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Editorial: Presidential memoir sheds light on drama of 43rd administration

Nov. 11, 2010

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Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

Former President George W. Bush's new memoir "Decision Points" is a valuable and respectable insight into one of modern times' most controversial presidential administrations.

Bush explores everything from the administration's response to hurricane Katrina to the economic crisis that began at the end of his term and has had lasting effects on President Barack Obama's term.

Throughout the memoir, Bush also details personal decisions and family memories from his time as our nation's leader.

First, being able to admit to the international community that you were wrong takes guts.

Bush said he has a "sickening feeling" when he thinks about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and how that intelligence debacle resulted in false information and false motivations for the war.

He opens the book talking about his alcoholic tendencies -- something most private individuals don't admit to their family, much less something former figureheads admit to the entire world.

The explanations and the apologies in "Decision Points" deserve a certain amount of respect from all -- Republican or Democrat.

He held arguably the hardest job in American politics for eight years and endured domestic, international and personal battles throughout that time.

Bush made an effort to describe what he was feeling the day the Twin Towers of Manhattan and the Pentagon were struck by planes in 2001 and how he was presented with information and what constructed his decision-making process.

By admitting to his greatest failures, Bush opens doors for new discussions about his presidency and current issues, such as the Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan and the economic crisis.

In the memoir, Bush tries to understand what went wrong at different times in presidency, possibly helping future generations learn from their mistakes.

Bush could have tried to hide or ignore the mistakes he made by simply maintaining his stoic silence after he left office in 2008.

The memoir was released immediately following the midterm elections, when Republicans swept the House and made a mighty comeback to the national political stage. Now Bush, the epicenter of many of their pre-midterm problems, has publicly displayed what went wrong.

In contrast, the memoir came out when Democrats are facing major setbacks locally and nationally, and many representatives and senators lost the election for merely associating with the politics of Obama or soon-to-be former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

How this book is received nationally, and how Bush is received on his book tour, could give an indication to election results in 2012 but more importantly, it could reflect the very nature of Americans.

Will the majority still consider him an utter failure or will they finally understand Bush's side?

It is safe to say he did not assume the role as America's president in order to throw our economic system into chaos and to wreak havoc on the international system, too.

Bush's term ended poorly for him and he could do nothing but wait out the wave of criticism until he was out of office.

This memoir will tell us much of his life, his struggles, his success and his decisions during the presidency. But, more importantly, it could teach a majority of Bush-haters that many of the mistakes that happened were not made maliciously or with the intent to destroy our country.

Bush's book will be one to learn from and one that will provide an inside perspective on the slips and falls of the Bush administration during its uphill, eight-year rise and fall.