President George W. Bush (2001 - 2009): Outgoing Surprises
Foundation for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq
From 2003 - 2008, segments of the media and political factions broadcast the statement that President George W. Bush created a lie that Saddam Hussein had WMDs so that he (Bush) could feel justified in invading Iraq.
At one point, General Colin Powell, US Army, retired stated that he himself had been incorrect in advising the president of the presence of such WMDs before the war with Iraq. However, the year 2008 revealed contrary information.
War and Rumors of War and Peace
Uranium Ready for Processing
An amount equal to 550 metric tons of high-grade concentrated uranium, called yellowcake because it looks like a powder similar to cornmeal or yellow cake mix, was shipped out of Iraq in July 2008, from 12 miles south of Baghdad.
The 3,500 barrels of uranium required 37 flights to ship it in its entirety. It had been part of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program and could have been applied to nuclear reactors or, if further enriched and processed, to nuclear weapons.
Although yellowcake is itself inert, inhalation of it causes heavy metal poisoning, a secondary type of WMD, if applied in that way.
This story was submitted to the public by the Seattle Times via the Associated Press. The uranium went to Canada for use as alternative energy, but the stockpile had been discovered and silently protected by US Armed Forces in Iraq, so that it would not be stolen by opposition forces.
That yellowcake stockpile was built before 1991 and placed under UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) control until 2003. In 2004, Professor Norman Dombey, Theoretical Physics, University of Sussex, England stated that Saddam Hussein had enough yellowcake to build over 100 nuclear weapons. In addition to the nuclear weapons factor, Mr. Doug Brugge, Professor of Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine indicated that yellowcake can cause heavy metal poisoning through inhalation (Seattle Times: Iraq's uranium whisked away. July 8, 2008.).
This information is enough to satisfy those individuals and groups in favor of the war in Iraq that it was justified.
The Bush 43 Presidency
- So George W. Bush isn't a monster, after all - Yahoo News
If you've just crash-landed from the planet known as Kepler-186f and have no experience with the human life form or its recent history, let me just clarify something for you: George W. Bush was a divisive and unsuccessful president.
The War In Iraq
- The Cost of the War
Find out the cost of the war to your own city in the USA as well as nationally. A constantly updating figure of rthe cost of the War In Iraq to America.
Example: At Noon, 4/29/08
The taxpayers in Columbus, Ohio have paid over $1.1 billion for the War In Iraq as of noon on 4/29/2008. That amount would support any single item on the following list for ONE YEAR:
- 376,665 Adults with Health Care,
- 639,060 Children with Health Care,
- 1,190,162 Homes with Renewable Electricity,
- 122,614 University Scholarships,
- 9,911 Affordable Housing Units,
- 165,452 Head Start Sites,
- 16,935 Elementary School Teachers.
Read the Table of Contents and an exerpt from the book The I Hate Goerge W. Bush Reader; Why Dubya Is Wrong About Asolutely Everything at:
First POTUS Of the Century
George Walker Bush, Republican, was elected the first US President of the 21st century and proved a very controversial figure.
During and after that election year, many Democrats, media pundits, voters, and others insisted that the election had been manipulated (rigged) and that voting processes in states such as Florida and Ohio had been illegally and purposefully mishandled.
Approximately 9 months after the Bush inauguration, the infamous 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon were perpetrated. War was declared 18 months later in March, 2003 - Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was a conflict that was declared successful after only months, but which lasted throughout the first presidential term and throughout Mr. Bush's second term as President of the Unied States. This war was in addition to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom.
Despite the US show of military strength against terrorism, 2001 - 2008 was an era of irony.
While further terrorist attacks did not occur on US soil through 2008, gasoline and food prices soared and protest groups for and against the President formed on street corners to bicker each weekend. Taxes were cut, but people were starving to death. No Child Left Behind sought to increase the general educational level of students in elementary through high school, but entire school districts failed. The administration spoke of Homeland Security (dedicating a new federal department to it) and national safety, but Hurricane Katrina wiped out a large part of New Orleans, Gulfport MS and other coastal cities -- The same people became homeless 2 -3 times as they were shuttled from state to state to temporary housing and soimetimes back to the streets. Dramatically increased government surveillance was criticized loudly by citizens and media at once.
