Quotations by George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld,
Dick Cheney, Robert Gates, Tommy Franks, et al
by Michael R. Burch,
an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry
The quotes on war below by leading American politicians, diplomats and generals
bear a disturbing resemblance to the arrogant, hubristic ravings of Adolf Hitler
and his Nazi henchmen.
Boehner's Boner: “The world is starving for American leadership, but America has
an anti-war president,” John Boehner said during a Capitol Hill press conference
on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Let's see if we can interpret this nugget of
wisdom: "The world is starving for American leadership, and real American
leadership is to be in favor of war." Of course it
makes perfect sense for Boehner to criticize President Obama for being against
war, since the GOP has been lobbying for war with Iran. This is why Bibi
Netanyahu was asked to speak before Congress: to fan the flames of war. If the
war is fought, it will be fought on the same false premises as the war with
Iraq. And while Israel's security is being used to justify
an attack on Iran, Israeli intelligence has said that attacking Iran will
not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. What is the point of starting
another war that cannot be won, and which cannot achieve the stated objective?
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, hoping
for different results. By that definition, the GOP is mad and Americans are
insane to keep electing war-hungry Republicans to positions of power.
John McCain advises Israel to "or rogue" and preemptively start a war, with Iran
rather than wait for nuclear disarmanent talks to conclude: "The Israelis will
need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they
may have to go rogue. Let’s hope their warnings have not been mere bluffs.
Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now,
all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months." According
to McCain, we should "hope" for war with Iran, and "hope" that Israel has not
been bluffing about attacking Iran. It will be a "long" 22 months if Israel does
not go rogue and start another unwinnable war which, according to Israeli
intelligence, will not achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining
nuclear weapons. What is the purpose of the war McCain hopes for? Seemingly,
just to fight for the sake of fighting.
As Robert M. Gates prepared to
depart his post as the outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense, he spoke to reporters about the human costs of the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan: "When I took this job, the United States was fighting two very difficult,
very costly wars, and it has seemed to me: Let’s get this
business wrapped up before we go looking for more opportunities." I
think we can take Robert Gates at his word, because he and other neo-cons see war as an
"opportunity" for the United States to dominate the rest of the world, the way
an alpha male lion dominates its pride. Gates went on to say: "If we were about to be attacked or had been attacked or something happened
that threatened a vital U.S. national interest, I would be the first in line to
say, ‘Let’s go!’ I will always be an advocate in terms of
wars of necessity. I am just much more cautious on wars of choice."
George W. Bush famously (or infamously) said, "Bring 'em on!" as if war is
something to be relished. But most Americans cherish peace. Do we really want
war-mad, machismo-dripping alpha males running the show? On the surface, Gates
seems to make a degree of sense. But upon reflection he seems to be saying that
we need only to avoid wars that cannot result in the advancement of American
national interests. Clearly, the U.S. government has decided that Middle Eastern oil fields are
a "vital U.S. national interest" even though they rightfully belong to other nations. Most
Americans would probably say that the only just war is a war in which the United
States was attacked unjustly and is defending itself. But this is not what
American warmongers believe. They believe that if a "vital U.S. national
interest" is threatened, this justifies war. So, for example, if Iraq has
oil fields and the U.S. needs a reliable source of inexpensive oil, the U.S. has
the "right" to "secure" Iraqi oil fields. The only reason not to go to
war is the likelihood of failure. This is the mentality of a bank robber who
reasons that because someone else has money and he "needs" money, he has the
right to take it by force, with the only reason not to rob the bank being the
likelihood that he will be arrested.
