On April 25, all living US presidents from Jimmy Carter onward gathered in Dallas, Texas to herald the opening of the George Bush presidential library. Democrat and Republican alike, along with their wives, participated in a flattering ceremony that deemed George Bush worthy of bearing title to a bastion of books and knowledge.
The bipartisan support for such a library, however traditional it may be, reflects the meaninglessness of American political parties in the first place. Bill Clinton praised the Bush presidency and Obama expressed respect for the ex-president’s leadership skills at Ground Zero in 2001.
Commentary on the murderous, deceptive, and criminal policies that characterized the Bush presidency was omitted, except for Bush’s own joking comment that he inspired “many opportunities to exercise” the right of free speech and disagreement with government.
This acknowledgment from the war criminal himself reflects the extent of substantive disagreement between the two ruling parties: None. As Obama and Clinton remained silent on the crimes of Bush Jr., it is apparent that they did so not only for the sake of politeness at a carefully planned PR moment for the government.
Their affection is also because these presidents, before and after the Bush presidency, carried out the same crimes that their liberal constituents once railed against. It is no secret that Clinton waged war in Serbia and killed half a million Iraqi children with sanctions. Barack Obama now uses the same tactics against Iran and has invaded more countries than George W. Bush himself. Though he does it on smaller scale, dispersing, for example, the total war that engulfed Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, Obama is nothing more than Bush’s successor. He failed to comment on the policies he campaigned against in 2008 because he has outshone Bush in his ability to implement increasingly tyrannical legislation and policy.
At the ceremony, Bush spoke of his pride that he was able to balance freedom with security. Though laughable, this denotes the non-distinction between left and right. As Obama has continued the Patriot Act, signed the NDAA twice, asserted his right to assassinate American citizens, kept Guantanamo Bay open and extended both drone murders and the government’s spying on its own citizens, it should not be a surprise that all he could come up with was a commendation of Bush’s skills as a leader — his ability to calm terrified Americans in the aftermath of 9/11.
As Barack Obama continues to fear-monger and usurp constitutional rights, past presidents parrot the talking points of the elites, patting themselves on the backs for leading the free world. In the years until the Obama presidency is over, all one can do is hope that he is not granted a library paid for by US tax dollars, that George W. Bush will not compliment him at the opening ceremony. However, considering how quickly Americans forget the crimes of their leaders (Bush now enjoys the rosy retrospect of a 47% approval rating), such a notion may be as fantastical as the claim that George Bush defended freedom.