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View Full Version : Serious question: Is Bush the most aggressive president in U.S. history?


Sundog
28th May 2003, 12:58 PM
I confess my incomplete knowledge of American history. I know there are some here who know it much better than I.

What's the record for the number of full-scale wars any American president has instigated during a four-year term? Does anyone know?

c0rbin
28th May 2003, 12:59 PM
Umm.

No.

Theodor Roosevelt.

Hands down.

Sundog
28th May 2003, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by c0rbin
Umm.

No.

Theodor Roosevelt.

Hands down.

Elaborate, please?

c0rbin
28th May 2003, 01:07 PM
Read TR's life story.

Start here: www.google.com (http://www.google.com)

Tony
28th May 2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Sundog


Elaborate, please?

The Rough Riders and San Juan hill comes to mind.

Sundog
28th May 2003, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by Tony


The Rough Riders and San Juan hill comes to mind.

Thank you. While I admit it's a loaded question, I really want to know. How many actual, full-scale wars was he responsible for instigating?

Sundog
28th May 2003, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by c0rbin
Read TR's life story.

Start here: www.google.com (http://www.google.com)

Thanks, I really believe I can find Google without a link. :rolleyes:

But your sarcasm in the face of an honest question is noted. Insert a random bass-player insult here.

(My bass is better than your bass, nyah nyah.) :p

Skeptical Greg
28th May 2003, 01:24 PM
Does being involved in a war during their entire presidency count?

LBJ comes to mind...

I guess Nixon came close..

Sundog
28th May 2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by Diogenes
Does being involved in a war during their entire presidency count?

LBJ comes to mind...

I guess Nixon came close..

Maybe this isn't a fair question, but no, I don't count wars that lasted the entire four years.

Nixon inherited his war, unless you count the expansion into Cambodia.

"Who was the biggest warmonger" is a related, interesting, but not identical question.

Dancing David
28th May 2003, 01:38 PM
I'll vote for Bloddy Harrison the Indian Killer.

c0rbin
28th May 2003, 01:39 PM
Actually, Sundog, I wasn't being sarcastic. All of TR's life is a struggle and he rises to the challenge...aggressively.

There is too much for me to spend my time recounting. The best thing to do is to search google for TR's biography and step back. He "walks softly and carries a big stick."

Skeptical Greg
28th May 2003, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Sundog


Maybe this isn't a fair question, but no, I don't count wars that lasted the entire four years.

Nixon inherited his war, unless you count the expansion into Cambodia.

"Who was the biggest warmonger" is a related, interesting, but not identical question.

Oh boy...

I guess we need to know your definition of warmonger?

Are you looking for enemy and collateral body count?

And still U.S. Presidents, I presume?

Sundog
28th May 2003, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by c0rbin
Actually, Sundog, I wasn't being sarcastic. All of TR's life is a struggle and he rises to the challenge...aggressively.

There is too much for me to spend my time recounting. The best thing to do is to search google for TR's biography and step back. He "walks softly and carries a big stick."

My apologies for jumping to conclusions.

I understand, and of course it isn't your job to fill in the gaps in my education. But you seem to know his history pretty well; can you give me a number? Two wars? Three?

If not that's OK, maybe someone else can.

Malachi151
28th May 2003, 01:42 PM
Hard to say I think.

Here is a list of all Americna military activity.

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/index.html#18

Most of Americans "real" military activity has been covert and so it makes it a hard call, for example under Reagan there was a lot of military activity, but no one thinks of it.

So much has been done in the name of the Cold War its really a difficult question.

I think that Teddy Roosevelt was a good reply as a possible contender, and so would Andrew Jackson be as well, but Bush's actions are more aggressive IMO.

That whole era from 1890 to 1930 saw a WHOLE LOT of American miltiary activity. That's part of what built our economy.

So, its not just Rooslevelt. You have the Spanish American War (Phillippines, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Hati, Puerto Rico), the wars with Mexico, Nicoragua, Panama, China.

A lot happened under Eisnehower too, but I dunno how you really count that.

Pretty much since WWII America has been in a constant state of war on a global scale, the citizens are just unaware.

Michael Redman
28th May 2003, 01:44 PM
Some would argue Lincoln.

Not me, though.

Sundog
28th May 2003, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Malachi151
Hard to say I think.

