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Book Review: Decision Points by George W. Bush

By Edited Dec 31, 2015 5 9

Decision Points

I can't help but become mildly irked (such as when a gnat invades my personal space) with the level of disrespect, disdain, and downright hatred hurled at former President George W. Bush. So many negative things have been written and said about this man and his presidency. Mostly by folks with no firsthand knowledge of the facts surrounding his decisions; differing political viewpoints; or a political agenda and/or some type of ax to grind. Sadly, those individuals will never read Decision Points, unless they really want to know the truth . . . and most haters don't care about the truth. That's too bad because this book offers a candid look into the character of its author and a true behind the scenes look into the Bush White House by none other than the president himself.

George W Bush
Read what went on during the stem cell research debate; and discover why Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote: "The verdict is clear: Rarely has a president  – so vilified for a moral stance – been so thoroughly vindicated." But, headlines like these are rarely, if ever, brought up when discussing President Bush. In addition, for all the critics of the president's handling of 9/11, find out what really went on in the chapter titled "Day of Fire." Then, after you've read it, ask yourself what you would've done differently under those same circumstances. I, for one, can think of no other person I would have wanted leading our nation at the time. In the book, the president said:

"September 11 redefined sacrifice. It redefined duty. And it redefined my job. The story of that week is the key to understanding my presidency. . . . For as long as I held office, I could never forget what happened to America that day. I would pour my heart and soul into protecting the country, whatever it took."

Decision Points
Amazon Price: $35.00 $2.24 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 31, 2015)

Wars and Rumors of War

Some of Bush's harshest critics claim he is a "warmonger," with absolutely no evidence, by the way, and that he sent America to war for oil. You will find the majority of those critics marching in anti-war rallies, holding peace signs, while at the same time hurling rocks and other objects at law enforcement personnel. It is also those folks who conveniently forget that a congressional war resolution passed three days after 9/11 by a vote of 98 - 0 in the Senate and 420 - 1 in the House. Regarding Iraq, the Senate passed the resolution 77 - 23, while the House voted 296 - 133 in favor of authorizing the use of Armed Forces.

For those individuals who truly have questions and are not just looking to spew hatred, they can read the facts as outlined in the chapters titled War Footing, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Sadly, I suspect that nothing this president says will change the minds of those who choose to hate him . . . but for those who choose not to hate but still have questions, I recommend reading these chapters (and the entire book). The president is clear on the reasons for his decisions. From the beginning, President Bush knew public reaction to his decisions would be "colored by whether there was another attack." Bush wrote: "If none happened, whatever I did would probably look like an overreaction. If we were attacked again, people would demand to know why I hadn’t done more."

George W. Bush at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport
Credit: Wikimedia Commons - public domain photo


Not since President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal have I witnessed the vilification of a U.S. President. But in the case of President Bush and the handling of Katrina the press did little, if anything, to investigate and report the truth to the American People. Where were the Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins? Where were the reporters who would leave no stone unturned to find the truth? Sadly, they were nowhere to be found.  You see had they done their job they would have had to report that the person responsible for the slow response was the democratic Louisiana governor and not the republican president. But don’t take my word for it, read the chapter titled Katrina and look up the laws governing natural disasters.

Love Will Always Conquer Hate

Bush Family Nov2,2004
Credit: Wikimedia Commons - public domain photo

There is a constant theme that emanates throughout this book - love. The book is dedicated to the president's wife and two daughters, whom he refers to as "the loves of my life." Also, evident is the love President Bush has for God and America. Regarding his legacy, President Bush writes: "Decades from now, I hope people will view me as a president who recognized the central challenge of our time and kept my vow to keep the country safe . . . I hope they will conclude that I upheld the honor and dignity of the office I was so privileged to hold."

I have always been proud to call George W. Bush my president and I know many who feel the same way. Unfortunately, those in the media are the ones with the loudest voices, and they have chosen to ignore the evidence and perpetuate the falsehoods of the president's opponents. They are the gnats that continue to invade the personal space of truth. It is unfortunate that many are comfortable with gnats and continue to believe the negative myths. These individuals will continue to close their eyes to the truth and live in their own hate-filled "La-La" lands.

But for others, for those who prefer to know the truth rather than the hype, if they read this book they will come to know the character of George W. Bush. They will realize that the man portrayed on television is far from the good-natured, honorable, and noble leader that America was fortunate to have.  I encourage everyone reading this to read Decision Points and put yourself in this man’s place. I doubt any one of us could have or would have done better.  


