As George W. Bush leaves the US Presidency with such accolades as the ‘worst President ever’ there seems to be only Bush’s ever-present right-wing commentators and one or two well-known neocon and Zionist supporting historians who think that history will be kind to him.
Fred Barnes writing for the neocon comic ‘The Weekly Standard’ has been a Bush supporter from day one so it comes as no surprise to read in his latest piece; ‘Bush Got The Big Things Right: History will be kind to forty-third president’, that he’ll be remembered kindly for his battles against al Qaeda which, seven years later, looks like not being anywhere near won, and for ‘bringing democracy to the Middle East’ which, despite the farce of elections in Iraq, is no more a reality today than it was when Israeli Zionists and Zionist Israeli citizens in the Bush administration got the US and its allies to invade and destroy Iraq in 2003.
Meanwhile, at the UK Daily Telegraph, loony neocon ‘historian’ Andrew Roberts pours out the same nonsense as his colleague at the ‘Weekly Standard’.
Condi Rice, who has barely managed to keep from being labelled a neocon herself, could hardly say anything else other than that history will be kind to Bush since she has been a part of that history from the day he became president.
And, of course, Jeb Bush, George’s brother, also thinks history will be kind to the ex-president, in fact he thinks history will be very kind to him.
However, none of the above are real historians. Andrew Roberts likes to think he is, but his work is actually far too subjective to be considered as historically important or significant. So what of real historians? What do they think? Ed Homick at CNN quotes a couple.
Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School says of Bush: "He is seen as incompetent in terms of how he handled domestic and foreign policy. He is seen as pushing for an agenda to the right of the nation and doing so through executive power that ignored the popular will," he added.
Harvard University political history scholar Barbara Kellerman reckons: “He [Bush] has been a quite unlucky president. Certain things happened on his watch that most people don't have to deal with -- a 9/11, a [Hurricane] Katrina, the financial crisis, being three obvious examples," she said, adding "And yet they happened on his watch. He is being blamed."
The real judges of history are evidence and time. Those of us alive today and who have followed the events of the last eight years, we are witnesses to those things that Bush has presided over and each of us will judge according to what we have seen. But for those that come after us in, say, ninety years time when living memory has all but disappeared; what will those people then think?
Well, the truth of what really happened on 9/11 hopefully may well have emerged by then and that certainly will paint a differently coloured picture of Bush’s history. How soon that truth is revealed will also determine how the history of the Bush presidency is told bearing in mind that the events of 9/11 were the catalyst of much of what has happened in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
And the revelations of the truth of 9/11 will also depend much on how honest historians are going to be with the evidence we already have about the events of 9/11. But, with or without the truth being known about what happened on 9/11, history will not, it seems, be kind to President Bush – at least not if real historians are to tell of it.