Here is a list of all Americna military activity.


Thank you for your excellent input. I agree that my question is overly simplistic in nature.

Ladewig
28th May 2003, 02:11 PM
No.

Theodor Roosevelt.

Hands down.


If one interprets the thread title literally, then T.R. does have a big jump on the others: captured a felon, hunted big game in the U.S. and Africa, resigned a comfortable political position to raise a volunteer regiment in the S/A war, meddled in Central American politics which led to violence, took a strong stand against powerful business interests, wanted to raise a volunteer regiment to fight in WW I. (How did he find the time to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1906?) But in terms of using his office to influence overt or covert wars, as the first post asks, T. Roosevelt doesn't win "hands down."

As for Bush's aggression, I'm no Bush supporter, but one does have to consider the 9/11 attack as something outside his control that required some kind of response (granted not a rational reason for invading Iraq, but then again, sometimes the voting population does not want rational reasons). Also, the political situation of the area from say Egypt to India was unstable before GWB took office. I'm not eliminating GWB from the aggression race. I'm just saying he may not be the out and out winner.

To get sanitized histories of all the presidents, try Whitehouse.GOV (http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/).

Malachi151
28th May 2003, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Ladewig



If one interprets the thread title literally, then T.R. does have a big jump on the others: captured a felon, hunted big game in the U.S. and Africa, resigned a comfortable political position to raise a volunteer regiment in the S/A war, meddled in Central American politics which led to violence, took a strong stand against powerful business interests, wanted to raise a volunteer regiment to fight in WW I. (How did he find the time to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1906?) But in terms of using his office to influence overt or covert wars, as the first post asks, T. Roosevelt doesn't win "hands down."

As for Bush's aggression, I'm no Bush supporter, but one does have to consider the 9/11 attack as something outside his control that required some kind of response (granted not a rational reason for invading Iraq, but then again, sometimes the voting population does not want rational reasons). Also, the political situation of the area from say Egypt to India was unstable before GWB took office. I'm not eliminating GWB from the aggression race. I'm just saying he may not be the out and out winner.

To get sanitized histories of all the presidents, try Whitehouse.GOV (http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/).

Good points. I wouldn't call Buhs the most aggressive in terms of number of actions taken, but in stance perhaps. Then again that whole Spainish American war was pretty aggressive, as well as Vietnam.

What about Bush's "alleged" involvement in Venezuela?

http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/030415/w041568.html

http://www.coha.org/COHA%20_in%20_the_news/Articles%202002/newsday_04_21_02_us__venezuela.htm

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/linkscopy/USintelVen.html

davefoc
28th May 2003, 11:27 PM
How many full scale wars has the US ever been involved in?

Without looking at the linked list. My thought is only five:
1. revolutionary
2. war of 1812
3. civil war
4. WW1
5. WWII

Maybe the mexican war, spanish american war, korean war, vietnamese war, gulf war I, the afghan war, and gulf war II are contenders, but by my definition of full scale they didn't qualify in that they didn't seem to involve a major effort by a large per centage of the country.

So if you only count wars that I think were full scale, it looks like the most wars by any president was one for which four presidents are tied for first. George Washington didn't count I thought because he wasn't president when the revolutionary war was fought.

I suppose this wasn't what you had in mind but I'm not sure how you could interpret your question otherwise.

a_unique_person
28th May 2003, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by davefoc
How many full scale wars has the US ever been involved in?

Without looking at the linked list. My thought is only five:
1. revolutionary
2. war of 1812
3. civil war
4. WW1
5. WWII

Maybe the mexican war, spanish american war, korean war, vietnamese war, gulf war I, the afghan war, and gulf war II are contenders, but by my definition of full scale they didn't qualify in that they didn't seem to involve a major effort by a large per centage of the country.

So if you only count wars that I think were full scale, it looks like the most wars by any president was one for which four presidents are tied for first. George Washington didn't count I thought because he wasn't president when the revolutionary war was fought.

I suppose this wasn't what you had in mind but I'm not sure how you could interpret your question otherwise.

I don't think the aim of a war is for it to blow out to a full scale war. You want it over quickly with a minimum of fuss. Vietnam would have to go in that list, though, the scal of US involvement and money spent on it was huge. Was it more bombs dropped than in WWII?