People all over the world have long been aware of the stark gap between the reality of American policy around the world, dictated by the drive to achieve “full spectrum dominance” at any cost, and the claims of its leaders to represent enlightenment and freedom for all people. One effect of the disaster in Iraq has been to make even Americans – notoriously ignorant of world affairs – aware of their leaders’ apparent disconnection from reality.
On the face of it, George W. Bush’s determination to increase the US military presence in Iraq, and his escalating political warfare against the Islamic State of Iran, despite the mounting chaos in Iraq, appear illogical to the point of madness.
Fate seems to have thought that US president George W Bush needed more dismal assessments of his handling of Iraq after the debacle that befell the Republican party in the recent congressional elections. The report released by the Iraq Study Group on December 6 gives a catastrophic balance sheet of America’s adventurous military invasion and occupation of Iraq
That US President George W. Bush is disliked, both at home and abroad, is no secret; what is less well known is the depth of the antipathy to him. Indonesia, for instance, is presented as a moderate (read pro-US) Muslim state where people do not indulge in serious political activity and Bush is disliked less than he is in the Middle East. Yet Indonesians on most parts of the political spectrum were angered by Bush visiting their country after his participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hanoi last month.
Even before the midterm elections in the US last month, many Republicans had recognised that their president had become a liability rather than an asset, and had requested that he stay away from their pre-election campaigns. The perception that the mood in America had turned against Bush and the neo-conservatives was confirmed when the elections’ results came in: the Democrats took control of the House of Congress for the first time in 12 years, and gained enough seats in the Senate to match the Republicans, with 409 seats each; two seats were won by independent candidates allied with the Democrats, giving them control of the Senate
Every US president enters the twilight zone of his presidency with trepidation. Given the enormous power and prestige of this office, seeing it slip from one’s grasp must be a particularly painful experience. For George Bush it is even worse, as he has presided over a series of disasters regarded as largely of his own making.
After making a grand retreat from the deliberately contrived nuclear standoff with Iran that even its close allies had found distasteful, US officials still continue to behave as if everyone must snap to attention whenever they click their fingers. This was again seen on June 21, when US president Bush was in Vienna for talks with European rulers.
Why is US President George Bush threatening to go to war against Iran over its civilian nuclear program at a time when American forces are bogged down in Iraq and US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld is facing a virtual insurrection against his disastrous handling of the war by retired American military generals?
Sitting alongside US senator John McCain at a White House press conference on December 15, announcing that he would support a new law banning cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects, president George W. Bush looked the very picture of reassurance. “We’ve been happy to work with [McCain] to achieve a common objective,” he said. “And that is to make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention on torture, be it here at home, or abroad.”
By camping outside US president George Bush’s Crawford ranch and demanding to meet him, the mother of a slain American soldier has given a human face to the anti-war movement. She has also energized it in a way that had not seemed possible only a few weeks earlier.
So now it’s official: George W. Bush and his policies are supported by the majority of those Americans who choose to engage in US politics...
In addition to the three official candidates– George Bush, John Kerry and Ralph Nader– two others are likely to influence the outcome of the US presidential elections on November 2: Osama bin Laden and Pakistani president general Pervez Musharraf...
More than a century and a half later, George W. Bush is engaged in a desperate struggle to fool enough of the people enough of the time to control Iraq for long enough to secure the US's interests, while also getting re-elected as president in November, against a backdrop of increasing criticism from all quarters...
As US and Israeli officials prepared for the meeting between George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon on April 14, the Arab world was full of rumours that the Bush administration had agreed to give Sharon "assurances" and "guarantees" in return for Israel’s purported agreement to withdraw from Ghazzah...
US president George Bush had hoped that by April 2004 American casualties in Iraq would be so low that he could present this success as his personal triumph in transforming Iraq from a tyranny into a democracy...
The US’s apparent capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on December 13 has enabled the Bush administration to end the year on a rather higher note than they can have expected, particularly after November had proved to be the worst month yet of the US occupation of Iraq...
Thanks to his rightwing advisors (better known as ‘neo-conservatives’ or ‘neo-cons’), US president George Bush has been trapped between Iraq and a hard place; in fact several hard places – Afghanistan, the US economy and a public that are at last beginning to realize that they have been lied to in a big way.
When US president George W. Bush came to the UN General Assembly on September 23, there was some expectation that his tone would be magnanimous and conciliatory. Six months after the US rode roughshod over the UN by launching a unilateral war against the wishes not only of the majority of the world’s unimportant states, but also of senior members of the Security Council, it was expected that the US might come to mend fences, as if from a position of strength, but with the underlying reality that the US needs international cooperation in the administration of occupied Iraq, given the problems it is having in securing its catch.
As the end of the year approaches, American political circles are getting into gear for the electoral campaigns which will dominate 2004, culminating in the presidential elections at the end of the year.
Before he set out on his African safari last month US president Bush again proved his ignorance, saying that "Africa is a nation that has many diseases." His other gaffes in Africa were far more serious.