, but by coming in contact with so many other news articles. What was this man thinking during his two terms in office? What was the country thinking allowing this man to wage wars, and demonstrate his own forms of terrorism to the international community. Wake up people. This man IS responsible for thousands of American deaths, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths.
George W. vowed to topple terrorism. Was he successful? Absolutely not, yet he takes credit for not allowing terrorists to attack the United States since 911. Is he taking the blame for all the American deaths during his watch? But he fails to realize that it was because of his lack of listening to his own intelligence agencies, that this country was attacted on 911 and thousands of people were innocently killed on American soil. And then, why attack Iraq, and spend people lives in a war to topple a dictator named Sadaam Hussein because you have strong proof that he had weapons of mass distruction. Why not go after the man known to be in Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden, who is the number 1 terrorist and responsible for the 911 attacks? What was Bush thinking? We are gridlocked in a war in Iraq, with a U.S. President who vowes to leave Iraq soon and now is taking the heat for George W.'s mistakes.