|August 18, 2010|
|Book Release Advice for Bush: Don't Mimic 'Poodle'|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|President Bush's PR advisors are mapping roll-out plans for his hotly anticipated – at least by Democrats – book "Decision Points," a recap of 14 tough choices that he made in Washington and in his personal life. |
NBC got the big "get" as Matt Lauer scored the first post-Presidential chat with Bush. That interview will run in primetime Nov. 8, the day before the Crown Publishers title sags the shelves.
Some friendly advice to Bush: don’t follow the lead of dear buddy Tony Blair. "The Poodle" has triggered a media firestorm at home for his decision to donate nearly $8M of earnings from his tome, "A Journey," to the Royal British Legion, the rehabilitation center for military veterans.
The former U.K. Prime Minister, the enabler of Bush's ill-fated invasion of Iraq, is portrayed in the British press as the using "blood money" to buy redemption. The Independent spares Blair no quarter for his part in an "imprudent, mismanaged and probably illegal war."
Blair's donation "cannot erase, nor will it compensate for, the irreversible damage that has been done." Noting Blair's conversion to Catholicism, Tony Valley of the Independent sees the contribution to the RBL as “an act of penance.” Amen and say ten million "Hail Marys."
The Daily Mail thunders that Blair’s "gift is designed to make himself feel better. The rest of us must just hold our nose." Max Hastings wrote that Blair “deceived us nevertheless, because he used the pretext of WMDs to justify a commitment he was already determined upon. He knew Parliament would never sign up to an invasion of Iraq simply to help the Americans do a good deed in a wicked world." The Prime Minister "dealt dishonestly with the nation and involved us to two unsuccessful and bloody commitments."
Britain has lost 500 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Telegraph's Judith Woods says Blair’s donation "is just another example of his self-serving attitude." She pities the British Legion "duty-bound to accept Blair’s offer of financial support, and presumably rifling through the handbook to find a reference to 'Warmongers: Donations Form.'"
The Stop the War Coalition promises to turn up the heat on Blair, picketing his London book-signing next month at Waterstone’s in Piccadilly. It will attempt to stage an arrest of Blair for alleged war crimes.
Bush should take note. Keep the money, or donate it to Hurricane Katrina relief. A donation to support American veterans would only dredge up another fiasco of the Bush Administration, the shameful treatment received by returning amputees at places like Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which is supposed to be the flagship facility of that service.
"Operation of Iraqi Freedom" has resulted in 4,415 American deaths. Another 1,229 are dead in Afghanistan. No charitable contribution from the former commander-in-chief can compensate for their loss.
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