This week President Obama removed all doubt that he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize by turning Republicans against war.
With polls showing majorities of Americans not in favor of any U.S. military action in Syria and the Tea Party's entire existence being dedicated to being against anything President Obama is for, Republican after Republican has come out to say that they are opposed to a strike on Syria.
America has become skeptical of claims about weapons of mass destruction, skeptical that any war in the Middle East can be "won," skeptical that the American government has anyone's best interests at heart except the military-industrial complex that wins every time we fire a missile.
This skepticism can be traced back to exactly one event in human history: The Iraq War.
The premise, execution and fallout of the war that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney told us we had to wage in response to the 9/11 attacks turned out to be so faulty and toxic that it would be insane if America weren't skeptical of another military engagement that had any similarities to Iraq.
Of course, any similarities are superficial and misleading.
Bush and Cheney spent more than a year selling America on the war. President Obama spent a similar amount of time keeping America out of Syria. There was no civil war or al-Qaeda in Iraq... until we invaded. A civil war has been raging in Syria for years with al-Qaeda and its barbarism becoming more prominent, as Syria's Bashar al-Assad massacred tens of thousands of people around them. Reports about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- especially its nuclear weapons program, which was the main justification for the war -- were trumped up at best and falsified at worst. The evidence of chemical weapons being used in Syria is clear and leads to two simple questions: By whom? And why now?
But as the White House prepares to make its case that Assad has violated international norms and will do so again unless we engage in limited strikes, Karl Rove has a point to make.
Obama's policies leave longing for decisive George W. RT if you agree. http://t.co/SkY7Go4yIY
-- Karl Rove (@KarlRove) September 6, 2013
Rove earned his official George W. Bush nickname "Turd Blossom" by turning Bush's disasters into victories.
After 9/11, Rove used the trauma of the worst terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland ever to sell another tax break for the rich. When that worked, he used the selling of the Iraq War to help Republicans win seats in the House and the Senate.
After George W. Bush presided over the worst financial disaster in a half-century, Rove helped Republicans use the economic misery that had been created to attack President Obama for not fixing the economy fast enough, putting more Republicans in elected office in 2010 than at any time since the New Deal.
A decade after the Iraq War began, even our allies distrust American power. The United Kingdom is afraid of any association with the "lapdog" role some accused former prime minister Tony Blair of playing when he joined Bush and Cheney on their Iraq adventure. And most Americans are sure that any military campaign in the Middle East must have some dark agenda and a flood of unforeseen consequences that make it not worth considering.
This is all comes to us thanks to George W. Bush.
Since Republicans suddenly care about polls, The Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out that they show America doesn't miss George W. Bush. A majority of Americans see the Iraq war as a mistake. And 69 percent blame President Bush for our economic problems either moderately or a "great deal," far more than President Obama. The younger Bush is our least popular living president, with a favorable rating 20 percent below Jimmy Carter, according to the most recent polls.
This is why America scoffed when Mitt Romney surrounded himself with former Bush/Cheney advisors. This is why Karl Rove being for the intervention in Syria is one of the reasons that liberals are so eager to oppose it.
"Time should not soften what President George W. Bush, and his apologists, did in an eight-year war costing the United States more than a trillion dollars, 4,400 American soldiers dead and the displacement of two million Iraqis," Timothy Egan wrote in The New York Times.
Syria has proven that time hasn't softened any of the skepticism Bush created.
It should also remind us of the person who missed George W. Bush most: Osama bin Laden.
Photo: Carol H. Feeley via Flickr.com
Follow Jason Sattler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LOLGOP