Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, The War on Terror, and His Critics … A Book Review


In a previous essay “The Big Three: Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney–I’ve Read Them All” , I ended as follows:

In reading the first draft of the history of this era, I choose to read the history through the eyes of those who were in the arena. Other histories have been and are being written, but so often they are written by professionals with political or journalistic biases looking though glasses tinted one way or another. One day a truly objective accounting will be written, perhaps by someone of the stature of a Jay Winik. I hope I am alive to read such an account.

Well, in this book by Stephen F. Knott, a professor of national security affairs at the United States Naval War College, perhaps we are seeing the first of such accounts of the Bush 43 Presidency. I’ve just completed my first reading of this book and am pleased to recommend it, especially to those who have been so virulent in their criticism of Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld in their conduct of events following 9/11/2001.

In this book, Professor Knott examines the actions of Mr. Bush in the context of the  Constitutional powers placed in the Executive branch by the founders, and also compares Mr. Bush’s actions with those of previous presidents, some of whom are favorites of the fiercest critics of Bush; presidents such as Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. If you read this book you will find that the afore mentioned presidents were far more aggressive (and abusive?) in their war power actions than was Bush.

Professor Knott is very critical of the supposed objectivity of many professional historians and journalists and their misuse of their positions in order to score political points. Perhaps this book will reign in some of that professional abuse.

This being a new book, there are not yet multitudes of reviews. Here are a few I’ve found you may be interested in perusing:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/5/granting-bush-presidency-its-due/

http://ashbrook.ashland.edu/books/0700618317.html

http://www.usnwc.edu/About/News/March-2012/Bush-Presidency-Examined-in-Book-by-Naval-War-Coll.aspx

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/03/rush-to-judgment-george-w-bush-the-war-on-terror-and-his-critics/

My own view? I’ve admired President George W. Bush and consider him to be in the top tier of American Presidents.

Don Johnson  — June 2012

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2 responses to “Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, The War on Terror, and His Critics … A Book Review

  1. Ronald Vander Griend

    Unfortunately Bush has become the only target that Obama has to use as an effective target for the arrows in his quiver that rally his own base. It is a sad thing when a person can only find blame of another for his present situation. Only when a person rises to take responsibility for his or her own actions can that person earn the respect they deserve. The greatest life stories are those who have risen out of difficult situations and made good decisions. They are those who every right to use the blame game but chose to move forward taking responsibility for their future actions and making good choices. Those who continue to make poor choices only have the blame game to use. Leaders like Lincoln chose to make the right choices and to take responsibility for those choices. Obama likes to compare himself to Lincoln but I can tell you “Obama is no Lincoln”.

  2. Pingback: George W. Bush is victim of a rush to judgment | A Yearning for Publius

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