So there is clearly a disconnect between Americans who believe in justice, and
neo-cons like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, who
believe that "might makes right" and that offensive wars are justified, if the
U.S. stands to benefit. This is the mentality of Nazi Germany, when it decided
that it was in its "national interest" to appropriate the land and natural
resources of its neighbors. Here are other quotes by American presidents,
politicians, diplomats and generals that illustrate the disconnect:
Bring 'em on! ― George W. Bush
We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ― Dick Cheney
I don't do quagmires. ― Donald Rumsfeld
Deficits don't matter. ― Dick Cheney
The Iraqi forces are conducting the Mother of all Retreats. ― Dick Cheney
I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will
last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than
that. ― Donald Rumsfeld
The plan was criticized by some retired military
officers embedded in TV studios. But with every advance by our coalition forces,
the wisdom of that plan becomes more apparent. ― Dick Cheney
“I don't do body counts,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told CBS News in
March, 2002, in the early days of the war in Afghanistan.
"We don't do body counts," said General Tommy Franks, the commander of the invasion of
Iraq, on May 3, 2003 (as reported by Edward Epstein).
Donald Rumsfeld said, "We don't do body counts on other people" during an
interview with Tony Snow of Fox News, on Sunday, November 2, 2003.
In his speech aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, George W.
Bush said, "With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military
objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can
remove the tragedy from war, yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far
more to fear from war than the innocent."
However, his claims were clearly refuted when
Lesley Stahl, during a 60 Minutes episode which aired on May
12, 1996 asked Secretary of State Madeleine Albright the following question about U.S. sanctions against Iraq: "We
have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children
than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright replied, "I think this is a
very hard choice, but the price: we think the price is worth it."
Please note that even when appearing on a major news forum, 60 Minutes, Albright
made no attempt to deny the figure given by Stahl—a rough rendering of the
preliminary estimate in a 1995 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
report that 567,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of
the sanctions. And yet while more than half a million
Iraqi children were dying of starvation, Saddam Hussein was
building more palaces. Then the United States ended up invading Iraq and waging war for a
decade, with generally miserable and still-inconclusive results. Was the price
"worth it," really?
America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands are directed only at the
regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the
first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children. ― George W. Bush
Any government that supports, protects or harbors terrorists is complicit in
the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. ― George W. Bush
But what about a government that harbors terrorists like you?
Do I think faith will be an important part of being a
good president? Yes, I do. ― George W. Bush
What kind of "faith" calls half a million dead children "worth it"?
Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. ―
George W. Bush
Talk about a Catch-22 proposition!
Everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear. ― George W. Bush
Hitler rallied his public with similar war whoops.
Faith crosses every border and touches every heart in
every nation. ― George W. Bush
Crossing the borders of sovereign nations with the intent to do harm is a
For all who love freedom and peace, the world without
Saddam Hussein's regime is a better and safer place. ―
George W. Bush
Is it, really, when evil morons like you led the charge?
For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible -
and no one can now doubt the word of America. ― George W. Bush
All the civilized world can rightly doubt your word, since you lied through
your teeth about there being WMDs in Iraq.
Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't
attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction.
― George W. Bush
But the United States has thousands of WMDs and attacked Iraq without
Great tragedy has come to us, and we are meeting it with
the best that is in our country, with courage and concern for others because
this is America. This is who we are. ― George W. Bush
Is this who we are: a nation that has thousands of WMDs, which invades a
nation that has none, but happens to have lots of oil?
Hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women are deployed across the
world in the war on terror. By bringing hope to the oppressed, and delivering
justice to the violent, they are making America more secure.
― George W. Bush
A trillion dollars and thousands of American lives later, are we really
I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for
myself, but for predecessors as well. ― George W. Bush
In other words, you're a moron who doesn't know the difference between a
predecessor and a successor.
I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. ― George W. Bush
Obviously, you have a direct pipeline to the wisdom of God.
I believe in the transformational power of liberty. I
believe that the free Iraq is in this nation's interests. I believe a free
Afghanistan is in this nation's interest. ― George W. Bush
If wishes were horses, George Bushes would ride.
I believe that God has planted in every heart the desire
to live in freedom. ― George W. Bush
What about the freedom of Iraqi children not to be killed by your stupidity
I believe the most solemn duty of the American president
is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in
this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my
watch. ― George W. Bush
But it did.
