Presidency of George W. Bush

43rd presidential administration and cabinet of the USA (2001-2009)

George W. Bush's tenure as the 43rd president of the United States began with his first inauguration on January 20, 2001, and ended on January 20, 2009. Bush, a Republican from Texas and the eldest son of George H. W. Bush, took office following a narrow victory over Democratic incumbent vice president Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. Four years later, in the 2004 presidential election, he defeated Democrat nominee John Kerry to win re-election. Bush was succeeded by Democrat Barack Obama, who won the 2008 presidential election.

Post-presidency (2009-present) edit

  • In June 2009, the United States further withdrew across Iraq, retrenching to large bases and largely staying out of day-to-day security operations except for in a few restive areas. For some months before, the United States ad likewise begun scaling back on the Sons of Iraq initiative, a move that ha not, as many predicted, resulted in a wholesale return among former insurgents to their murderous ways. There are still bombings in Iraq, sometimes very lethal ones, but they remain, for now, fairly isolated incidents.
    While Iraq may never become the model of Middle Eastern democracy and capitalism that the Bush administration envisioned, the current consensus among military chiefs as well as politicians and planners of every political affiliation is that the situation there is stable enough to allow the United States to withdraw completely without considering it a defeat. With the war in Afghanistan deteriorating rapidly and taking on a renewed urgency with the Obama administration, the United States remains on schedule to withdraw all American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
    For some, however, the war will never be over.
    • Jim Frederick, Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent Into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death (2010), New York: Broadway Books, 1st paperback edition, p. 357
  • “Our misjudgements of friend and foe alike,” McNamara concluded sadly, “reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area and the personalities and habits of their leaders.” It is not a lesson the Bush White House of recent years appears to have learned. You believe in studying reality, a senior adviser said contemptuously to the journalist Ron Suskind in 2002. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “Were an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” If the White House had studied reality a bit more, the president might not have used the word crusade two days after September 11 to refer to how he intended to deal with terrorists. Muslims, even moderate ones, tend to react viscerally to being reminded of much earlier attacks from the West. If some attention had been paid to reality, the United States and the United Kingdom might not have been quite so surprised that Iraqis failed to welcome them or appreciate foreign control of their oil.