Monday, January 12, 2009

Still crazy after all these years

Was that surreal, or what? U.S. President George W. Bush, arguably the worst president ever to hold the office, said Monday that he had made a few mistakes but that his administration had a lot of accomplishments to be proud of. In what was billed as the final press conference of his presidency (how does he know?), Bush said his government's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, handling of the economy and response to the hurricane that devastated New Orleans in 2005 were bright spots, according to Cable News Network (CNN). Reporters in the White House briefing room couldn't have been more surprised than tens of millions of voters around the country who were clearly rejecting the Bush administration when they soundly voted down Republican heir apparent John McCain in the November election. Maybe Bush was kidding. It seems most everyone realizes that the administration's response to the 9/11 attacks, which included the ill-advised invasion of Iraq in 2003, unprecedented assault on civil liberties and willful violations of the Geneva Conventions, its woefully inadequate reaction to Hurricane Katrina and regulatory impotence on the economy were the reasons the country celebrated when Illinois senator Barak Obama was elected to replace him. Bush termed "disappointments" the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. "I don't know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were things that didn't go according to plan, let's put it that way," Bush said. Bush also disagreed that the reputation of the United States suffered under his leadership. "My view is that most people around the world, they respect America. And some of them don't like me -- I understand that -- some of the writers and the, you know, opiners and all that. That's fine. That's part of the deal. But I'm more concerned about the country and -- and how people view the United States of America. They view us as strong, compassionate people who care deeply about the universality of freedom." The Bush administration is scheduled to leave office on Jan. 20.

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