Welfare Reform Aftermath
President Bush was also blamed for events that he did not influence.
For example, Welfare Reform was voted into existence circa 1998, during the Clinton administration, but the results of reduced welfare rolls and what some considered unfair additional hardship were blamed on GW Bush as the relevant programs took effect circa 2000.
Some individuals and families traveled from state to state, signing up for public assistance as their benefits ran out in their previous home states. At the same time, single parents that tried hard to find and keep employment ended up travelling from coast to coast with one or more children on the Greyhound Bus. Free tickets could be gained from the Salvation Army, but not several times from one city. Thus, some single parents and their children lived out of a bag or two and the bus.
Speaking with psychiatrists, physicians, and social workers from the East Coast and the Midwest and recalling my work with welfare reform programs, I learned that indivdiuals targeted for welfare reform and Welfare to Work programs suffered an AVERAGE of 4 SMDs [Serious Mental Disorders] each. Some of these were cut off health care benefits that had included psychological and psychiatric treatment as a consequence for noncompliance with work and training requirements. This reduction of health care did not aide their program compliance and in most cases, exacerbated noncompliance. Successive noncompliance resulted in their children's removal from health care benefits and evenutally, from cash and foodstamps as well in extreme cases. While there were many success stories of individuals leaving the welfare rolls and securing long-term employment, there were far too many disasters among the clients of the programs.
Health Care became a major issue from 2001 - 2008, along with the War In Iraq, Renewable Resources, Education, The Great Wall of Mexico, and the national and local Economies (rising prices and job layoffs, mortgage catastrophes, and others). Other issues such as Human Rights added to the mix and caused disagreement, protests, and media attacks against the President.
As the Chinese say, the 2001 - 1008 were "interesting" years.
Protesters Disrupt the 2001 Inauguration Parade Of New President George W Bush
The Red and the Blue
Local War, RE: the War In Iraq
In many cities across the United States of America beginning in late 2001, protestors for and against the Bush Administration, its policies, and its actions gathered to protest. Below is one example.
In Central Ohio, war and Human Rights protestors gathered each weekend from sunup until late into the evening at major intersections in northern Columbus, The Ohio State University, and the noted landmark crossroads, Broad and High Streets at the State Capital. Many sought a withdrawal from Iraq and Impeachment of President Bush.
Signs and posters were brought to these gatherings, targeting issues of the day and the signs became progressively larger. They drew attention to illegal immigration and the need for The Great Wall of Mexico, the need to leave Iraq, a suggestion that Bush be tried for war crimes, and many others on both sides of several arguments.
At OSU, signs were printed over large portions of the sidewalks in colored chalks. Every weekend was alive with protests and street-corner conversations, even arguments. Several times, angry yelling, insults and finally, obscene language filled the air. Motorists of all political persuasions called out slogans and opinions as they passed, honking their horns. Weekends were noisy.
Mayor Michael Coleman and the Columbus Police Department placed beat cops in several sections along High Street, especially adding additional officers in early 2008 as crime frequency in the areas around the protests increased.
Bricks were sent from bystanders and street people through the windows of red cars parked on adjacent streets, because Red stands for Republican. In retaliation, eggs and bricks were thrown at blue cars, because Blue represents both Democrat and sports rivals University of Michigan (to OSU Buckeyes fans at least). Driving a red auto, I was nearly run off the road more than once, so I replaced it with a grey one that blended into the background.
During all of this protest activity, the police were also investigating the existence of possible terrorist cell groups meeting up and down High Street. Crime was also rising, even though the area around OSU had been rebuilt and replaced with new businesses. OSU added more patrols and additional volunteer community patrols to the streets to help quell vandalism and assaults. Despite all of this there were OSU students that disappeared from High Street at night and never heard from again, perhaps kidnapped and dead.
