To govern is to choose, and the choices made in 2002 were fateful. The United States began that year shocked and wounded, but with tremendous strategic advantages. Its population was more closely united behind its leadership than it had been in fifty years. World opinion was strongly sympathetic. Longtime allies were eager to help; longtime antagonists were silent. The federal budget was nearly in balance, making ambitious projects feasible. The U.S. military was superbly equipped, trained, and prepared. An immediate foe was evident and vulnerable in Afghanistan. For the longer-term effort against Islamic extremism the Administration could draw on a mature school of thought from academics, regional specialists, and its own intelligence agencies. All that was required was to think broadly about the threats to the country, and creatively about the responses.
The Bush Administration chose another path. Implicitly at the beginning of 2002, and as a matter of formal policy by the end, it placed all other considerations second to regime change in Iraq. It hampered the campaign in Afghanistan before fighting began and wound it down prematurely, along the way losing the chance to capture Osama bin Laden. It turned a blind eye to misdeeds in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and to WMD threats from North Korea and Iran far more serious than any posed by Saddam Hussein, all in the name of moving toward a showdown with Iraq. It overused and wore out its army in invading Iraq without committing enough troops for a successful occupation. It saddled the United States with ongoing costs that dwarf its spending for domestic security. And by every available measure it only worsened the risk of future terrorism. In every sense 2002 was a lost year.
-- James Fallows, Bushs Lost Year, The Atlantic
GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520
Education and Experience:
Law Enforcement: I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in
1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled
guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for
30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and
is not available.
Military: I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL.
I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my
drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able
to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.
College: I graduated from Yale University with a low C
average. I was a cheerleader.
Past Work Experience: I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I
began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in
1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in
Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my
stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a
sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the
help of my father and our friends in the oil industry
(including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of
Accomplishments as Governor of Texas: I changed Texas
pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas
the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure,
Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in
America. I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the
tune of billions in borrowed money. I set the record for the
most executions by any governor in American history. With the
help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's
appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after
losing by over 500,000 votes.
Accomplishments as President: I am the first President in U.S.
history to enter office with a criminal record. I invaded and
occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one
billion dollars per week. I spent the U.S. surplus and
effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I shattered the
record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed
in any 12-month period. I set the all-time record for most
foreclosures in a 12-month period. I set the all-time record
for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.
In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost
their jobs and that trend continues every month.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of
any administration in U.S. history. My "poorest
millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker
named after her. I set the record for most campaign
fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.
I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving
the most corporate campaign donations. My largest lifetime
campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay,
presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate
attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court
during my election decision. I have protected my friends at
Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica
Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the
biggest corporate rip- offs in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and
refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil
industry was revealed. I presided over the highest gasoline
prices in U.S. history. I changed the U.S. policy to allow
convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts. I
appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any
President in U.S. history.
I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest
bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
I've broken more international treaties than any President in
U.S. history. I am the first President in U.S. history to have
the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights
Commission. I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
I refused to allow inspector's access to U.S. "prisoners
of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by
the Geneva Convention. I am the first President in history to
refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002
U.S. election). I set the record for fewest numbers of press
> conferences of any President since the advent of
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any
one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August,
I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history. I
garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade
Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the
most hated country in the world, the largest failure of
diplomacy in world history.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to
simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million
people), shattering the record for protests against any person
in the history of mankind. I am the first President in U.S.
history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the
military occupation of a sovereign nation.
I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority
of U.S. citizens, and the world community. I have cut health
care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty
benefits for active duty troops and their families -- in
wartime. In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our
reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our
I am the first President in history to have a majority of
Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to
world peace and security. I am supporting development of a
nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD. I have so
far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to
Records and References: All records of my tenure as governor
of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and
unavailable for public view. All records of SEC investigations
into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed
in secrecy and unavailable for public view. All records or
minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended
regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and
unavailable for public review.
PLEASE CONSIDER MY EXPERIENCE WHEN VOTING IN 2004. PLEASE SEND
THIS TO EVERY VOTER YOU KNOW.