Unlike a large majority of the country (and the world), the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes loves former President Bush. Last month, Barnes declared that Bush is just like Abraham Lincoln (despite what historians think). “Not only was [Lincoln] America’s greatest president, I think he was America’s greatest political leader,” he said. “You know what was more like Lincoln in his presidency? George W. Bush.”
Barnes picked up on this delusion last weekend during Fox News’s “Beltway Boys” program. When co-host Mort Kondracke said Bush deserves credit for declining to criticize President Obama last week, Barnes claimed that Bush will eventually get credit for “his Iraq intervention, which worked.” And like Kondracke, Barnes added that Iraqis have given Bush credit too — for “feel[ing] secure”:
BARNES: There’s one group, that I haven’t heard of until recently, is giving Bush credit and that’s the Iraqi people. Look, a recent poll of over 2,000 Iraqis shows 46 percent say they feel secure where they live, which is in Iraq. Last March, only 20 percent could say that. Pretty impressive, huh? I thought so.
A recent ABC/BBC/NHK poll found that 46 percent of Iraqis said that “conditions” where they live are “very good.” But unfortunately, the poll never asks where the credit lies. In fact, some of the results in the very same poll suggest that Iraqis dislike Bush, dislike his decision to invade, and want U.S. forces to leave.
According to the poll, 62 percent said Muntadar al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush last December, “is a hero.” A further 10 percent said he is a hero but deemed his actions to be criminal. Moreover, many said that the election of Obama “will make things better for Iraq.” But also, the poll found that a majority of Iraqis also think Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was “somewhat” or “absolutely” wrong while a plurality (46 percent) said they want all U.S. forces out of Iraq before the 2011 deadline set by last year’s security agreement.
Just last week, Barnes declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.