PRESIDENT BUSH is leaving the White House. His second tenure marks one of the most turbulent phases in American history. The US, under the Bushes (father and son), has been involved in most international interventions and has had to compromise a lot and sacrifice even more. The world’s perception of US was different before Bush took over. Former President Clinton’s tenure had seen his wife Hillary bearing the brunt. When Clinton gave way to Bush, the nation took on the mantle of leadership in international disputes that had remained unsolved for long. The reconciliatory approach of the Clintons had given way to retaliatory approach at the cost of the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians across the world. The world has since suffered a lot on account of the US, both bad and worse - the worst being experienced now.
But the world ensured that payback time arrived sooner than later, for the US. What the US had to put up with during these seven long years can be summed up in the very own words of the outgoing President Bush himself. He delivered the 2008 State of the Union Address thus:
“Madam Speaker, vice president Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum.
In the past seven years, we have seen images that have sobered us. We have watched throngs of mourners in Lebanon and Pakistan carrying the caskets of beloved leaders taken by the assassin’s hand. We have seen wedding guests in blood-soaked finery staggering from a hotel in Jordan, Afghans and Iraqis blown up in mosques and markets and trains in London and Madrid ripped apart by bombs. And on a clear September day, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens taken from us in an instant….The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists - evil men who despise freedom, despise America and aim to subject millions to their violent rule….Since September 11, we have taken the fight to these terrorists and extremists. We will stay on the offence, we will keep up the pressure, and we will deliver justice to the enemies of America.”
It is this, “We will stay on the offensive, we will keep up the pressure and we will deliver justice to the enemies of America,” that keeps the rest of the world on its toes, because none of the 2008 White House contenders, viz, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain has ever mentioned anything like this in their election campaign. With not much time to go before the real player(s) take over the reins, Bush seems to have realised that it is sensible to leave a not-so-unpleasant account of the rise and fall of the Bush dynasty.
Tailpiece: Making one out of every eight Americans live in poverty in nearly eight years of rule is not an unpleasant achievement. The world wishes America delivered justice to its taxpayers after the 2008 elections, at least. Staying on the offensive, keeping up the pressure and other such belligerent indications may work wonders in international parleys and the rostrums of the Congress and the Senate but what the world, including the US, needs is peace!