I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and
the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
― George W. Bush
We hear you loud and clear ... sounding like a madman.
I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is
someone who brings people together. ― George W. Bush
I have written a book. This will come as quite a shock
to some. They didn't think I could read, much less write. ―
George W. Bush
Perhaps "they" were on to something.
I have zero desire, just so you know, to be in the
limelight. I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president
criticize his successor. You're not going to see me giving my opinions in the
public arena, until I start selling my book. I'm going to emerge then submerge.
― George W. Bush
One can live in hope . . .
I just want you to know that, when we talk about war,
we're really talking about peace. ― George W. Bush
I just want you to know that when you speak about peace, the dogs of war
I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free,
not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history and find their
own way. ― George W. Bush
They will, indeed. Then why not save American lives and money, by avoiding
an unnecessary war?
I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can
have a gun. ― George W. Bush
I think we should start with juvenile politicians like you.
I think you can judge from somebody's actions a kind of
a stability and sense of purpose perhaps created by strong religious roots. I
mean, there's a certain patience, a certain discipline, I think, that religion
helps you achieve. ― George W. Bush
I told you I'm not going to criticize my successor. I'll
just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a
drop of a hat and I don't believe that persuasion isn't going to work. Therapy
isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind. ―
George W. Bush
But what about your madness?
I understand everybody in this country doesn't agree
with the decisions I've made. And I made some tough decisions. But people know
where I stand. ― George W. Bush
Yes, like a dunce, in the corner.
I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to
come and witness my hanging. ― George W. Bush
Et tu, Brute?
I will never relent in defending America ― whatever it
George W. Bush
Gotcha: big balls, a tiny brain and no heart.
I would like to be remembered as a guy who had a set of
priorities, and was willing to live by those priorities. In terms of
accomplishments, my biggest accomplishment is that I kept the country safe
amidst a real danger. ―
George W. Bush
Yes, the same way Hitler protected Germans from the Jews, Gypsies and Slavs
... by murdering them preemptively.
I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously. But I
hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as
opposed to failure. ― George W. Bush
Or perhaps with terminal stupidity?
If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and
polls and principles, come and join this campaign. ― George W. Bush
Yes, let's abandon principles and join your murderous campaign!
Iraq is no diversion. It is a place where civilization
is taking a decisive stand against chaos and terror, we must not waver.
― George W. Bush
Yes, we must be firm in our resolve to remain evil morons!
It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil.
More and more of our imports come from overseas. ― George W. Bush
Words to the unwise?
It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it. ―
George W. Bush
Red ink does stand out, doesn't it?
Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means
character, and it means listening from time to time. ―
George W. Bush
Yes, but only to the sound of your own incomprehensible voice.
Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it
hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our
neighborhoods. ― George W. Bush
Or emanating from assholes.
Now, there are some who would like to rewrite history:
revisionist historians is what I like to call them. ―
George W. Bush
As opposed to revisionist morons?
On September 11 2001, America felt its vulnerability
even to threats that gather on the other side of the Earth. We resolved then,
and we are resolved today, to confront every threat from any source that could
bring sudden terror and suffering to America. ― George W. Bush
Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted
to weapons of mass destruction. ― George W. Bush
Is the pot calling the kettle black?
Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." ― George W. Bush
Try removing the corncob from a certain orifice!
This young century will be liberty's century. ― George W. Bush
Not if you can help it.
To those of you who received honours, awards and
distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be
president of the United States. ― George W. Bush
Perhaps in retrospect we should raise the standards.
Today we affirm a new commitment to live out our
nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion and character. ― George W. Bush
Killing half a million Iraqi children is oh so compassionate!
Use power to help people. For we are given power not to
advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name.
There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.
― George W. Bush
To serve them a death warrant?
We can't allow the world's worst leaders to blackmail,
threaten, hold freedom-loving nations hostage with the world's worst weapons. ― George W. Bush
Then why did you do such things?
