Failure of Intelligence

December 4, 2008 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: politics.

Outgoing US President George Bush has said his biggest regret is the failure of intelligence over Iraqi weapons.

That has to be one of the funniest lines to come out of the BBC for weeks. OK, I’m paraphrasing the opening salvo on the quick story Bush regrets Iraqi WMD failure but it sums up my feelings about the man and his tenure at the Whitehouse. I can often be a little too subtle and assuming in my statements sometimes, and I feel I’m devaluing myself a tad for having to explain, but let’s get this one clear from the start;

Bush is talking about the fact that the US, and other countries’, intelligence services supposedly reported that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, and that the intelligence provided was the basis for going to war, i.e., the second Gulf War.

What I am laughing at is the fact that it’s George W Bush’s own personal intelligence that failed.

You see, out here in “the rest of the world” we didn’t “get” Bush. We saw him as a man without either the brains or the political savvy to be truly qualified to be the “most powerful man in the world”. Of course, maybe he had been Governor of Texas, but out here in the perimeter there are no lone stars, it just isn’t Texas. Nor an oil company nor a baseball team, for that matter. Some of us have made our way through life by our own intellect and without daddy’s help.

My earliest recollections of Bush’s early days were these:

Our own premiere of the time Tony Blair, by comparison, was a well-educated and articulate man. He knew the names of his equals abroad, was extremely popular when he was elected to power (without any issues, I’d like to add) and was never the target of any pastry-based assassination attempts. He did, however, follow President Bush to war and on those very same tenuous leads too. Maybe that’s why he went quiet for months afterwards, going grey from the stress and thinking “what have I done?!”.
The point is, people ask why is George W Bush hated so much in the world? We don’t actually hate him, it’s just that he is not what we expect from a world leader. Knowledge, diplomacy, dignity… after all, GWB is the guy who said “Yo Blair“. But most of all it’s the failure of intelligence.
I wish the intelligence had been different.
So do we, George. So do we.

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