"I'm not going to second guess our president, I understand how tough the job is. To have a former president bloviating and second guessing, I don't think is good for the presidency or the country. He and his team will make the best informed decision they can make."
-- former President George W. Bush, on "Fox News"
And of course this came after he had bloviated and second-guessed President Obama. Though that wasn't even the worst part. We'll get to that in a moment, but first --.
Mr. Bush's comments came after he had been asked about the growing violence in Iraq, and was referred to a recent statement made by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey who noted that the military had recommended in 2011 that U.S. troops remain in Iraq, a decision opposed by the Obama administration.
"Did you feel the same way?" Fox host Brian Kilmeade asked Mr. Bush..
"I did, yeah," the former president said. And then continued with a shocking level of self-unawareness, "I'm not gonna second-guess our president. I understand how tough the job is. And to have a former president bloviating and second-guessing, I don't think is good for the presidency or the country."
If you are looking for the definition of second-guessing and bloviating, "I did, yeah" is it when you're asked if you agreed with an option not taken by your successor. And if your second-guessing and bloviating wasn't clear enough, Mr. Bush put a stamp on it by adding --
"But I agreed with General Dempsey's assessment."
Yet here's the thing. As I mentioned above, Mr. Bush second-guessing the President of the United States immediately before saying he wasn't going to second-guess the President of the United States because it wouldn't be good for the presidency or the country -- that wasn't the worst part of his statement.
You see, in his comment agreeing with General Dempsey's assessment, Mr. Bush left out a pesky little fact -- something he's known to do, which shouldn't come as a surprise for the man who insisted we knew that Iraq had bought yellowcake, which was the justification he made for going to war, despite the reality that he knew it wasn't remotely true.
Mr. Bush said he agreed with the assessment of the military to keep American troops in Iraq, not so subtly implying that President was wrong in wanting to remove them. But here's the thing --
It wasn't Barack Obama who signed the orders to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq. That order was signed by President George W. Bush.
If he has a hard time remembering, it was on December 14, 2008. But he can't have missed it, it was in all the papers.
And President Obama actually had wanted to extend that deadline. But the Iraqi Parliament wouldn't do so, and insisted that the United States stick to the agreed-upon timetable. A timetable, it must be repeated, that had been signed by George W. Bush.
You know -- the guy who doesn't want to second-guess or bloviate about the president.
What a piece of work. The man who ignored warnings about Osama bin Laden wanting to attack the U.S. with planes. Who sat reading My Pet Goat after being informed about the attacks on 9/11. Who lied the United States into a war. Who declared "Mission Accomplished" 10 years before the war continued to drag on. Who crumbled the U.S. economy. That guy.
Of course, the interview on "Fox News" was pure Bush.
"I know the nature of the enemy. Anybody who kills 3,000 innocents and beheads people because of their religion or because of their point of view is dangerous, and there is a short-term strategy which is to bring them to justice and a long-term strategy which is to encourage free societies to prevail so as to marginalize their ideology," Bush said in an interview with Fox News.
"The long-term strategy takes time," he said, adding "Americans have got to understand that the lesson of 9/11 is still important today as it was right after 9/11, and that is the human condition elsewhere matters to our national security."
There he is, still fighting the Iraq War. Still insisting the Iraq War was the right thing to do. And still hiding behind his favorite cover, how "history will tell us" whether an action was right or wrong. I have a feeling that if George Bush was asked about the Crusades in the 11th century, he'd explain that it's too early to know if the results were justified, and that history will tell us that. Because, after all, the long-term strategy takes time.
Of course, sometimes when someone does something really disastrously horribly wrong, most people can actually see that it was really disastrously horribly wrong.
But then, I don't want to second-guess Mr. Bush.
To read more from Robert J. Elisberg about this or many other matters both large and tidbit small, see Elisberg Industries.