We cannot let terrorists hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile. ― George W. Bush
And yet we can let you hold freedom hostage.
We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. ― George W. Bush
Of course morons don't favor plans and rational decision-making! They prefer to freewheel.
We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression, while free nations strive to resolve differences in peace. ― George W. Bush
You are the ultimate dick, tater.
We will stand up for our friends in the world. And one
of the most important friends is the State of Israel. My administration will be
steadfast in support Israel against terrorism and violence, and in seeking the
peace for which all Israelis pray. ― George W. Bush
Can you really have no clue why we were attacked on 9-11? Have you ever
heard of the Nakba, or examined Israel's blatantly racist Jim Crow laws,
kangaroo courts and torture dens?
When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million
missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be
decisive. ― George W. Bush
When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as the savior, it changes your heart. ― George W. Bush
Would Jesus have starved half a million Iraqi children to death, for no reason whatsoever?
You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. ― George W. Bush
The question is who fooled you all of the time: Cheney, Rumsfeld . . .
You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test. ― George W. Bush
Don't count your chickens when they're only half hatched!
Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. ― Donald Rumsfeld
So do you.
Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems. ― Donald Rumsfeld
You among them.
Don't divide the world into "them" and "us." ― Donald Rumsfeld
When did you ever do anything else?
Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership. ― Donald Rumsfeld
So, it seems, are exceedingly dull hearts and brains.
If a prospective Presidential approach can't be
explained clearly enough to be understood well, it probably hasn't been thought
through well enough. If not well understood by the American people, it probably
won't "sail" anyway. Send it back for further thought. ―
Do you call what you do "thinking"?
If in doubt, don't. If still in doubt, do what's right. ―
Why not do what's right all the time?
If in doubt, move decisions up to the President. ― Donald Rumsfeld
Even when he's an evil moron?
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much. ― Donald Rumsfeld
Or perhaps exceeding your limits.
In politics, every day is filled with numerous
opportunities for serious error. Enjoy it. ― Donald Rumsfeld
Yes, destruction can be quite thrilling.
Make decisions about the President's personal security.
He can overrule you, but don't ask him to be the one to counsel caution. ― Donald Rumsfeld
When did anyone in the Bush administration ever counsel caution?
Our task, your task... is to try to connect the dots
before something happens. People say, 'Well, where's the smoking gun?' Well, we
don't want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.
― Donald Rumsfeld
Obviously, believing is seeing.
Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that
has ever been before this administration except for those instances where
Colin's still learning. ― Donald Rumsfeld
In other words, you're always right, like Hitler.
There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it,
and that's just a fact. ― Donald Rumsfeld
Too bad you lied and didn't get away with it.
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we
know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we
don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know
we don't know. ― Donald Rumsfeld
At least we know that you're an evil moron.
Visit with your predecessors from previous
Administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners.
Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating theirs. ― Donald Rumsfeld
You were beyond the pale when it came to making "original" mistakes.
The country cannot
afford amateur hour in the White House. ― Donald Rumsfeld
Of course we need professional fuckups to ruin the country.
On May 1, 2003 a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" was
waving on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln during a televised address
by George W. Bush.
Bush said major
combat operations in Iraq were over, but the vast majority of casualties, both military and civilian,
occurred after his speech.
Bush's jet landing on the carrier was
criticized as an overly theatrical and expensive stunt, since the carrier was well within range of
Bush's helicopter. Originally the
White House claimed that the carrier was too far off the California coast for
a helicopter landing but White House spokesman Ari
Fleischer later admitted that Bush "could have helicoptered [aboard], but the
plan was already in place." As the Scottish
poet Bobby Burns once said, "The best laid plans of mice and men gang of a-gly,"
which makes me think of the perfect closing lines by someone who's an expert on
deceit . . .
There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen
for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly
confronted. ― Dick Cheney
Tag, you're it!