Many times, High Street was a little like the Civil War, factions divided on opposite sides of the street.
USS Abraham Lincoln
Comparison with Abraham Lincoln
The year 2008 was the 200th Anniversary of the birth year of President Abraham Lincoln, also a Republican.
During 2008, presentations were made around the country that compared the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln. This is a particularly interesting occurrence, since in the late 1960s, comparisons had been drawn between the administrations of President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, and President Lincoln.
Clearly, the early 1960s and the early 2000s were much different politically.
During the beginning of the Kennedy Administration, there were GAS WARS. The average price of gasoline was about 25¢ per gallon in those days, but there could be 4 gas stations at a major intersection and they all lowered prices throughout the day to capture all of the business. Some stations used attractive female gas pump attendants in bikinis as well! One Saturday, the price fell to 10 9/10¢ per gallon and I can't find anyone that remembers it ever lower than that price. But in the early 21st century -- Consumers were ready to start WAR over GAS PRICES. That's the other way around from the early 60s. In addition, many people thought the War in Iraq as based onpreserving foreign oil for Ameican use and corporate gain.
Gasoline prices would go down before congressional elections. They would go up at times even after the price per barrel of oil went down. The pattern did not make a lot of sense sometimes, other than as price manipulations, as some pundits and politcians advised America.
One comparison that might be made between GW Bush and Lincoln is the circumstance in which the country was divided by the Civil War during Lincoln's administration and the one in which the people were divided to a rather extreme measure, during the George W. Bush Administration. It was a like the Civil War without the cannons and ironclads.
The Surveillance Society
George W. Bush brought sweeping changes in the 21st century from the Democratic administration preceding him. It was a significant difference from the Bill Clinton years, just as the Clinton Administration had differed markedly from the previous 12 years of Republican presidents.
The first decade of the 21st century became more a decade of Big Brother and Max Headroom all at once, than any previous years. News and rumors were broadcast from multiple sites globally 24 hours a day. Because of advancing technologies, there came into existence greater numbers and more massive levels of surveillance to a point where one could hardly go anywhere or do anything in privacy. The country was at some stage of Official Alert status from 9/11/2001 through the end of 2008.
Author Garrison Keillor called the Bush Administration Christian bullies. However, even some unbelievers claimed to be Christian under this administration, because they were on the side of tax breaks to big business and oil.
It became increasingly difficult for average citizens to live daily life.
A Negative Trickle Down Effect
It became increasingly difficult for average citizens to live daily life.
One of the most difficult things to navigate was the increased surveillance under the Department of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act.
My own bank of 30 years began asking for my ID every time I walked in -- I'd been a customer since I was = a child. We had to start showing so many IDs at libraries and other public computer labs that it was almost too much trouble to use the computers.
Terrorists began using pre-paid cell phones and pre-paid credit cards in their activities, so it became harder to purchase and use either item. Cell phones were locked up in many stores. Some stores began asking for two forms of ID for making credit card purchases.
Security guards in libraries began asking people what they were doing there. Surveillance cameras were everywhere, except in public restrooms. GPS units were placed into rental cars to track possible terrorists and credit cards presented for car rentals and other travel expenses were subjected to extra in-depth levels of confirmation and authorization.
With a small nuclear power plant, a revitalized former USAF base, numerous government contractors, universities, and scientific organizations developing intelligence information and defenses against chemical/genetic warfare in Columbus; Wright Patterson AFB in Fairborn/Dayton, aerospace industries just to the east of Columbus, and The Ohio State University's capabilities in medicine, chemistry, bioengineering, and others; Ohio was a target for terrorism and imposed surveillance to thwart it.
Other cities around the nation suffered the same type or worse difficulties inherent to increased surveillance as well.
The GW Bush years were years of constant turmoil.
© 2008 Patty Inglish