"One of my proudest moments is I didn't sell my soul for the sake of popularity"  –George W. Bush

Book Review Rating

Decision Points by George W. Bush DebW07 2014-05-06 5.0 0 5

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May 4, 2014 8:14am
I've never understood the virulent reactions to Bush by his opponents. Often sheer hatred. He really seemed to drive some people crazy, even though he was invariably civil and even keeled through some of the worst crises our country has gone through.

I personally have strongly disagreed with several of his policies - particularly the war in Iraq. That should never never have happened, imo. But I always personally liked Bush. I thought he was a good man when he was President, and I think he is a good man now. I have always been grateful for the way Bush pulled us through the 9/11 crisis. NOT his subsequent foreign policy decisions, but the way he kept his composure and was a leader at home.

One thing is for sure: me mum will love this book. She is as impartial and unbiased towards Bush as you are - tweak tweak ha ha. :))
May 5, 2014 2:09pm
Your "mum" sounds like a smart gal! Also, when it comes to politics, I tend to believe we're all a bit partial and biased. Thanks for the comment!
May 5, 2014 1:28am
I agree with you for the most part. I think it was very unfair that he was blamed so much for Katrina. What about the mayor and governor? The federal government could not act until they were asked to. It was an epic fail by Ray Nagin and the governor (sorry forget her name) yet Bush got all the blame. He is a good man, and I think in time he will be vindicated.
May 5, 2014 2:10pm
Very well said, I agree with you. Thanks, WriterJoanne!
May 5, 2014 5:47pm
I agree with Joanne about Katrina. I'll pass your compliment along to my mother. And I thank you for your civil response to my initial comment. I meant no disrespect, Introspective, with anything I said. It was all in good fun - that was the intention anyway. Hope that intention came across to you.
May 6, 2014 8:01am
No worries. I didn't take your comment in a negative light, but I appreciate that you cared enough to want to clarify your intent. When discussing politics, we all need to lighten up and have some fun. Thanks again!
May 7, 2014 1:14pm
Great article Introspective. For those who don't understand the Iraq thing, here's a little more detail.
In 1991 the US declared war on Iraq after Saddam Hussein sent troops into Kuwait in a brutal takeover of that country. The Persian Gulf War lasted 42 days and was concluded with a cease-fire by President George H. W. Bush. The terms of the cease-fire included that Iraq would recognize the sovereignty of the Kuwaiti state and that it would get rid of all of its weapons of mass destruction. Hussein had proved that he at least had weapons of mass destruction by using chemical weapons to kill over 10,000 Kurds in the northern region of Iraq years earlier; so the US and UN had justification to believe that Iraq not only had these weapons, but was not averse to using them. There was also evidence that Hussein had been pursuing the development of nuclear and biological weapons. As a mediator, the UN agreed to conduct inspections of Iraq to verify they did not have these weapons. These inspections were also a requirement of the cease-fire.

By 2003 Saddam Hussein had violated the terms of the cease-fire 16 times by preventing UN weapons inspectors from conducting their inspections, and intelligence was mounting that Iraq was indeed attempting to develop various high impact weapons. This is the justification for the war in Iraq and why Congress and so many other nations were in support of it. They had seen the intelligence. The media seems to forget the sequence of events, which is likely why so many people don’t get it.
I was there though, in the Persian Gulf on a warship in March 2003. I haven’t forgotten the sequence of events. I hope this might clear up some confusion for anyone.

I apologize for the length, but I hope it helps clarify some things.
Jun 21, 2014 9:36am
I must admit that as a Canadian, I am fairly ignorant of American politics. I do feel that George W. Bush was extremely devoted to America and responded to crises with great passion. Sometimes no matter what you do, you'll be criticized. I just hope that people understand the underlying intent. For the record, I also feel Obama is getting unfairly vilified. Seems politicians can't escape such wrath from the media. I hope better day are ahead for my American friends.
Aug 25, 2014 9:29am
Thank you for this great article! I live in Germany and back then it seemed that "my" folks would have liked to have him court-martialled and shot. That was no political discussion, it was outright hate.
I personally always had the impression that Pres. Bush is an honest and sincere person, who, no matter what were the results of his policies, always tried to do what's best for his country and his people. I read "Decision Points" a while ago and I was impressed not only by his candor but also by the obstacles he overcame in his personal life. Reading the book, one can also get a different view on the intellectual capacity of this man, which has been unjustly targeted by popular culture during his days in office and after. I studied literature and haven't read half as many books.
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