Bush’s legacy: An America in decline

President Bush’s unilateral decision to invade Iraq five years ago has not only cost America power, influence and prestige but has also plunged the nation into economic chaos and left America with lagging morale and hope for the future.

That’s the conclusion of an increasing number of bipartisan observers, backed by surveys, studies and examinations of a nation in trouble.

America is in decline and Bush is the architect of that decline.

Reports Warren P. Strobel of McClatchey Newspapers:

It was a decision that only President Bush had the power to make: At about 9 a.m. on March 19, 2003, in the Situation Room in the basement of the West Wing of the White House, he gave the "execute order" to begin Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Now, five years later, the consequences of that act will soon be beyond Bush’s grasp. In 10 months, they’ll land on the desk of his successor.

Thanks in part to the Iraq war, the next U.S. president — Republican or Democrat, black or white, man or woman — will take office with America’s power, prestige and popularity in decline, according to bipartisan reports, polls and foreign observers.

"The winner of the 2008 elections will command U.S. forces still at war in Iraq, Afghanistan and against elusive terrorists with a deadly reach. The U.S. economy will remain burdened. … America’s moral leadership and decision-making competence will continue to be questioned," begins a study of foreign-policy choices for the next president, which a Georgetown University task force released last month.

"Restored respect will come only with fresh demonstrations of competence," the study said.

The numbers don’t inspire confidence: Oil prices are at an all-time high, the dollar at new lows against the euro. Surveys find the United States’ popularity and respect slipping in every part of the globe except Africa. A poll of 3,400 active and retired U.S. military officers by Foreign Policy magazine found that 88 percent agreed with the statement that "The war in Iraq has stretched the U.S. military dangerously thin."


  1. bryan mcclellan

    Lost in all the hubbub is the fact that all this started out as (Operation Iraqi Liberation).Oil my friends, OIL .An invasion, Pre-911 planned and vetted by a failed and flawed fool of an oil man and his handlers. He saw with his greedy little beady eyes his black Nirvana and chose to follow the despots of history into the abyss of war for profit.The most sickening part is that his performance at the Gridiron club with all the press cheering him on to make an ass of himself has increased his popularity.While our young are dying and our elderly are surviving on dog food this Bastard jokes and lies openly that America is strong and to follow him down the ebony brick road and forget he is a monumental failure.HACK TOOEE !

  2. sherry

    Even worse, we are spending ourselves into bankruptcy to pay for this folly.
    The person taking the oath of office in Jan 2009 has a crushing task to right this sinking ship called the American economy

  3. Dogma

    This should come as a surprise to no one. Everything this moron has ever touched in his life have been monumental failures. With all his failures, lies, deceptions and illegal acts, he (and his partner in crime/VP) should have been thrown out YEARS ago.

  4. Wayne K Dolik

    Spot on Bryan! Bravo!

    Folks we own this Country. It’s up to us to fix things. Tired of fear then, speak out. Tired of bad leaders then, vote them out. Tired of propaganda in the corporate press? Then tune out, their sponsors will get the message.

    Stop complaining and get on the phone to your elected leaders and tell them their political days are numbered. Tell them to impeach!

  5. km0591

    This poses the fundamental question. How did such a man, an active alcoholic into his forties, a chronic failure and general jerk who was completely intellectually and psychologically unsuited for the job of the most powerful country on earth managed to hold onto this job for going on 8 years?

    This man engaged in aggressive war causing the deaths of up to 1 million based upon lies, violated federal laws against torture, against spying on Americans without judicial approval, against due process of law and habeas corpus in arresting Americans without charges, imprisoning them and limited their access to attorneys, violated treaties such as the Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter, federal statutes and the Constitution, and driven America’s reputation and economy into the toilet.

    What the hell is this cretin doing still smirking behind his desk in the oval office?

    What in the hell is wrong with us?

  6. Charlie Couser

    A better question is — What isn’t wrong with this nation?

    We as a nation have become so lazy, so spoiled, so intellectually complacent that we will tolerate anything so long as our status-quo is not disturbed!

    Quite frankly, the leaders required to bring about the changes required to save this nation will not be found on the campaign trail or, for that matter, in any political office. They must come from citizens who care enough to make a sacrifice. Unfortunately, that generation is either dead or dying, and we are left with career politicans whose only desire is to rape the system and enrich both themselves and their cronies; i.e., Bush/Cheney, Halliburton/KBR, et al.

    So, there you go America. Sit back and enjoy watching this once great nation collapse around you as you watch the evening news. Go ahead drink that beer; go get another tattoo or tear up the country side riding your ATV. But, whatever you do; don’t try to make a difference — it’ll be all right….

    Charlie Couser

  7. DejaVuAllOver

    I agree. Bush is not the cause of America’s decadence, he is the result of it. America has been in decline for years. People forget that, largely because of the Internet boom, which kept a lot of us out of hot water for most of the ’90’s. But apart from a few high points, the last 50 years of this country’s history have been sick, degenerate and rotten.

    Reminds me of some time I spent in Britain in 1973-76. Britain at that point was still insanely proud (or maybe just insane) but was in deep doodoo, economically. Perceptions and pride sometimes take a long time to catch up to reality.