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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-27-07 07:44 PM
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8. The Bush Touch: Turning Friends into Enemies

The Bush Touch: Turning Friends into Enemies

BY Scott Horton
PUBLISHED November 26, 2007

George W. Bush came to power on January 20, 2001. He inherited the most powerful military force ever assembled in human history, and the most significant system of military alliances that any nation had ever constructed. It would be wrong to say that this was the product of the Administration of Bill Clinton. More accurately, it was the result of a bipartisan tradition in foreign policy and defense planning that stretched back to the era of Truman. Bush, however, was intent on using foreign adventures as a partisan political tool to enhance his grip on the helm of state. And he had little patience for or interest in alliances. The theme of his seven years of foreign and defense policy has been unilateralism.

One by one the leaders on the world stage who put their faith in Bush and thoughtlessly did his bidding have fallen in disgrace, usually rejected by their own voters. The first to go were Italys Silvio Berlusconi and Spains Jos Mara Aznar. Then Britains Tony Blair was forced to surrender 10 Downing Street to his Chancellor of the Exchequer, to give Labour a fighting chance to hold a majority in the next election. In the last week, Jarosław Kaczyński, a conservative ally in Poland fell, and over the weekend, Bushs most faithful follower in the entire pack, the veritable boot-licker John Howard of Australia. In each case, the association with George W. Bush was electoral cyanide to voters back home.

Says former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, a man close to Bushs father and to Henry Kissinger, in a recent interview with Die Zeit, given the choice between Russias Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush, hell opt for the man in the Kremlin. Bush 43 is just too dangerous.

When Bushs presidency is written up for the history books, one aspect will merit a special chapter, and that is the amazing alchemy by which Bush turned Americas staunchest allies around the world into disaffected onlookers, if not in fact enemies. He is gifted with the opposite of the diplomatic Midas touch.

<...>

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Anglican Primate, is not exactly a radical priest. Hes been solidly on the traditionalist side of the debates within the Anglican Communion on issues such as the ordination of women, the consecration of homosexuals as bishops and he has no equivocation in condemning abortion. But Williamss conservatism had led him repeatedly to question the wisdom of Prime Minister Blairs alignment with the United States in the War on Terror. And in an interview published this weekend, he unloaded. In fact, he called George W. Bushs America a threat to Christian civilization. The Sunday Times (London) reports:

more


Slideshow: Bush's disappearing alliance


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