A Change of Presidency

When George W Bush came into the US Presidency he had everything going for him.  He also had detractors from day one.   I well remember the last reported actions of the Clinton Staffers, who pulled the “W” key from their keyboards so that Dubbya’s spin doctors could not type the name George W Bush. 

Early into his administration George W was described as the best friend Israel had ever had in the White House.  However my support and respect for him waned, due to his inability to reign in his foreign Secretary Condy Rice, whose attempt to be even handed left the US administration with a wholesale sellout of Israels legitimate rights to their own territory.  Whether it is this or the Iraq war that stands as the biggest foreign policy perceived failing of the Bush administration, far worse was the inability of the US legislators to regulate its financial markets and secure control of the use of credit.  The greed of the few, and the exploitation of an uncontrolled market has left the world in recession.  This could have been avoided.

So I am not sorry to see George Bush retire.  However, not everybody thinks this way, and the fear now is that Obama will be far more damaging to international security by taking a conciliatory approach towards the promulgators of terror. 

There is an article in today’s West Australian by British historian Andrew Roberts that proposes history will look more favourably on the Bush era.  One quote is as follows:  “The cold light of history will absolve Mr Bush of the worst conspiracy theory accusation – that he know there were no weapons of mass destruction. ……  Mr Bush assumed coalition forces would find mass graves, torture chambers, evidence for the gross abuse of the UN’s food for oil program, but also WMD’s.  He was right about each but the last.” 

When the US went into Iraq, their mission was to depose a dictator and introduce a new regime.  Whilst not yet obtaining complete security for Iraq, there is no doubt that this work had to be done.  The pretext of WMD’s is far to complex to simply use as a defining gauge of justification for this war.  The implications post Iraq are that the EU, UN and other world bodies have yet to learn their lesson.  Look at the way some Latin American countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela are lining up behind Iran, Syria and Hamas. 

The new world order under the incoming US President will have to work out what truly is the greatest threat to world peace.  If he wants to listen and understand, he will be able to work out that it is not Israel, or its existence.   Unfortunately, if he has to learn this lesson the hard way, we will all be wishing the return of the very average performance of the Bush administration.